Thanks Garret for taking some time to talk to me again as I hear you have new adventures on the horizon.
So you already made a movie based on Scouting called “Scout Camp The Movie”. Can you tell me a bit about what it was like to film it, how it went, was it successful, etc?
Making SCOUT CAMP: THE MOVIE has been and continues to be an adventure. I wanted to make a film that would be entertaining and portray scouting in a great light. I wanted kids to be able to relate to the characters that they would see on screen. Based on the feedback we continue to receive, SCOUT CAMP: THE MOVIE has been a success. With that being said, as with any project, it's important to take what you learn, and apply it to your next projects.
What kind of background do you guys have in Scouting and film making to be qualified to make this movie?
Many of the film's cast and crew are former and current scouts. My brothers and I all participated in scouting, and we each earned our Eagle Scout Award. I am now raising my sons in scouting, with my oldest recently racing in his first pinewood derby. My wife is the Cub Committee chair.
After graduation film school, I headed to Hollywood and worked several years in film and television as an editor. I started a production company there, through which I would eventually make SCOUT CAMP. Now I am working with fellow Eagle Scout Jake Van Wagoner on SCOUT CAMP: THE KLONDIKE.
I hear you guys wrote a new Script and are hoping to premier the new film in just over a year. Can you tell me about the new film, the new script? What was your motivation behind it?
When Jake and I set out to write SCOUT CAMP: THE KLONDIKE, it was with a great deal of caution. The first film had been fun, and is doing well with the scout audience, so I didn't, want to do anything to disrupt that. Jake was really honest with me, and kind of opened my eyes to some of the things that we could do better. We talked about making a film for more than just the kids. I told him I only wanted to do another film if it could accurately portray all that a scout master does for scouting, yet be entertaining. He completely caught the vision of this, and the script shows it. One of the coolest experiences with the first film was showing it at the National Jamboree in 2010. Also, we were able to perform the theme song "Born to Be a Scout" in the closing ceremonies in front of about 80,000 cheering scouts. It was wonderful to be a small part of the history there. It would be a privilege to be able to premiere "SCOUT CAMP: THE KLONDIKE" at Bechtel Summit in 2013. We don't have much time, but that is our goal.
When I originally interviewed you back in 2009 I asked you about scenes cut form the movie. You mentioned about how the script was cut from 120 pages to 90 and that maybe in the future some of the lost details would come out. Can we look forward to learning more in the next movie? Did any editing room floor cuts ever get released on your site or on youtube?
On the DVD of Scout Camp, you can see a few behind-the-scenes antics from the set, but we didn't ever go back and shoot things that were cut from the script. Our next film picks up about 3 years after the first film, so we'll get to see a few familiar faces. I'm looking forward to catching up with some of the original Fire Dragons, as well as some of the hilarious "Camp Rakhouta" instructors, who of course will make an appearance in THE KLONDIKE.
What kind of doors did “Scout Camp The Movie” open for you? What kind of exciting adventures did it lead you on as you took it on tour?
With every council that we've been invited to screen the film for, I have always been amazed at the quality of people I find. I'm not sure why that continues to amaze me, but it does. Whether we screened in Massachusetts, Kansas, Indiana, or Utah, the scouting organization attracts some amazing people.
Another door that we are happy that the film opened was into the Christian Film community. Recently Bridgestone Media Group, who distributes Christian cinema nationwide, licensed SCOUT CAMP for distribution. We are thrilled that scouting will be showcased in this film market.
I hear you meet a lot of people along the way. Anyone stand out that you can tell us about?
I've loved interacting with those who do so much for scouting. Definitely Scott Robertson with InsaneScouter has been awesome to interact with! Your scout resources are incredible. I'd also have to mention Scott Grandstaff, from the Sagamore Council. He is one of the many who exemplifies what it means to be a committed father and scout leader. The scouts are blessed to have leaders like him. And there are leaders like him, all across the country.
What did you learn from making the first film and what will you do differently in the making of the second film?
SCOUT CAMP: THE MOVIE was my first feature film. I had already had success in making short films, but had yet to tackle a feature. I approached it with caution, and tried to be very respectful of the format. With a feature, you are tasked with holding your audiences' attention for 90 minutes. You better really consider what you are going to say to them. For SCOUT CAMP: THE KLONDIKE, I've teamed up with screenwriter Jake VanWagoner, and we've come up with a very entertaining and compelling story that has something worth saying. I think that the biggest lesson from the first film is that scout stories deserve to be told-- the NEED to be told.
Around the grape vine I heard a lot of grumbling about the lack of adult leaders in the first film. I understand this was a decision you guys made for budget reasons, but is it something you will do differently in “The Klondike”?
When I wrote the script for SCOUT CAMP: THE MOVIE, I really wanted to put the emphasis on the boys, not the leaders. I wanted to show how a boy-led troop becomes just that. The majority of audiences see it that way, but there have been some who wanted to see more adult interaction, specifically 2-deep leadership. As I've shown the film in councils across the country, so many scouts tell us that the troop in the film is just like their own troop. In SCOUT CAMP: THE KLONDIKE, we've taken the stories we've heard from all over the country and put them into some wonderful characters. Our goal has been to make entertaining feature films that portray scouting for the wonderful organization that it is, without making a "training video" for scouts. We've had to walk a fine line between being idealistic and realistic. Rest assured, though, that the Scout Masters and Assistant Scout Masters in the film will be completely relatable, and yes, we will show 2-deep leadership in all our troops.
“Scout Camp The Movie” was filmed at a real Scout Camp where would you like to film “The Klondike” at?
SCOUT CAMP: THE KLONDIKE is set in the winter, at a snow-covered scout camp. We haven't determined a location, and would be open to filming wherever we can get enough snow in October.
What can we do to help you bring the movie to life? Is there a way people can come visit the film set, or even get the Troop t-shirt worn by one of the characters in the film? Or maybe just “pre-order” the cd.
Filmmaking is an incredibly expensive process. For production on the first film we had to employ about 30 people for 30 days, and that is just for production. It doesn't include all the post-production, licenses, and even marketing needed. -- Anyone who has done an eagle project can break that down into the amount of work hours required to do this. So in order to make THE KLONDIKE, we've set up a fundraising campaign through kickstarter. We've tried to involve people as much as possible, by creating rewards for the generous donations. There are only a few days left of the kickstarter campaign, and if it isn't funded fully, we'll have to start again from scratch. Find out more here.
Thanks, Scott, for the questions. If people want more information, they can go to our SCOUT CAMP Facebook page. If people are interested in backing "THE KLONDIKE" they can message us directly.