“I was going to business school, and I had the opportunity to work on a film, so I moved to Panama for three months and worked as a production assistant, and that’s when I really caught the films bug,” Green said. “So, eventually, I bought a camera and traveled around the world, doing different little jobs, and slowly got into film that way. I did that for five years, got all the training I needed, and in 2009, I started my own film company, Toy Gun Films.”
Since then, Green shot films in countries like Japan and South Africa. But for his latest short, Running Deer, he decided to come home and create something in familiar surroundings.
“I always wanted to do something in Oklahoma and tell a story that was local,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in the Native American community, even though I didn’t know that much about it. I also ran cross-country in high school and wanted to do something loosely based on that, even though this isn’t a story about running—that’s just the backdrop. All those things mixed together, and the fact I could shoot it in my backyard really drew me to the project.”
This award-winning project is currently available to view at Vimeo.com for $1.99. It’s the story of a Native American crosscountry star who faces a barrage of challenges the night before the biggest race of his life. The film stars Booboo Stewart (Twilight) and Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World).
Green said that keeping honest and true in the portrayal of modern Native Americans was the biggest challenge for him and screenwriter Jeff Goldberg, so much so that they enlisted five tribal leaders to go over the script and make sure the “nuances were right.”
“Jon Proudstar — who plays Booboo’s dad in the film — when he got the script, he said, ‘Finally! A script that shows Native Americans in a positive light!’ I think that was the big thing and that’s why people are so receptive to the film,” Green said.
As Green and company prepare for their next film — a feature-length sci-fi drama titled The Veil, also to be shot in Oklahoma — he hopes audiences who view Running Deer are not only moved but entertained as well. After all, that’s the reason he got into the business in the first place.
“The most important thing for me, as a filmmaker, is to entertain,” he said. “That’s the main goal when you are making a movie, I think. To try to do anything above and beyond that … well, it’s tough enough just to do that. I hope people think it’s entertaining and that they can enjoy it and identify with it and want to go on this journey with us.”