“Aware” Produced by Jeremy Cournyea & Nija Walker

By Mikel Fair / a few months ago
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A Film About Protecting Wildlife In A Delicate Environment

 Aware, produced by Jeremy Cournyea & Nija Walker (Georgia) is a 2018 Oregon Documentary Film Festival official selection. Above all, this film received a nomination for the Best Original Music Award. Furthermore, this film screened on Friday May 25, 2018. Synopsis "The AWARE Wildlife Center is a non-profit that cares for injured and orphaned Georgia wildlife and promotes peaceful coexistence with our animal neighbors. Thanks to a staff of dedicated volunteers, these unusual patients get a second chance at life."

Director's Biography: Jeremy Cournyea

Jeremy is a video producer based in Atlanta Georgia. After graduating from the University at Buffalo in 2013, Jeremy worked as an assistant camera and grip before moving to Atlanta, in 2014. Now producing film and commercials both freelance and through his documentary company, Foot trail Films, Jeremy has set his sights on using media to educate people on environmental conservation, scripting stories of our Earth, and giving environmentalists a voice.

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Director's Statement: Jeremy Cournyea

I believe visual storytelling is a powerful force in educating audiences worldwide. As my second short environmental documentary, I want "AWARE" to give viewers a new perspective on the worth of the life of a living being. And charge a sense of compassion towards our wild neighbors. We share this planet together, and even a small life is worth caring about. Moving forward I plan to create another short documentary before producing my first full feature documentary before 2020.

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Interview With Jeremy Cournyea

  1. First of all, why submit to the Oregon Documentary Film Festival? "Because Oregon looks awesome."
  2. Any special meaning to the title?  "AWARE is the title of the organization, and is synonymous with the film's message."
  3. Why did you choose to tell this particular story?  "I wanted to make a film about animals, and the organization was willing to participate."
  4. Furthermore, did you discover certain story elements during the production of this film that you never expected to find? "I knew I wanted to tell a story about coexistence. The subjects filled in the rest."
  5. What camera(s) did you use to during the production of this film? Discuss any advantages or limitations that you may have run into, from an equipment perspective. "We used a Sony a7s2, DJI Inspire 2 Drone, a 2k Fresnel, and a 702 Mixer system. Not bad for a budget or nearly nothing."

Interview With Jeremy Cournyea (Part Two)

  1. Did anything happen during the production of this film that was very interesting, but never made it on camera?  "I wanted to show a hawk devouring a rat, but the organization wanted to stay away from animal violence on camera."
  2. How did you fund this film?  "I funded it myself and called in a bunch of favors. It cost about $150. "
  3. What kind of audience reaction are you getting to this film?  "People love the film, we get laughs at every venue we play."
  4. Do you have plans for a sequel or future film that you are working on?  "I would like to fund a feature three years from now. Need some inspiration is all."
  5. Finally, You have completed a documentary film, which is a huge achievement. Do you have any advice for a future filmmaker that is about to start a documentary project? "Go hang out with your subjects. At least twice, no camera. Buy your crew a great lunch for donating their time. Ask questions over "bragging" in your local film community."
About the author

Mikel Fair

My name is Mikel Fair. I am the Director of Film Festival Circuit Inc. First of all, we are a company that manages film festival events in Texas and Oregon. Furthermore, we like to have fun and celebrate independent film. I worked for 15 years in the television and film production as a location sound mixer and production manager. I have also worked in post production as an editor, post sound mixer and composer. Above all, watching independent films and reading creative screenplays is my passion.