Saturday, May 14, 2011

Taught in Cold Blood

I'm going to be periodically jumping off the "story of my film trajectory" train to bring you a "story of my right now" post.  It could get crazy.  But I'll try to keep it chronologically coherent.

As some of you know, and all of you are going to find out very soon, I'm currently producing a film called "Taught in Cold Blood".  To bring you up to speed, it is a horror film written by Darien Harte, and I'm producing it with my team from Continuum Pictures.  P. David Miller is doing a fantastic job in his directorial debut, and I can truly say he is an actor's director.  It helps that he's a seasoned actor.  Especially since a good portion of our cast is relatively young (and therefore green).  Don't let this fool you though.  Their performances are solid, and only getting better as the shoot progresses.

In the starring role of "Cameron" we have Luke Lippold, who I previously worked with on 'The Absents'.  Luke does a great job of finding and suppressing Cameron's subterranean fury, and his internal struggle between genuinely warm and gentle innocence and unforgivingly cold and inhuman malice really shines through.

Guiding Cameron in his journey is "Tony", played by Mesindo Pompa.  I have worked with Mesindo on a number of things, first in the Continuum Pictures / Filmplane Spanish language feature "Mano a Mano", where he brought a raw grittiness to his performance that drew me in to the story despite my inability to speak Spanish.  I look forward to seeing where he takes this character as the shoot unfolds.

Pulling Cameron toward the more human direction is "Amy", an infatuated classmate played by Sara Drust.  This is my first collaboration with Sara, who came highly recommended by P. David.  Thus far she has been nothing but professional, and I can say her performance reflects her reputation.

In the role of "Luke", Amy's artistically-inclined little brother, is Justin Hoffmeister.  This is also my first collaboration with Justin, who is not only a talented actor, but also a bright young filmmaker who I suspect will grow into a solid producer.  As Luke, Just has impressed me with his eagerness to step outside the box, and his capacity for taking direction and using it.

Perhaps the most influential driving force in Cameron's trajectory is his mother, Linda, played by Loydene Williamson.  I have known Loydene for many years, and though she appeared as Geordy's mother in the Filmplane drama "Convict", this is my first time personally working with her.  Linda is a character who has pure, unapologetic disdain for her child who does nothing but care for her, and Loydene absolutely nails this character, filling her with an absolute rancor and a chilling intensity that spews venom into the very core of your existence.

As you can see, this project excites me, and I will talk a lot more about it in later posts, but right now I have to get to sleep, since we are headed down to Costa Mesa in 12 hours to shoot out the rest of the "Cameron's House" scenes, and I still have a fair bit of "producer work" to do before we leave...

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