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For AdVantage News
From left, Tom Guiry, Raymond J. Barry and Brian Jun discuss a script. Barry is starring in "In The Buck," Jun's latest movie.
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Photo by Tayhlor Sims
Brian Jun, 34, is crowdfunding his next movie, “In The Buck,” the story of a young married couple seeking fertility treatment to have their first child.
ALTON – If there ever could be a person defined as the “blue collar moviemaker,” it's Brian Jun.
Jun, 34, is following those working-class roots with an attempt to crowdfund his next movie, “In The Buck.”
“The fund-raiser time over the 30-day period is all or nothing, so reaching our goal of $75,000 is very important to get this film made,” said Jun, who wrote the film's script. “Filming will commence this May in Alton, if the financing is reached.”
“From a young age, my parents always pushed me and my brother to develop a work ethic,” he said. “For me, it is all or nothing. I was a soccer referee growing up and I think that taught me how to make snap decisions as a director.”
“In The Buck” is a story of a young married couple, Paul and Gabi LaPointe, who seek fertility treatment to have their first child. They face obstacles when Gabi is not approved because of her recreational drug use. In the meantime, Paul carries the burden of taking care of his father, Henry, a Korean War veteran.
Paul and Gabi develop a barrier because of the tension and Gabi turns to the black market for fertility treatment. Paul hires a caretaker, Rachel, for his father and he realizes the motives behind her being involved with Henry. Gabi also realizes her own intentions are turning against her.
Jun said he wants to involve the Greater Alton area in his film and he thought crowdfunding would be a good way to accomplish that.
“I think the film would appeal to a lot of people in the area,” he said.
Brian commended his parents, P.J. and Jayne Jun of Godfrey, for being part of his support system and encouraging him to become a filmmaker despite the struggles and obstacles.
Crowdfunding starts at $20 and goes to $10,000. The higher the contribution, the more perks for the donor. Some of the perks include digital downloads and Blu-ray movies. Other incentives include set visits and dinner in the spring in St. Louis.
Casting already has started in Los Angeles by veteran casting director Emily Schweber, who worked on high-profile films such as “Titanic,” “Terminator 2,” “Judgment Day” and “Reindeer Games.”
Raymond J. Barry, a veteran actor and a star of “Steel City,” will play a character in the new Jun film.
Jun, a graduate of Webster University, was born in Alton in 1979. He is most known for “Steel City” in 2006 and “Joint Body” in 2011. He won the Sundance Channel Emerging Director Award at the 2006 St. Louis Film Festival.
Jun’s last production, “She Loves Me Not,” was at the Olin Mansion. The film is under several distribution deals and is being delivered to distributors.
“It starred Cary Elwes living in the old Olin estate,” Jun said. “We had screenings in the St. Louis area this past November and in New York and Chicago, too.”
With “In The Buck,” Jun said he is returning to his steel city roots in Alton. Jun has been scouting around the area looking for potential locations to film. He has looked for city and rural sites, mainly seeking an older-style farmhouse and diners, cafes and bars.
As Jun shoots a film, he takes personal responsibility for everything in the movie.
“I expect the absolute best of myself no matter what, and I am not satisfied until we deliver the absolute best performance,” he said. “The Greater Alton area has been so generous to me. I really feel one day I will be in a position to make a difference in young artists’ lives.”
Jun said he hopes he will be making films for many years to come and continue to be the storyteller he has been in his other pictures.
“It is the way for me to connect with other human beings,” he said. “It allows me to use every aspect of my gifts as a human being. It also provides an avenue to talk about issues that I think are very relevant in our society. I have been doing this for so long I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
The Kickstarter website is www.kickstarter.com/projects/671842911/in-the-buck-a-feature-film/description.