INK & STEEL Premieres Tonight at Soho Film Festival
"We are excited and thrilled to bring 'Ink & Steel' to the prestigious Soho Film Festival," Ehlers said. "This is a 'New York' story as much as it is an American story about those living a life of crime and its consequences upon them."
"Ink & Steel" tells the story of an aging mob enforcer who is forced to hide at a rural farmhouse and must decide whether to encourage the don's troubled son to follow in the family's violent footsteps or break out onto his own path as a writer. As graduates of the prestigious USC School of Cinema, Ehlers and Ward-Perkins are young filmmakers who are making their mark with "Ink & Steel," a gritty crime drama that mixes their film school training with New York guerrilla filmmaking.
"'Ink & Steel' is our reimagining of the mafia genre film, as a mob boss' troubled son finds an unlikely mentorship in a mob enforcer who represents everything he's fleeing from - and conversely, the hardened enforcer is given a chance to reexamine his own past through the lens of a young aspiring writer," said Ehlers who co-directed the film with his producing partner, Patrick Ward-Perkins.
The two filmmakers began production on "Ink & Steel" in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast and began battering the Eastern seaboard and New Jersey in particular where production was taking place. After the hurricane hit, Ehlers and Ward-Perkins were forced to choose between gas in their vehicles or using the gas to power their makeshift alternator to charge their camera batteries. Despite the hardship, it was this grit and determination by the film's talented cast and crew that brought "Ink & Steel" to life, Ehlers said.
The film stars newcomer Richard Fiske as Michael, the veteran mafia enforcer, and Tyler Noble ("We Own the Night") as the don's son. Having founded LoneShark Studios in 2009, the two filmmakers are keen proponents of "Method Filmmaking," which takes both men into the oftentimes gritty world that their characters inhabit. It's not unusual to find Ehlers and Ward-Perkins training with Special Forces commandos, knife fighting experts, Krav Maga fighters, precision driving experts and others.
"We are all about creating complex, yet memorable characters and situations that reflect real life in its various aspects and complexities," Ward-Perkins said. "That's why 'Ink & Steel' is so special to us as filmmakers. In this film, we explore in a very real way the cyclical nature of violence and how a mafia enforcer struggles with whether or not to allow the don's son to continue in the family's tradition."
Ehlers and Ward-Perkins first produced film was 2009's "Static" which was an official selection in the Night of Horror Film Festival. The duo would then go on to produce "Nowhere Mary" Web series that same year which they wrote, shot, edited and released over six consecutive weeks to much success.
In the years since, the duo has produced a variety of music videos, a short film for the Tribeca International Film Festival, content for the Web and other filmed projects. Since launching LoneShark Studios, the duo has specialized in behind-the-scenes footage of high fashion photo shoots, coordinated shoots with talent such as Sean Penn, Demi Moore, Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr.
"Ink & Steel" is produced and directed by Jonathan Ehlers & Patrick Ward-Perkins, executive produced by Marc Schwaber, Aaron Kia and Moe & Betty Steinberg; written by Jonathan Ehlers & Patrick Ward-Perkins and Jason Radspinner for LoneShark Studios. The cast includes Richard Fiske, Tyler Noble, Molly Ryman, Jack Millard and Jason Beckman. Running time is 2 hours, 14 minutes.