The Watchman’s Canoe follows Jett, a girl of mixed caucasian and indigenous descent, and her struggles with these two labels. She has difficulties at school with the teachers and at home with her brother who has dumped her as his best friend to join the local reservation Fort Gang Boys, who relentlessly torment Jett as she does everything she can to get into their boys only group. After Jett and her cousin Peedie meet the next door neighbor and tribal watchman, Uncle Ralph, Jett unwillingly embarks on a spiritual journey into the world of Native American story and belief. Thrust into a “spiritual realm” that reflects and refracts tribal society and the force of nature, Jett is tested by several scenarios or “lessons” that awaken her ability to grasp the true meaning of her purpose as a human being.
A feature film by:
About the Team
Most of our team have worked together on music videos and short films. We are excited about this incredible opportunity to move forward with the feature, THE WATCHMAN’S CANOE. Our team has a cohesive creative muse that binds us and enhances the exceptional work we do together.
BARRI CHASE, Producer/Writer/Director
Barri has made many short films and music videos. She brings years of experience from the fashion, beauty and fine art photography industries, to carefully create and shape each scene. Her film HAND OF THE EARTH, won 5 festival awards including: best director, best in category, best editor, best sound design and best visual effects. Barri’s music video WEATHER, WHETHER is a great example of her directing style and aesthetic talents. Her next feature film is called Coyote Howls and will star Adam Beach.
MONICA ANSELL, 1st Assistant Director
Monica studied film at the Scottsdale Community College Film School in 2009. Since then Monica has worked on a variety of productions from music videos to commercials and short films. From 2010 – 2011 Monica worked as assistant director on the award winning projects Nocturnal Emission and Hand of the Earth. She has continued her AD experience working on commercials for The Conservatory of Recording Arts in Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles, California and the non-profit organization Color of Change.
RON INTERPRETER, Executive Producer
Synergistic and Conscientious nature of being both professional and amiable, Ron has business experience in building consensus and implementing solutions. Ron is results driven and solution oriented relating to Marketing, Professional development, Customer Retention, Cultural Competency, and Strategic Planning.. Ron strives to assist groups and individuals to effective align limited resources to ensure innovative solutions, without sacrificing the corporate culture and client relations. Ron Interpreter is a member of the Navajo Nation, with maternal relations of the “White Streak in a Rock” of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and parental relations of the “Many Goats” Clan of the Navajo Tribe. Ron is originally from the community of Forest Lake, located on Black Mesa. A father to three beautiful children (Amanda, Brent and Roan), Ron currently resides operates his consulting business i-solutions LLC in Phoenix, Arizona.
ALAN and LARONNICA DENDINGER, Production Designers
This husband and wife team has worked on numerous short films, music videos, commercials, as well as a soon to be released feature. Their passion is art. To create a world for the actors to live in, to accent the frame for the cinematographer, to bring the writer’s words and director’s vision together for the audience to share, is their goal.
HAILEY PETERSON, Production Manager
Hailey is the one who does all the unglamorous and tedious paperwork of the film. Because someone has to…
TOMMY SCHAEFFER, Sound Mixer
Tommy Schaeffer graduated from Lehigh University with degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Theatrical Production & Design. In addition to that formal education, he has also studied music composition, film production, acting and improvisation. Tommy is driven by his passion for music, film, and performance with unwavering attention to detail to produce high-quality audio both on-location and in the studio. He couples strong artistic talents with acute technical skills to be a highly diversified production engineer. He has been regularly working as an audio engineer in Phoenix since 2008 and has credits for location audio, post-production studio mixing/mastering, original music composition and live performance mixing. Learn more: www.polymathus.com
STEPHEN NEBGEN, Legal & Business Affairs
Mr. Nebgen has been practicing entertainment law for close to twenty (20) years and been involved in the entertainment industry for close to forty (40) years. His clients include film, television and theatre companies, actors/actresses, musicians and many authors and painters. He counsels clients regarding business formation, intellectual property matters in copyright and trademarks, contract negotiations, and other corporate law matters. Stephen has also been called as an “expert witness” regarding entertainment issues in various litigation matters.
Mr. Nebgen is a producer with credits in film television, theatre and music. As a producer, among other credits, Stephen was the General Manager at The Lambs Theatre located at 44th Street and Broadway, in New York City. Stephen also produced such prominent Off-Broadway plays as the 20th Anniversary Revival of “Fortune and Men’s Eyes” and “Bert See’s The Light”, which featured Jack Black in his New York theatre debut.
