Private Project

The Route

“The Route” is a comedic, coming of age adventure, about a highly imaginative kid, named Charlie Crabtree.

Charlie doesn’t understand adults, the concept of work, or why his Dad rarely has time to play with him, until the day he is inspired by some old photos of his Dad’s bicycle, all decorated for the neighborhood block party bike race.

Deciding to surprise and impress his dad, Charlie sets out to customize his bike, to look just like the photos of his dads.

To get the money for the necessary supplies, Charlie agrees to take on his friend Sam’s newspaper route for a day. This will prove to be a day that Charlie will never forget.

Charlie is forced to deal with a cast of wacky customers, and crazy events. The route, turns out to be the most grueling experience of Charlie’s life, and gives him a taste of the real working world.

  • Brion Dodson
  • Brion Dodson
    Pookerland, The Tank II, Malus Domestica, All Along
  • Melanie Lear
    The Double, The Ghost of St. Aubin, West Bloomfield
  • Kyle Daniels
    Key Cast
    Homerun Showdown
  • Laura Marie Bailey
    Key Cast
  • Joe Elliott
    Key Cast
  • Korey Lear
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 32 minutes 5 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    16,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Brion Dodson

Even when there wasn’t a camera there, as far back as he can remember, Brion, has looked at life through a “lens”.

At seven or eight years old, he started using the family’s 8mm film camera. Many times, even without film in it, he would set up shots and run productions all day long, shooting his brothers, cousins, and neighborhood friends, doing stop motion with G.I. Joes . In his early teens, he even recalls having his friend Mike, push, while he sat on a lawnmower as a dolly move through his garage and backyard, “making” a music video for the rap song “Step Off”

From an early age, Brion was constantly active in creating. Whether it was drawing, painting, sculpting, inventing, making music, or just dreaming up elaborate stories. Throughout grade school and high school, many of Brions creations were on display and/or winning awards. Former classmates still often refer him to, as “that guy who made Freddy Krueger out of a bleach bottle”.

After graduating high school in 1988, Brion spent the summer with an aunt and uncle in California and contemplated a move there, but instead, came home. Family is an important part of Brions life, and Michigan is where most of them were.

With no film schools in Michigan at the time, Brion settled on the Center for Creative Studies-College of Art and Design in Detroit, with the intention of parlaying that into learning special effects make-up, prop making etc. Not prepared for the rigors of such an elite art college, after two years of trying, Brion dropped out and started to settle for a more typical, Detroit, blue collar lifestyle; wife, kids, steady paycheck.

But the stifling of an artist, even if self imposed, is a crime that wont go unpunished, and putting his creativity on the backburner, could only last so long. After a divorce, thoughts of California were back, but he now had new and even deeper family connection keeping him in Michigan-his daughter, Majesty.

Back into the swing of things, Brion began working on making movies with his brother Eric and some of Eric’s friends. Brion racked up the credits, doing everything from camera operating, to special effects. He then took a few video classes at the Henry Ford, and Wayne County community colleges.
Getting serious about becoming filmmakers, Brion and brother Eric, bought their first pro camera, and formed the filmmaking arm of Sanctuary Studios, which was their previous endeavor into the world of music production.

After more than a decade of wanting and needing a real film school, along came The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan. Brion enrolled, and it felt like home. It was here, that Brion not only learned about the whole industry, but also learned much about himself, and began to evolve into a real film maker. “I loved every aspect of the industry. I always felt that I would want to be a director, but never knew if it would fit my personality. I am a somewhat quiet person. Not shy, or timid, just laid back, and introspective. I had no idea that it would be so easy for me to take command, and be able to control the set environment and tone.” Directing was an instant fit.

Writing came as another surprise. “There was something about learning screenplay format that was so comfortable to me, and just made the words and ideas flow from my head to paper. I guess because it lends itself more to seeing a scene. It just fit my senses better. “

Brion later found out that editing would be the third part of his personal trifecta. He loves to spend hours on end, getting into the meticulous shaping of sound and picture editing.

Brion made friends with everyone at M.P.I and was asked to help out on most everyone’s projects in one capacity or another, so he got to try everything out from the boom mic operator to D.P and was thrilled with them all. Even before the schooling, Brion would get onto movie sets as an extra, just to watch and soak in everything that he could. The first real set Brion set foot on was in Minneapolis, on Prince's “Graffiti Bridge” where he instantly knew this was the life for him.

When he finished film school, Brion watched a lot of his classmates getting on crews immediately. A few of them got on work on the film 8 Mile right out of the gate. This movie would have been a dream, right up Brions alley, but he, again, had to weigh his options. There was still not enough steady work coming here for him to just walk away from the mill, to be stuck with nowhere to go when production wrapped.

Brion picked up video jobs here and there, but nothing steady. The work schedule of the steel mill was always in the way of becoming a filmmaker, so Brion decided it was time to actually go into business for himself. He had hoped that the forming of his own, CAPTIVE8 Productions, would allow him to work for himself, so that he could set his own hours to something more conducive of a filmmaker. If he could some how, become a videographer to pay the bills, and make films on the side, he would be happy with that. Brion had recently remarried, and had the full support of his wife, Kelly behind him, but it was still a slow start with the juggling of a job, and starting a company.

Soon after this, fate dealt a new hand. Just as his daughter was graduating from high school, Brion was laid off from the steel mill, Unity Studios was opening up right in Brions own backyard, and Michigan changed their tax incentives for films shot in Michigan, to make it the most lucrative state in the country to make films in. It seemed his time had finally arrived.

Brion took full advantage and enrolled in Unity's, Lifton Institute. He met many more great people there, and was torn on studying the Camera, Art, or Editing department. By choosing the Art department track, he was able to marry his art skills, with his film skills.

Brion says that The Lifton Institute taught him how to get jobs on a movie set, and M.P.I. Taught him how to be a filmmaker. This was now the perfect mix. He could get jobs on films, to make the money from time to time, while still becoming a filmmaker, thus always immersed in the filmmaking process. Brions reputation started to spread quickly and he was becoming in demand on the “jobs” end, for everything from Editor, to Director of Photography, and Production Designer, and so on. Brion has worked in the art department on films starring Christina Ricci, Tom Bereneger, Jane Seymour, Dustin Diamond, and Kristy Swanson.

Although, thankful for all of this opportunity, Brion realized he needed to push himself more on the filmmaking side of things. Being a director is where his ultimate goal has always been, but jumping from one job to the next, left little time for writing and directing. He started looking for content to direct and came across a few writers willing let him take a stab at directing their work. The Tank II written by Scott Galeski, became his return to directing. He has also directed two award winning 48 hour film projects, in which he assembled stellar casts and crew of approximately 45 people, and then began filming his first feature, “Pookerland” (also written by Galeski)

In addition to CAPTIVE8's venture's, Brion joins forces with several other talented and entrepreneurial filmmaking friends including Ring of Fire Entertainment, Poison Apple Entertainment, Gadget Lab Studios, and M-1 Studios.

He is currently in post-production on his second feature film, “The Route”. This was an ultra low/micro budget endeavor that he wrote and directed, and was a true example of “taking a village”. He employed and leaned on the favors of pretty much his whole circle of family and friends as well as his whole community at large. Brion considers himself extremely lucky to have found a way to be making all of his dreams come true, by forming a family of crew, and a crew of family.

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Director Statement

Creating art of all forms, expressing myself, sharing my unique perspective of reality, and reverberating positivity in the world is my life duty.