When we decided to do Shroud, we were very optimistic about our ability to tell a good story with compelling dramatic elements and brave art direction. Like any first film, it has been a long painful process, a mixed parade of brilliant successes, stunning achievements, unforseen setbacks, bewildering reversals, endless obstacles and finally — sweet, sweet victory.
We were very fortunate, given the ambitious nature of our first film: we worked with a lot of amazing people who understood this was our first major motion picture, and kindly forgave us the many missteps we made along the way. Many, who had made films before, offered us advise and guidance on many issues and aspects of the filmmaking process we either didn’t know about, or anticipated only in part.
We broke all the rules and reached as far as we possibly could.
Make no mistake, it was arduous, at best. But the great talent we surrounded ourselves with got us through it. We owe a great amount of thanks to the cast and crew of Shroud.
Also, like any business venture, our production was infiltrated by some persons who are best described as incompetent, while others were posers, passive aggressive, prickly, predators and some were just plain paranoid. Despite our best efforts, we failed to weed out these people before allowing them to work along our more generous and accommodating cast and crew. For our lack of judgment, we owe a great apology to the cast and crew of Shroud for forcing them to endure some plainly unprofessional behavior brought to both the production and post-production phase of our film by these people.
It is worth noting that some people are just deeply fractured, and in places not easily fixed. These people corrupt the hard work of their peers with suspicion, hearsay, slander and accusations. Despite the many extreme measures we made to promote a creative and safe environment — meeting as many demands and expectations as we were fiscally capable — some people simply preferred insults, injury and attempts at intimidation.
These people are so perversely biased toward their own interests, that no amount of diplomacy, negotiation or accommodation can or will please them. Instead, they prefer their minor tyrannies to the more advanced human tier of partnership. They keep their cold souls warm only through the thick blanket of arrogance in which they wrap themselves. Their belief in their own sense of entitlement is chilling and palpable.
Fortunately, these people are incapable of subtlety, and invariably play their poor hand in front of everyone, allowing us to finally see them for what they are…and more importantly, what they are not.
Yet, there are many we had the privilege of working with that did not behave so boorishly. Instead, a few of our cast and crew literally stand as examplars of professionalism, kindness, and cooperation.
One such person is Nicole Leigh Jones.
Possessed as she is of many flawless features and faculties, one might easily assume she is as cold-souled as many others in the entertainment business — I can assure you she is not.
Nicole, more than anyone else on the set of Shroud, demonstrated untiring dedication to our film, despite the long development, grueling hours, remote locations and demanding dialog of the project. As impossible as it may be to believe, her great beauty and her rare talent are exceeded only by her compassion and her sterling character.
Thank you, Nicole.