by writer/director Kate Mulleavy and writer/director Laura Mulleavy
Woodshock, our first feature film, is wholly set in Northern California and integrates the natural landscape into the audio and sensory layers of the film, creating its unique and subjective world. The mystical California redwood forest, which exists only on a small strip of land between Big Sur and the northernmost California border, is the heart and soul of the film and acts both as the backdrop for our narrative and also as the driving force for the psychological journey of the central character, Theresa.
Being from California, everything that we have ever created has been inspired by the environment that surrounds us. Growing up, we lived on the edge of an old growth redwood forest in Aptos, California. Such close proximity to these ancient giants greatly impacted our creativity, and eventually inspired us to write a script which, we believe, explores why we have been left speechless by their presence. In writing Woodshock, we wanted to give a voice to some of the oldest living organisms that exist on the planet. We created a story where the mythical redwood giants could come to life on screen, inspiring reverence and fascination with their resilience and beauty. John Steinbeck wrote about the redwood, "The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time."
One of our greatest desires as filmmakers was to allow these primordial giants to live artistically—through interpretation and representation—on screen, and to partner that with the complication of human existence. Theresa’s stream of conscious story of grief, isolation, and transcendence, is magnified by their presence. We hope, that upon viewing this film, one would feel inspired to visit this landscape and live and breathe amongst these beings for a small moment in time. We promise, it will forever change you.