Rhonda Ray, Marketing Director
Rhonda is a Navajo woman, from Lupton, Arizona; she lives in Gallup, New Mexico. For the past seven years, she has been Director of Marketing for Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise dba Fire Rock Navajo Casino, a Navajo Nation-owned casino. She oversees the casino’s Marketing Department, and assisted the Enterprise with developing other Navajo casinos in New Mexico and Arizona.
Previously, she was Special Projects Marketing Director for the Southwest Indian Foundation, a large non-profit corporation organized to improve the quality of life within the southwest. She was a key organizer for the Navajo Code Talkers to be honored for the first time in the famous Veterans Day Parade in New York City.
Rhonda has been awarded a “Certificate of Recognition” by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for her success, special accomplishments for serving the people in her community with an outstanding professionalism and as a role model of the Navajo Nation. She also successfully completed an extensive executive development program – “Strategic Leadership in, The Gaming Industry” – conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas for executive gaming management. She was awarded a “Certificate of Recognitions” by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner for her success for outstanding professional and great Native women business leader of the Navajo Nation.
She is also a talented movie actor who starring in “Turquoise Rose,” “More than Fry Bread,” “Drunk Town USA,” “Legends From The Sky,” and a documentary “Oreland C. Joe, Master Sculptor” – portraying the importance of Native Women and their traditional values. Rhonda was involved and invited to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah for the movie “Watchman’s Canoe” as Director of Marketing.
AJ YOUNG, Director of Photography
His first job was working at a movie theatre back when theaters still projected on 35mm. AJ Young worked as a projectionist for five years before attending Columbia College in Chicago full time to earn his Bachelors in Cinematography. From the get go, AJ knew the classroom was not enough to learn his craft; nothing beat the education of working of on a professional set.
Having been trained on film, AJ interned, crewed and eventually shot numerous projects. Since then he has shot multiple features, short films and countless new media projects. Notable works include award winning Gadget, Stygian, The Gun Equation and the highly anticipated feature releasing June 20th, The Watchman’s Canoe.
AJ’s desire to explore the rise en scene of each film has developed a unique style and look to the stories he tells. Disciplined in the art of brevity, he never forgets the importance of simplicity in coverage, lighting and scheduling. He combines these factors together as his creative voice on a film. Barri and AJ have worked together on multiple projects since meeting in cinematography classes at SCC. They are excited to work together again on Coyote Howls. Their combined experience makes them a strong Director/Cinematography team in the business of storytelling through film.
BRIAN HATHAWAY, Editor
Brian hails from the East Coast with 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. He brings his heart and soul to every project. Besides his creativity as an editor, he has a deep technical knowledge valuable to any and all types of projects. On top of being a working professional in the industry, he makes the time to work in the land of academia, guiding young filmmakers so they too can bring their dreams to fruition. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
MATTHEW BARTON, Assistant Editor
Matt discovered his love for editing in high school when he took a class called Communications for the 21st Century, from that point on he knew he wanted to pursue editing as a career. After graduating from Film School in 2011, he started his career working on a national airing documentary series chronicling the sport of 3 Gun. Since then he has had the opportunity to work with a number of award winning editors and producers. Matt is fascinated with the art of editing, and loves to bring a director’s vision to life through collaboration and creative storytelling.
EVFA CERISES, Media and Development
Evfa got her start in film and TV when she was three, on The Art Linkletter Show, “Kids Say The Darnedest Things.” Later she studied make up and special effects in LA, and worked on various television and indie films, and also did print work for photographers. She has Produced and been a First AD on over 30 short films. She is currently the Producer of Media and Development for Light Dancing Productions.
JUSTIN MACDUFF, Print/Web Branding
Justin runs his business Macduff Design from his home-office in Lakeside, OR. Trust and fearlessness is key to his creative process, he’s not risky, but strives to be thrilling! Creativity is the adventure.
JILL EDWARDS, Social Media
Jill Edwards got involved when her youngest son, Carter Jon, showed an interest in acting. After finding herself on set often, she decided that she wanted to become more involved. Her posts about her sons involvements in certain projects were passionate and ultimately led her to discover a new talent as a social media representative for her son’s most recent project, The Watchman’s Canoe. During the time she isn’t working alongside Carter Jon, she travels around Oregon with her husband Nick, visiting her three other children, camping, and enjoying adventures with her family. She looks forward to her involvement in this next project, Coyote Howls.
CHRIS KELLEY, Hair and Makeup Designer
Chris Kelley is an established makeup artist and hairstylist from the Washington DC area. She started out as a hairdresser and found her way into music videos, thus fell in love with being on set. She then packed her things and moved to LA to learn from the best in every genre of makeup, special effects, wig work and period styling which finally, with her passion and talent opened the door to film work and loves it! Thus has been traveling the country working in production ever since as well as working behind the chair catering to her clients when she can. Learn more: chriskelleymakeup.weebly.com.
