You may not be as familiar with the term from which Echo Boomers gets its title as you are with “generation Y,” or the all too ubiquitous “millennials.” As the children of Baby Boomers, our lives have echoed out from theirs.
It’s no secret our generation gets a lot of grief, and it stands to reason much of that tension exists because the world is very different now than it was for our parents. I talked to Writer/Director Seth Savoy and Producer Mike Ware about how that reality has affected them personally, and how it has made the crime drama Echo Boomers a compelling portrait of generational class divide.
Fair or not, the unemployed millennial struggling to survive on their own after college has become a cliché, and it’s a cliché that resonates with both filmmakers. The two men met at Chicago’s Columbia College. They would go on to spend 6 arduous years together moving this feature through production.
Savoy reflects on those years, “It takes off so quickly and at the same time, it also moves at such an incredibly slow pace. You kind of get to a point where you want to give up, but you have to keep going.”
Savoy channelled the frustration he felt into furthering the development of his story. Echo Boomers follows five unemployed graduates who revolt against what they see as an unfair economy by stealing from the rich and giving to… themselves.
The film was shot mostly in Utah, but its story is set in Chicago, and the team just finished filming pickups here in the windy city.
As Savoy puts it: “Chicago’s the only reason we could make this film. Our investors are in Chicago. Chicago filmmakers, we want to see each other succeed. I don’t think you realize how many people want you to succeed until you do something like this.”
Ware echoes the sentiment “while we had a great time filming in Utah, Chicago was the real city behind us. A lot of different parties willing to play ball with us here.”
Echo Boomers is an ambitious feature for the Chicago film landscape. Its cast includes two time Academy award nominee Michael Shannon, Academy award nominated Leslie Ann Warren, as well as Patrick Schwarzenegger, Gilles Geary, Alex Pettyfer, Oliver Cooper, and Hayley Law.
Both men cite casting as well as raising money to have been some of the greatest hurdles to overcome in making the film. Now that they have moved into post, I asked how they coped when they wanted to give up on the process.
Ware answered: “For me specifically, after the first few rocky times you just become headstrong. It stops derailing you. You just have put in too much time to let it die.”
Echo Boomers is now being finished in LA, but Chicago’s own post house Almost Gold and Noisefloor both had a hand in early edits. What’s next? We can all eagerly await the announcement of Echo’s premier. The film has already begun submitting footage to festivals.
Laura Day is a contributing writer for Reel Chicago and Reel 360.