A New Feature Length Documentary Film from David P. Crews
It's the News and Updates Page!
Here, we'll post updates and progress reports on the making of the film and beyond.
(The most current news is at the top.)
December 17, 2022
A Circle in the Desert – SPECIAL AWARDS UPDATE:
I have to say that I am absolutely AMAZED!
The film has now been honored with a total of 32 national and international awards, so far!
Honestly, I did not ever dream that the film would win this many awards in the film festival circuit, which is crowded with many thousands of films, all competing for a few top awards at the various festivals around the world!
Here is a comprehensive list of what the film has won up to this point. There are still about a dozen festivals that A Circle in the Desert is entered into, so there is a chance for even more.
[For this list, "award" means any commendation above the initial "Official Selection" level.]
New York International Film Awards (New York City, USA):
• WINNER: Best Inspirational Film
• FINALIST: Best Cinematography
Accolade Global Film Competition (La Jolla, USA):
• WINNER: "Award of Excellence" Scriptwriting}
• WINNER: “Award of Merit Special Mention” Documentary Feature
• WINNER: “Award of Merit Special Mention” Original Score
London Independent Film Awards (London, England):
• WINNER: Best Original Score
Los Angeles Film Awards (Los Angeles, USA):
• SEMI-FINALIST: Best Original Score
• SEMI-FINALIST: Best Inspirational Film
Milan Gold Awards (Milan, Italy):
• WINNER: Gold: Best Original Score
Chicago Indie Film Awards (Chicago, USA):
• WINNER: Best Cinematography
Rome Prisma Independent Film Awards (Rome, Italy):
• FINALIST: Best Feature Documentary
White Vulture Film Festival (New Jersey, USA):
• WINNER: Best US Feature Film
Berlin International Art Film Festival (Berlin, Germany):
• NOMINEE: Best Indie Feature Film
• NOMINEE: Best Composer
• WINNER: Best Cinematography
Red Movie Awards (Reims, France):
• FINALIST: Documentary
• FINALIST: Cinematography
• FINALIST: Original Score
Snow Leopard International Film Festival (Madrid, Spain):
• HONORABLE MENTION: Best Editing
Vegas Movie Awards (Las Vegas, USA):
• WINNER: Excellence: Best Nature Film (Extra Award from the Festival)
• WINNER: Prestige: Best Inspirational Film
• WINNER: Merit: Best Original Score
Toronto Film & Script Awards (Toronto, Canada):
• WINNER: Best Feature Documentary
Melbourne Independent Film Festival (Melbourne, Australia):
• SEMI-FINALIST: Best Cinematography
• SEMI-FINALIST: Best Music Score
Sensei Tokyo Film Fest (Tokyo, Japan):
• FINALIST: Best Feature Documentary
• FINALIST: Best Cinematography (Festival’s Choice)
• FINALIST: Best Film Essay (Festival’s Choice)
• FINALIST: Best Nature Documentary (Festival’s Choice)
MAGMA Film Awards (Hawaii):
• NOMINEE: Best Feature Documentary
• NOMINEE: Best Documentary Cinematography
• NOMINEE: Best Performative Documentary
Total Awards = 32
Best Film (any kind) Awards = 15
Best Cinematography Awards = 7
Best Original Score/Composer Awards = 8
Festivals In 9 countries around the world.
Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, La Jolla, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Toronto, London, Berlin, Rome, Milan, Madrid, Reims, Melbourne, Tokyo
BTW, I could not resist entering the famous Sundance and Tribeca Festivals, knowing that I would almost certainly not be selected for the competition. Sundance did not, but mentioned that they had over 16,000 entries, including, of course, major studio feature films. Heavy competition for sure, but I had to at least say "I entered Sundance!"
Tribeca in New York, is still upcoming, but is most likely to have the same results for the same reasons, but as the old saying goes: "You can't win if you don't enter!" :D
August 11, 2022
A Circle in the Desert – SPECIAL AWARDS UPDATE:
The film has been entered into more than 20 different Film Festivals (so far), from all over the world.
