Spotlight on Butter Flavored Films
The funding website Kickstarter provided the perfect home for Essex-based production company, Butter Flavored Films, to launch their newest creation: “The Crest.”
For those who aren’t familiar with Kickstarter by now — it’s a website that was launched in 2009 that promotes funding for global projects. Anybody can develop a project and, in turn, anybody can donate money to any project one wishes.
For filmmakers John Kane, Mark Covino and Eliza Kane — the core of Butter Flavored Films — funding was absolutely necessary for “The Crest” to get off the ground.
And on June 4, full backing of the project was attained.
It was just in time, too, as the three filmmakers returned last week from shooting for seven weary — and expensive — days in and around The Blasket Islands off the coast of Ireland.
“The Crest” explores the relationship between Andrew Jacob — a cousin of sibling team John and Eliza Kane — and another long-lost cousin named Dennis (DK) Kane.
They’re both young, passionate and love to surf.
They share the same blood — which just happens to trace back to the King of the Blasket Islands.
And until recently, the two had never met before.
“We are the same age and have known each other all our lives,” revealed John about Andy. “I share his heritage and always wanted to do something on The Blaskets, but how? There’s not much for existing media to show people. That doesn’t sound engaging to me. When DK and I found each other last year — it clicked — that was a new way to tell an old story.”
The now uninhabited Blasket Islands are most famous for two things: the literary and linguistic heritage of the former inhabitants and treacherous coastal waves. Both are explored in “The Crest,” as the two cousins test out handmade surfboards on the dangerous waters while discovering the familial connection between them.
Exploring family ties is nothing new for Butter Flavored Films. For John Kane, a South Burlington native, bringing his sister Eliza on as a co-producer just seemed natural.
“We’re both writers and have been spit-balling ideas and editing each other’s work for a couple years now,” said Eliza. “Being hired by my brother has definitely introduced me to a whole new side of someone I’ve known all my life. Our dad likes to say you don’t really know someone unless you’ve lived together, traveled together and worked together. So it’s great that we’re meeting that final criterion, and I can certainly say we’ve become closer because of it.”
John couldn’t agree more.
“I think it has drawn us together — especially with the subject matter being what it is,” he said, referencing the themes of the documentary.
Of course, behind every good production company is a good director. Enter local filmmaker and Burlington College graduate, Mark Covino.
“I first learned about all of this at the Vermont premier of my other documentary, ‘A Band Called Death,’ Covino explained. “John and Andy came up to me to congratulate us on the sold out screening. It didn’t take long for John to explain the whole story to me, ending with ‘So, do you think this would make a good documentary?’ My reply? Surfs up!”
Covino’s partnership with John dates back to the summer of 1999 when they worked at what was then Cinema 9 in South Burlington. The two were popcorn jockeys and became fast friends.
“It would get boring and repetitive so we used to do things to make each other laugh,” remembers John.
A favorite gag involved the butter flavored topping that covered the movie theater’s popcorn.
“’Would you like some butter flavored topping on that?’ — I would gleefully ask whenever someone ordered a bag of popcorn,” Covino recalled.
“I think he was trying to dissuade them for their own health,” added John.
Then, in 2007, after John graduated from college, he had an idea for a documentary and went to his old friend with a pitch. Covino accepted and the two began shooting together.
But what to call the partnership?
Butter Flavored Films, of course.
“What can I say — I’m nostalgic,” said Covino.
With a few more shoots left this summer, production is still underway for “The Crest.” Keep up to date on the film and learn more about Butter Flavored Films at thecrestmovie.com, as well as butterflavoredfilms.tumblr.com and twitter.com/butterflavored.
Watch an early teaser of “The Crest“: