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Carrie Boberg (BFA ’95 Theatre) and Jason Page (BFA ’96 Theatre), owners of 4 Track Films, a high definition mini-movie studio, have been on the film road for a while. By 1996, they had both moved to Los Angeles to pursue the dream of acting.
Both Page and Boberg took classes at The American Film Institute in L.A. and also worked as trained theater stage actors. Carrie took editing courses to get into the digital world while Jason attended digital film seminars. They realized that opportunities were hard to get, so Boberg and Page decided that their best step would be to make their own film. So they did.
Their project, Piling up Vera, is a 22-minute movie shot on 16mm and made with a $30,000 budget, much of it charged, as Boberg said, “on a bunch of credit cards.” The gamble paid off. Piling up Vera was honored in the Round Of Ten at the 2000 IndieKino International Film Festival. “We learned more in that period of time than we would have pursuing more classes,” said Boberg.
Still in L.A. and with their first film finished, Page and Boberg looked for investors to help them to produce another. The budget was $80,000 and that’s when they hit road blocks. Investors seemed interested in the new film concept but then pulled out. One investor seemed promising but just as the project was about to launch, demanded a questionable casting choice.
“We decided we were done with L.A.,” said Boberg. “We wanted to move back and make our own film, without compromises.”
“Duluth feels like home,” said Page. “It makes me feel peaceful; I love this place. We just want to plant our flag here and make Duluth proud, because we are proud of Duluth.”
After returning to Duluth, Boberg worked for Duluth company in the finance department and Page worked for WDIO-TV as a photojournalist. Their day jobs did not stop them from continuing their adventures in the movie world.
First, they shot a film called Newton’s Disease. “All my vacations in three years were taken to make it,” said Page. The film is an 86-minute dark comedy and was hailed as “an excellent debut” by Minnesota’s City Pages. It screened at the 2007 Fargo Film Festival and is also competed in an online film festival called Independent Features.
On the strength of Newton’s Disease, the business partners were offered financing and a work space by the A.H. Zeppa Family Foundation. With that backing, last summer, Page and Boberg worked on another feature, God Rocks. See the Trailer! This rockumentary is about a Christian Battle of Bands and is the first foray by the 4 Track Films company. The movie also includes 12 original songs. They shot more than 45 hours with three cameras. The final copy will be ready by late spring or summer. From August through December they worked on their latest film, called White Man’s World.
Considering that Boberg was singing and performing in front of people before she could walk, and Page is an award winning actor, filmmaker and photojournalist, their career as filmmakers is just beginning.
“The first step is just doing something,” said Page. “We were totally obscure for 13 years but we made it happen because we didn’t wait for someone else to hand us an opportunity.”
Boberg agreed, “The one thing I learned from Piling up Vera is; if you want to do it, do it! Every experience can affect you later in life, in ways you don’t know at the time.”
For more information about the adventures of Boberg and Page, access their website www.4trackfilms.com.
by UMD student Mariana Osorio with staff writer Cheryl Reitan
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