Bayview Entertainment has tabbed July 25 as the Blu-ray debut date for writer/director Jim Schneider’s heartfelt tale, Jack and the Treehouse, starring newcomer Eamonn McElfresh, who embarks on an impossible mission driven by his heart.
It is always fascinating how movies get made. Sure, sometimes it is a road map, a best-seller is adapted for the screen, a tent pole film franchise is a ready for another entry or a super-hot filmmaker is given the green light for anything they desire.
And then there is the long and winding road to a film production that was inspired by the nugget of a goofy idea that played out some twenty-five years ago. Julia Butterfly Hill (aka: Julia Lorraine Hill), was hoisted up a 180-foot-tall redwood tree on December 10 way back in 1997 and then proceeded to live there for the next two years to keep it from being cut down.
She won her battle, preserved the tree, which became a celebrity in its own right.
Jim Schneider was inspired by the story and wanted to write a screenplay, not necessarily about Hill’s experiences, but about embarking upon an impossible task — alone and against all odds — and never giving up.
For years — from the late ‘80s until 2003 — he worked in the business, on such films as Monkey Shines, The Silence of the Lambs, Diabolique, Wonder Boys and Thirteen Days. While rewarding, his family life was not what he wanted it to be and so he walked away to live at home (in the wilds of western Pennsylvania) where he became involved in the local TV access market, producing shows and enjoying life with his family.
The story about Hill never left him. Yes, it took over twenty-years to become the writer, producer and director of his vision — true indie filmmaking at its very best! The result, Jack and the Treehouse, where a young boy is thrust into an impossible quest — to save the forest lands his grandfather (played by Cotter Smith) adored and that his father (Dave Mansueto) must part with … if the family is to survive financially.
Unlike Julia Butterfly Hill, who had a support group, Jack has placed himself at odds with his family by taking to, and then defending his lofty treehouse. Wait him out or force him down, we all know that it is just a matter of time … except they have discounted love, faith and resolve.
Jack and the Treehouse found its way into production in 2019, using local theatre talent and resources — plus Schneider’s extensive industry experiences — and then to the screen with festival screenings at both the Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival and The Indie Gathering in Cleveland during August of 2021.
Solid production values (just take a gander at Schneider antecedents), glowing reviews … all this indie film needed was the next step, national exposure, and that comes on July 25 with the Blu-ray debut of Jack and the Treehouse courtesy of Bayview Entertainment.
You have a choice, a best-seller is adaption, a tent pole film franchise or an entry from a super-hot filmmaker — all with mega budgets (how many times have you been disappointed) — or take a chance on a pure indie delight.