The film has now received its first AWARDS!
The New York International Film Awards awarded my film in two categories:
Winner of "Best Inspirational Film" and Finalist for "Best Cinematography"
July 18, 2022
A Circle in the Desert – PROJECT REPORT #7
VIEW THE FULL FILM!!!
Great News!! The time has arrived for viewing the Full Feature Film!
You are part of a special limited audience to see the film now!
When you are ready to sit down and watch, navigate to our
VIEW THE FULL FILM page!
Older Updates below
June 8, 2022
A Circle in the Desert – PROJECT REPORT #6
The Film is FINISHED!
Time for a quick text-only update here.
I will send out a more detailed report soon and give a link for viewing the film, so standby. I wanted to update this page first to let you know that the film has now been successfully completed.
I spent another four weeks on location in Utah in April and May to film the remaining footage and I've spent the last several weeks editing those shots into place and then doing the final detailed post-production finishing.
The film is now complete and I'm excited to get it ready for select premiere showings very soon.
For me, it's really rewarding to see the final version of almost two years of concentrated effort!
Thanks for your continued interest in A Circle in the Desert!
February 8, 2022
A Circle in the Desert – PROJECT REPORT #5 VIDEO
Review Comments, Drone Update, Animation, and More!
As explained in earlier Updates, I plan to return to Utah in the spring (probably in May) to shoot some additional footage for the film due to some road closures last year and other circumstances. It’s frustrating to have everyone wait for the summer to see the finished film, but it’s essential to first obtain that new footage to complete the show into its final form.
In the meantime, I needed to get some initial feedback, so in January, I gave a tiny and select test audience the first opportunity to view the current “beta” version of the entire film. This is a complete program but contains some temporary proxy images standing-in during those unfinished sections.
I’m pleased and honored to share here some of the initial audience review comments received after these select screenings of the entire film:
“Two words come to mind: Majesty and Mystery!
It was just a moving experience. Very moving!”
“A wonderful journey to view and be a part of!”
“The music was evocative – perfect! It just belonged to the landscape!”
“Works on every level for any viewer.”
“I found it really fun to watch!”
“The score is fantastic!”
“It’s hard to believe how just one guy did all that. Outrageous! It’s just a ton of locations.”
“For viewers who know that landscape, you gave a completely new experience.”
“Universal themes! It will stay with me.
That’s one of the marks of great cinema.”
Also discussed in the video: a Drone Update that will provide exciting new capabilities, and information on the Animation segments, and a remix of the Orchestral Score.
Lots of scenes and music in this update. Enjoy!
Here is the link to the new PROJECT REPORT #5 VIDEO:
December 1, 2021
A Circle in the Desert – Project Report #4 VIDEO
Main Editing Completed and a Newly Finished Trailer!
I have the pleasure of reporting to you that the main edit for the film has been completed! As I mentioned in the last update, there is still a missing section that depicts the marvels of the northern portion of Capitol Reef National Park. I intend to capture imagery of that area in the Spring of 2022 when the damaged road has, hopefully, been repaired and reopened.
In the meantime, I’ve been able to take the over 2,000 video files that I shot in September and October and select and edit them into the film. This has been a fulfilling pleasure as I watch my film come together visually for the first time, shot by shot!
The only major things left to create are a special animation segment and some other graphic animations and effects, and I’ll be digging into those sub-projects over the next weeks.
Now, for the news you can use: With the completion of the majority of the actual edit, I’ve been able to create the first real trailer for the film, one that features actual cinematography that is in the final film, rather than proxy imagery! I’ve appended this new trailer to the Project Report #4 Video, and I’ll link it below and update it elsewhere here on the film website. It’s about three minutes long. Please do give it a view and I hope you enjoy it!
I can’t wait to finish my film and present it to you. Again, I thank you for your continued interest in my upcoming feature-length, nature and philosophical documentary, “A Circle in the Desert!”
