Though stories of treasure hunts are often reserved for the fiction genre, director Tomas Leach is captivating audiences by documenting the hunt for eccentric millionaire Forrest Fenn’s buried treasure in The Lure. Fenn was an art dealer who in 2010 decided to bury his fortune in the Rocky Mountains, leaving only a cryptic poem as a treasure map. The Lure follows dedicated treasure seekers on their expedition to find the fortune as well as documenting the history of the hunt and interviewing Forrest himself about his motivations and the effects the hunt has had on his life. In addition to the sense of adventure so rarely found in real life, the doc’s scenery throughout the tranquil and transcendent Rocky’s make the audience feel that the true reward can be found in your surroundings. The Lure will be making it’s world premiere at DOC NYC. VIMOOZ was fortunate enough to get an exclusive first clip as well as interview Tomas Leach himself.
When did you first become aware of Forrest Fenn and the treasure hunt?
I read a small article about Forrest and his treasure and it sparked something inside me that got me excited to find out more. There’s something mysterious and magical about a hidden treasure that sets the mind racing.
Once I started to research more and spent time with the searchers, I realized the story had a depth and cinematic beauty to it that I really wanted to make a film about.
Now that you’ve done the documentary. Do you know where the treasure is?
As soon as I flew out there, I knew that even starting to think of where the treasure is would lead to me lost in the Rockies, with a massive beard and a gleam in my eye.
How long did it take to shoot and what was the hardest part about making it?
We made several trips to film over 2 years and then took another year to edit and finish the film. Every film has challenges and this was no different. From a practical viewpoint, the Rockies are vast and untamed. And in terms of the story, I wanted to weave together multiple narratives and make it a richer film than just a wacky treasure chase.
Can you tell our readers why they should see The Lure and what you want the audience to take away from the film?
I think the film taps into something universal and magical about people searching. Whether it’s for gold, happiness, great stories or whatever it may be, we are all on the search for something to make us feel more complete. The Lure is an entertaining and I hope touching tale about that and more, all set in a visually powerful and mysterious part of the world.
The feeling of magic definitely looms throughout the film! Can you give tips to any prospective Documentary film makers? What did you learn while making In No Great Hurry?
The most important thing for me is always to fall completely into the story. Don’t make something you don’t want to live and breathe for years. Get people around you that you trust and get feedback even on the early idea. And don’t forget that film is a visual medium. If you can’t communicate through images, it’s failing.
What’s next step for both you and the doc?
I have a few feature doc ideas that I developing at the moment, but I’ve also written a narrative feature that I’d like to make next year. As for The Lure, I’m excited to get it in front of audiences at the world premiere this weekend and stay tuned for next steps!
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