Buffalo Bill's Defunct
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Project Genesis

It started with the death of my 79 year-old grandpa. I wanted to better understand my relationship to past generations, and the treatment became a form of personal ancestor worship. 15 months down the road we were on about the 8th draft, when my 55-year-old Dad, ever the prankster, went and threw a wrench in it by croaking too. My worldview, along with the treatment, exploded. I had already been selected for the Northwest Film Forum's Start-to-Finish program, so the pressure was on to shoot the film. But I simply wasn't ready, the treatment wasn't ready, the film had yet to be completely cast, and we only had about 17k- enough to shoot video, but not enough to shoot 16mm color film.

Gradually I was drawn back to the project. "Buffalo Bill's Defunct" transformed into an intergenerational deconstruction of Buffalo Bill and his family. Bill became an amalgamation of my Dad, my Grandpa, and Earl Prebezac- a one-eyed 78-year-old actor who plays the role of Buffalo Bill. Over 9 months, we rehearsed and wrote, rehearsed and wrote. Dogged perseverance eventually transformed our cast into actors worthy of film. 13 months after my Dad died, on draft #26 of the treatment, with a medium-sized crew, an Aaton 16mm camera that belonged to D.P. Erich Volkstorf; we finally shot on a farm in Sultan, Washington.



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