Tom Putnam and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his delightful new film The Dark Divide with David Cross and Debra Messing and we chat about poetry, comedy and the journey ahead, relational caretaking, re-evaluating leadership and the difference between searchers and dreamers.
The Dark Divide is based on the true story of renowned butterfly expert Dr. Robert Pyle’s (David Cross) perilous 1995 journey across one of America’s largest undeveloped wild lands.
At the urging of his dying wife Thea (Debra Messing), the shy author finds himself in over his head on an epic, life-changing expedition through Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest in search of new species of butterflies. Over the course of his six-week adventure Pyle battles self-doubt, the grueling trail, and the people and creatures who call this forest home.
And, somewhere deep in the heart of The Dark Divide, he makes a discovery that challenges everything he knows about the natural world.
Tom Putnam’s past short films and features have played more than 500 film festivals, from Sundance to Cannes, been released theatrically worldwide, and won more than 40 major awards.
His previous feature, the Detroit firefighting documentary Burn, is one of the most successful documentaries and self-distributed films in history with a domestic box office of $1.1 million. Burn received the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, was nominated for a Gotham Award, and maintains a perfect 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Prior to Burn, Tom produced the documentary feature Marwencol (PBS/Cinema Guild), winner of two Spirit Awards and Best Documentary at the SXSW Film Festival.
His groundbreaking World War II documentary Red White Black & Blue (PBS) was the opening night film at Critics Week of the Locarno International Film Festival, and was hailed by The American Legion as “the most accurate look at the effects of combat on soldiers ever filmed.” The documentary ultimately led to the locations where it was filmed being declared a National Historic Site.
Tom’s short films include the notorious Bigfoot movie Broadcast 23 (Fox Searchlight), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and Tom Hits His Head (HBO, PBS), an official selection of more than 200 film festivals and one of the most widely-seen short films of all-time.
His upcoming projects include a feature film follow-up to Burn and The United States of Insanity about notorious rap group Insane Clown Posse’s ACLU-backed fight to be removed from the FBI’s gang list. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts as well as the Journalism School, with a Bachelor of Arts in both Cinema-Television Production and Journalism.
Image Copyright and Credit: Tom Putnam and Public House Films Productions.
F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.
For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.
With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.