“We just keep working until we suck less,” says Fredo Jones, director of photography for Blurred Pictures.
We’re all sitting at a trendy new taproom in a now-upscale area of North Denver: myself, Jones, Waylon Kane (creative producer) and Rosco Guerrero (writer and director). Surrounded by a mob of do-gooders preparing for a long run before meeting around a pint, the four of us are discussing the troupe’s latest short film, Mary.
[L to R: Waylon Kane, Rosco Guerrero and Fredo Jones of Blurred Pictures // by Rebecca Slaughter]
The scene we’re in is one of the most basic and inescapable sights in the evolving city. As a stark contrast, the environment we’re held to for a backdrop of our conversation represents little of what the film production, and the company, is all about.
“The democratization of the Internet has made it easier to be what you want, but also harder to compete,” says Guerrero. He’s talking about the way the film industry is a global force now instead of being locked into areas like Los Angeles and New York — both homogenized by large corporate involvement and archaic industry standards that all but suck the creativity out of a lot of players in their field.
“We’re able to do what we want here (in Denver),” adds Jones. “But by not following the way you’re supposed to do it, it took us a long time to figure it all out on our own.”
[Behind the scenes of Mary]
It’s why the team recently released the short film — a 12-minute Black Mirror-type psychological trip into what could be if your life just got fucked by an ex. They say it’s been an ongoing goal, a task meant to serve as a learning tool while building confidence in their abilities. The talents and know-how will ultimately end (or begin with, which is how they see it) in feature length films.
Having not done one, “We don’t call ourselves filmmakers yet,” says Jones. It's a long process to get there, with many unavoidable kinks they've had to work out, learning as they go — even on the set of Mary.
[Behind the scenes of Mary]
But it’s not like they’re amateurs, either, at least not any longer. In the past, Blurred Pictures has been pegged by national artists for music videos, large corporations for prominent commercial spots (including Schomp Mini, Mercedes Benz and the Children’s Hospital) and are able to promote a heavy roster of other projects that exude just as much art-school creativity as they do professionalism.
“Come on the set one day, I promise it’ll be the most fun you’ve ever had.” says Jones about the crew’s work ethic. It’s a position the guys stand by not because they’re having fun themselves — they are — but because actors and actresses, many of whom have worked in Hollywood, say so too. Approaching their art as a creative outlet as opposed to a stuffy office job is why the trio believes a glass ceiling for them doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a gradual stepping stone to realizing a position every artist sets out to accomplish.
So the recent film is entered into contests, great. It’ll act as a calling card to work on more projects like it, fine. It won’t ever go viral like it would if it were a cat wearing a silly costume or drenched in everyday people making enormous asses out of thesmelves, perfect. It’s niche, it’s calculated, it’s right where the guys want it to be.
“You have to be paying attention to it,” says Guerrero. Because it’s immersive. A fly-by scroll of an anxious thumb isn’t where this thing will thrive, and they all agree. It'll hit its mark with people who enjoy the artistry of film or love a twisted story told through the craft. In the end, that's all it'll ever need to legitimize the unconventional.
It seems Mary has a lot of work to do, too.