Here is the link to the new PROJECT REPORT #4 VIDEO, with the new TRAILER appended:
Here is the link to the new TRAILER (by itself):
October 15, 2021
A Circle in the Desert – Project Report #3 VIDEO
Successful Filming on Location and an Unexpected Setback!
I have recently returned from a four-week cinematography tour of my special lands on the Colorado Plateau in Utah–landscapes that are the visual heart of my film. I can’t express how pleased and gratified I am to have gathered the bulk of the footage I needed for the film, including many amazing aerial shots that I’m excited to share upon its completion!
But, the wild and high deserts of the Colorado Plateau are not a theme park. Nature rules, as always, and during the monsoon season of rains in July and August of this year, the 65-mile loop dirt road that winds through the northern section of Capitol Reef National Park was flash-flooded in two places, washing the road completely away in those spots. The road was and still is entirely closed, which meant that I could not access this important area for the show. Road crews were working on rebuilding the roads there as I was filming in September, but their progress was and is unknown at the time of this writing.
Disappointing for sure, but it is what it is, and I will simply have to return in the spring, hoping that they have had time to repair the path and open it again for myself and others to travel.
That means, of course, a necessary delay in the finishing up of the film and its premiere. I had hoped to get it done by spring, but this will delay me a few months. I’m now projecting a premiere sometime in the summer instead, successful road repairs allowing.
Patience, they say, is a virtue!
In the meantime, I will have a nice long winter season to work on some animation segments for the film and do some other finish work on the music. Mainly, though, I’ll be able to process the amazing amount of footage I did acquire in my recent trip and proceed with the final editing for most of the film! Maybe this was a blessing in disguise? Perhaps, but I will guide it to serve me and the film anyway!
Even with nature’s delay, I’m hoping I will retain your interest in my project of the heart and I’ll keep you informed as things progress. Over the next few weeks, I’ll post some new updates that I filmed in the field last month and show a few of the areas that I’ll feature in the final film! Stay tuned and thank you for your continued interest in “A Circle in the Desert!”
Project Report #3
September 1, 2021
A Circle in the Desert – Project Report #2 VIDEO
The Joint Trail
Music Score Finalization
Approaching my month-long principal cinematography trip to Utah, I wanted to finish out the music for the film and did so with this brief orchestral interlude, highlighting a magical place in Canyonlands National Park called the Joint Trail.
There are three characters in this film: the amazing landscapes of the canyon lands and arches country of Utah, my own self and my powerful vision quest story that takes place within that landscape, and, carrying equal importance to the other two, the music I’ve created to bring an emotional set and setting to this story.
Stay tuned for more adventures as I make my big trip in September and October, and then begin the final editing and post production of A Circle in the Desert!
Project Report #2
A Circle in the Desert – Project Report #1 VIDEO
First Drone Tests
The first flight tests of the cinematography drone. Watch the Project Report #1 link below to see David launch the first flight and become familiar with the new drone! You'll also hear a sample of some of the music from the film.
Project Report #1
The Initial Teaser Trailer for the film was completed. Take a look at the newer real Trailer below or from elsewhere in our site!
Current full Trailer
"Pre-viz" or pre-visualization has been completed. Storyboard art and proxy images have been pre-edited into the film so that David can shoot the new footage in a targeted and organized way when on location in September and October of 2021.
All Narration and Music has been completed for the film. 1 hour and 25 minutes of full-orchestral scoring!
The script, voice narration, and music composition has begun for "A Circle in the Desert!"
“I intend A Circle in the Desert to be a joyful, inspiring, and introspective visual, musical,
and spiritually-seeking experience in one of the most amazing places on our planet.” – David Crews
See the complete film from the VIEW THE FULL FILM page.
Navigate to our other pages to learn more about the Film project, the Vision Quest, the Music, and about David.
- David P. Crews
From the film
Watch the trailer for
A Circle in the Desert!
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