Visioneers is a feature film about an alternate reality where people’s lives are drained of all joy by their mindless work. Eventually they begin to explode from unhappiness.

Visioneers is your first feature film. How did the project begin?

Jared: We both graduated from the UCLA film program and decided to find a way to just go out and make a film together, as brothers. That’s all we ever wanted to do. At first, we intended to shoot Visioneers for about $20,000 in our backyard, just with my digital camera and casting my dad as the lead. That kicked off the writing process for Brandon and freed him up to really take the gloves off because we weren’t looking for permission. We didn’t need anyone to tell us yes we could or no we couldn’t.

Brandon: We ended up with a script we both thought was really funny, that we knew we were willing to put it all on the line for, because it achieved that spectacular quality where it was like, this is the funniest thing ever or this is the biggest piece of shit we’ve ever seen. We had a friend who said, “The thing that works for you guys is you’re so dumb you don’t realize how dumb you are and that’s why you have a chance.” Either way, we were doing something original and unique. I think that’s where the uniqueness of the film came from—the ability to have confidence in the fact that no matter what, we were going to make this thing. We ended up discovering this whole realm of material that we didn’t ever know about before.

What did you learn from the experience?

Jared: One thing we really learned was to take all the time you need to do it right. Any time you rush through the process, you’re going to start making compromises. I actually packed up my car with all the editing software and hardware and drove up to a cabin in Stevens Pass and Brandon and I shut ourselves up in the cabin for a month. We couldn’t have done that if we were trying to meet deadline. The final cut of the movie came out of that.

Brandon: After making your film and you find yourself in this industry, some of the glamour starts to wear off and you start to take yourself too seriously and think you made it or whatever. My dad always said, “You started making this movie in your backyard. Just stay in the backyard. Stay in that place creatively, keep that humor and you’ll be OK.” That was our challenge with our first one and that will be our challenge all along.

You guys grew up in Snoqualmie, Washington and came back to your hometown to create Visioneers. How did that influence the film?

Brandon: I lived in L.A. for eight years after school and then moved back up here. An unknown writer, no money. This story came out of living on the Eastside, working at corporations and everyone looking at me like, dude, what’s up? Are you going to get a job? Are you going to do something? My dream was to be a writer, and I was trying to keep that in my head and not explode. Visioneers is about a guy who is trying to believe in his dreams. Can you live your life in your own way? Or are dreams just dead? I wouldn’t have experienced the story emotionally if I weren’t back in my hometown.

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What is your connection to the story?

Jared: It is a personal story. We don’t know what’s going to happen after this movie. If it tanks, Brandon and I could be doing construction next, but the important thing is that we’ve gone for it and chased our dream regardless of how painful it has been or how painful it becomes.