Now playing in select theaters, Field of Lost Shoes, is an ambitious Civil War epic that centers on the Battle of New Market, a conflict which had 274 Virginia Military Institute (VMI) cadets squaring off against Union soldiers. Keith David, Tom Skerritt (as Ulysses S. Grant), David Arquette, Lauren Holly, and Jason Isaacs (as Confederate General John C. Breckenridge) are among the go-to veteran actors featured in the film.
Armed with a solid cast, a script polish from screenwriting guru Ronald Bass (Rain Man, The Joy Luck Club) and a nose to the grindstone director (Soul Surfer filmmaker Sean McNamara), Field of Lost Shoes has all the right ingredients for a good film. McNamara, who also worked with Bass for his upcoming project The Moon and the Sun, explains that even with all the right elements, everything starts with the screenplay.
“Can you feel for these boys who gave their life for this cause,” said McNamara, who also directed the family films Raise Your Voice and Bratz. “Personally, I have three boys – they are 5, 6, and 11. The thought of them going off to any war – no matter what, when you’re a boy you’re just going to believe the side you’re on. It doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong – they fight for their families and for what they believe in.”
Although it wasn’t armed with a $100 million budget, Field of Lost Shoes is blessed with arresting performances from its ensemble (Luke Benward and Max Lloyd-Jones are particularly memorable) and surefooted filmmaking from McNamara.
While scouting locations and visualizing sequences for Field of Lost Shoes, McNamara utilized such devices as his iPhone and the Go Pro Camera to help plan his shots for the feature. A lifelong devotee of film (he’s shot most of his movies on 35mm), McNamara also embraces the reality (and convenience) of the digital age.
“But now, technologically, literally with your iPhone you can shoot things, edit it, and put music to it and come up with a point of view that nobody’s ever seen before,” says McNamara, who shot three movies last year. “Today is the time for the filmmaker because they can prove themselves, and then they can get more expensive stuff to make a studio film. That being said, there’s more opportunities for distribution (with streaming services and VOD). I think there’s more opportunities and production everywhere.”
Speaking of opportunities, Field of Lost Shoes is definitely worth a look on the big screen, as McNamara effectively maximized the film’s relatively modest budget.
For a list of Field of Lost Shoes’ theater locations, check out the film’s official site: http://www.fieldoflostshoesfilm.com/.