'The Apple Tree' Electronic Press Kit
Tommy Willis, a destitute young boy, discovers that the natural world near his home is in serious danger. Putting his own needs aside, he acts to put things right at all costs.
Tommy Willis is a destitute boy sustained by his memories. Left alone to his own devices while his single mother works, he journeys to the special place he once shared with his love, a little girl named Sabine, and witnesses the effect of callousness and neglect upon the sacred earth.
‘The Apple Tree’ follows Tommy’s quest to find the perpetrators of this destruction and to avenge the desecration of his refuge. Set in the breathtaking forests of upstate New York, the story takes us back to a time when we grew up outdoors, and is itself a metaphor for the shattering of childhood innocence and a reminder of the symbiosis between Nature and Humanity.
All of us have a take on what it is to be young, mischievous and passionate. For myself, much of my youth was spent stealing away from figures of authority and finding solace in the magic of nature. The Apple Tree came to me over ten years ago, well into my adult life. I had carried the idea around with me while I pursued love, life, career and family, yet it never seemed to find a place at my creative table.
Each year in autumn, my best friend and I hike the hills of the Shawangunk Mountains in New York’s Catskill region. Just about every time, we end up carting out the trash we find on our journey. We feel a personal obligation to keep our favorite places pristine, despite the carelessness of others. Over recent years I remember the day I was walking in a wooded area near my parent’s home. I found there a sickly apple tree, growing in the forest where they are usually not found. I remember my anger at finding it vandalized and cut with knives. I remember the litter and the blatant disregard.
With so many causes in this world worthy of one’s attention, mine has always been environmental preservation for future generations. In February of 2010, after years of trying to get larger projects off the ground with varying degrees of success and failure, I sat down at a computer, opened a brand new program and taught myself how to use it. Though CGI-3D is at the forefront of the animation industry, I have never lost my love of 2D hand-drawn work. With the skills I’ve practiced only here and there since my college experience, The Apple Tree finally started to take shape, one shot at a time. The end product is a result of several of my greatest passions and I am extremely proud of it. I was also fortunate to have jazz legend, Chick Corea, give his permission and blessings to use some of his wonderful music in the film. After all, his music inspired some of the work from the very beginning.
It is my hope that when people see the film, they take from it whatever means the most to them. As long as there is hope and people who care, anything is possible.
~Scott Storm, writer/director/animator
Scott Storm is an award-winning filmmaker, editor and NYU Tisch School of the Arts grad with over twenty years of professional experience.
Scott made his directorial debut with BURN, which won the Special Jury Honor Award at Slamdance Film Festival.
In 2006, he directed the critically acclaimed, award-winning thriller, TEN ’TIL NOON, which became the subject of Paul Osborne’s documentary, OFFICIAL REJECTION. Scott was its reluctant star and provided animated segments. He then animated sequences for the 2012 music documentary WE RUN SH*T, which he co-directed and edited; the film won awards in all three areas.
THE APPLE TREE was a five year labor of love for Scott, inspired by a haunting scene he couldn’t shake.
He recently began work on his second animated short film, CUSTODIAN, a medieval meditation on guilt, fear and redemption, while prepping to helm a noir thriller STRAIGHT RAZOR JAZZ.
Special thanks to
SOH MYOUNG LEE
MARIA, DEAN, NATESSA, ANTONIO & CHARLIE
TODD DOUGLAS BAILEY
CATE TEUTEN BOHN
MAGGIE MANCINELLI CAHILL
CHRISTY DE JESUS
JENNIFER L. GOSS
DAVID SCOTT HAY
DEAN K. LENNERT
THOMAS L. MATTOCKS
KEVIN P. MILLER
SUZI HEMPEL PATTERSON
ALICE RYUSTEVE SANDERS
TIFFANY J. SHUTTLEWORTH
LAURIE ELIZABETH SMITH
SEAN D. GASTON
LYNN MEDLIN GOLDEN
SUSAN LORRAINE HAY
JEAN MARIE KOON
MARY JO PLACE
SUE ALBERT PRICE
LAURA OATES RICHBART
NICKI ROSSKEN ROWE
CRYSTAL FAITH SCOTT
AMY BYER SHAINMAN
ANGEL J. SILVA
AUBREY L. SMITH
TROY DANIEL SMITH
FRED C. STORM
ERIC “KINKY” VASQUEZ
JOHN T. WOODS
“Children’s Song No. 3”
written by CHICK COREA
performed by RICHARD MAZZAFERRO & JOE KRAEMER
“Choke Your Throat”
written by MICHAEL COOPER and BRETT BARGER performed by THE DEFCON 5