About the Movie

Giving Birth

PRUNING THE FAMILY TREE is a full-length dark-comedy/drama adapted from playwright Dan Gordon's mesmerizing play "Pruning the Family Tree". The film features four women in the leading roles. (see the Synopsis)

Gordon ("Little White Lies", "If Feels Like Monday") also wrote the screenplay adaptation after a successful production of the play at the Bartlesville Community Center in March of 2012 with a theatrical group known as the Terrace Level Players. Four of the "players" were also experienced filmmakers and/or actors and crew. The dastardly plan to adapt and film "Pruning" as a full-length movie was hatched at a post-play-production gathering, probably over pizza, when Gordon whimpered until everyone agreed to do it. With the idea casually but earnestly birthed, SevenDreams Films, LLC was formed a few weeks later.

Speaking of whimpering, actor/writer/director Fritz Green, who directed the play production and wrote and directed the award-winning film EVERY HIDDEN THING (2009), cried like a baby until the group promised he could direct the movie version as well.

Meanwhile, actress/director/writer Renee Michaels (THE DELLVILLE WITCH, RGB: REDGREENBLUE), who had just played the role of Ellen in the play, and previously adapted and directed the feature length movie THE DEATH OF KEVIN FRYE (2010), was a shoe-in to reprise her role before the camera after she batted her eyelashes, flashed her smile, and pounded her fist a few times.

From the "players" at that meeting, Tina Gordon, Melissa Green, and Jason Eaton would join Dan Gordon, Fritz Green, and Renee Michaels (making three couples) as producers and partners in SevenDreams Films, LLC, and crew members on the film. Michaels and Eaton have since married. Local favorite Mark Brant, also present, would take another fun character role.

Casting auditions in late June, 2012 filled out the cast, and a crew was assembled that included Director of Photography James "C-man" Veit (THE DEATH OF KEVIN FRYE), winner of the Best Cinematography prize for his work on the short film KEEP YOU (2011), which was produced for the 48-Hour Film Fest Competition in Oklahoma City. During the filming of KEEP YOU, Veit and director Fritz Green immediately formed a great working relationship and shared vision. The duo found they could frequently communicate without words. Also on the competition team were some other familiar players: Gordon (1st Assistant Director), Michaels, Eaton (Sound Recordist) Melissa Green, Tina Gordon, Brant, and "Pruning" actors James Bowie, Jami Harris, and Warren Mayer.

Fantastic newcomer Jeana Farrar, of Cleveland, OK, Shelby Lynn (THE DELLVILLE WITCH), of Broken Arrow, OK, and Dawn Christie (THE FLIGHT THAT FOUGHT BACK), of Los Angeles, rounded out the lead cast. (see the full Cast with Bios)

Raising the Baby

After four months of pre-production, filming of exterior scenes began in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on July 21, 2012, a sunny 102-degree Oklahoma day with 60% humidty. Exterior scenes continued to be filmed for weeks, with temperatures on one 13-hour production day reaching 114 degrees. We're pretty sure somebody melted, we just couldn't figure out who was missing. In truth, several crew members suffered mild heat exhaustion.

Despite a plethora of scheduling challenges, the production went smoothly, and filming primary filming ended on schedule in early December of 2012. Two pickup shots were filmed in April of 2013.

Post-production on the film was completed in October, 2013. Director Green also edited the film, and Daniel Giles Helm edited and mixed sound and sound effects.


Log Line

Upon the sudden death of their abusive, philandering patriarch, four damaged women are forced to confront the material and emotional wreckage left in his wake while wryly attempting to put both his remains and his memory to rest.

The Story Synopsis

Pruning the Family Tree is a black comedy…  >> more



See the full cast of PRUNING THE FAMILY TREE, with photos and short bios of the leading and supporting cast members.  >> more



Learn about the crew of the PRUNING THE FAMILY TREE movie production, including bios and photos of Director Fritz Green and Screenwriter Dan Gordon.  >> more


Photo Galleries

A collection of images from the movie and candid behind-the-scenes photos.


NEW—Watch the official Pruning the Family Tree movie trailer!

Behind the Scenes

Directed by: Fritz Green

Screenplay by: Dan Gordon

Director of Photography: James Veit

Produced by: Tina Gordon, Jason Eaton, Fritz Green, Dan Gordon, Melissa Green, Renee Michaels

Adapted from the award-winning
play Pruning the Family Tree
by Dan Gordon

Site by: Copper Cup Images

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