JARROD WILSON, Gaffer
Owner/Operator of Pirate Grip & Electric based out of Phoenix, AZ since 2004. Jarrod works both as a Key Grip & Gaffer on feature & short films, commercials, corporate videos, sports related events, & on still photography shoots. His passion is in the narrative film world & loves the challenge of traveling to new places & making a script come to life!
Soundtrack by Knifewing Segura is an actor and composer, known for Jonathan degli orsi (1994).
Concept trailer song “All Through the Grey” written and performed by Stephan Bayley.
“We Are On Time” performed by Nahko and the Medicine for the People.
Jett is a day dreamer. She is overly concerned with the environment, especially trees, plants and animals. Her voice is low, but soothing for a girl her age. Jett is street smart but has wide open eyes that are indicative of an old soul. She is from an economically challenged family but they make the best of it by doing things like gong to the drive-in theater. Jett, her mom Onie and brother Tommy take homemade popcorn and juice and sit outside the fence because they can’t afford to pay. They make up every word of every character. Jett wears hand-me-downs from her brother, including a beanie that she stuffs her blonde curls up into so that she doesn’t stand out any more than she already does on the reservation. She is a tom-boy of sorts, but a 1969 one. Jett has extremely white almost translucent skin. She adores her dog, her Gram and her cousin Peedie.
Jett Chase is played by Kiri Goodson.
Onie “Light Walker” Chase
Onie’s main focus is to keep the kids, Tommy and Jett on track. Her family just went through a painful separation and divorce but she had no choice but to get the kids away from their alcoholic father. Onie is a stunning native American woman. She is tall, elegant and smart. She works at the college near the reservation and has just completed her Master’s degree. Onie is very reserved and at times comes across as cold. She is terrified of creatures including insects, mice and snakes.
Onie “Light Walker” Chase is played by Stephanie Wallace.
Tommy is also having difficulties adjusting to reservation life even though he looks native, unlike Jett. He starts to run with the Fort Gang Boys who terrorize Jett. Tommy is a lanky kid. He is street smart. His voice is fairly deep and he usually thinks before he speaks. He feels abandoned by his father, Thomas.
Tommy is played by Ian Stevenson.
Uncle Ralph has a workshop right next to Jett’s house. He is quiet, kind and gentle with all of nature. Uncle Ralph can see and hear the voices of the wind, animals, trees, plants and waters. These mystical experiences he has in common with Jett. Uncle Ralph is a “Watchman.” He is wise, mystical and has a wonderful charm that shows through a twinkle in his eye.
Uncle Ralph is played by Roger Willie.
Gram, Onie’s mom from Texas is a spitfire. Gram comes to the reservation for the summer and has Jett’s cousin Peedie in tow. Her initial thought is to help Onie with the kids for the summer. She immediately takes a liking to Uncle Ralph which makes the summer much more rewarding. Gram has to do her hair and makeup every day and likes to look put together. She has a quick wit and says things under her breath all of the time which is always funny.
Gram is played by Jennifer Oswald.
Peedie is smart but whines and snivels a little too much. His coke bottle glasses always seem to be broken and taped together. He wears a lot of high waters exposing his brightly colored socks. He is usually reluctant to Jett’s ideas but will finally cave in to what she wants. He is beyond sweet and really just doesn’t want to get beat up by the fort gang boys. He seems intellectual for his age and enjoys drinking tea with his legs crossed (like a professor).
Peedie is played by Matthew Johnson.
The resident bully and the leader of the fort gang boys. He thinks he knows everything. He picks on kids smaller than himself and especially girls. Smiley is very large for his age, more in girth than in height. He is a gassy, hilarious big kid with a very round face. His clothes are way to small and his belly commonly sticks out the bottom of his tee.
Smiley is played by Carter Jon.
Court is very loyal and one of the fort gang boys. He follows Smiley’s lead at all times. He is great with a sling shot. He is a little more quiet then the other boys and is very happy to be a part of the gang. His clothes are more tattered than the other kids. He wears the same jeans and tee- shirt every day.
Pat & Rich
The twins are always talking over each other. They wear the same clothes but in different colors. They also are great with sling shots as long as they can quit bickering for long enough to actually take aim before the target is gone. They both seem to be dirty all of the time probably because they wrestle each other continually trying to one up each other. Eventually, when the other boys walk off, they realize they’ve been left behind and run as fast as they can to catch up.
Thomas is a Northern European, attractive and loving father. He fly fishes and loves his children but can’t be the father he needs to be because of his alcoholism.
Nick is a northwest Native American historian and writer. He isolates himself in a cabin on a nearby island. It is a place considered to be of sacred grounds to local tribes.