PEARL – Tales from Inside the Cockpit

19 05 2010

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PEARL keeps soaring to new heights.   Houston do you read me?

King Hollis’ PEARL will screen 5/20  (that be tomorrow) in Houston at 7:30 PM at the Studio Movie Grill – 805 Town & Country Ln., Houston.

Now I promised you all a behind the scenes look into the film.  The cast and crew have been open to questions throughout there press coverage of the film.  So here are some of the fun tales about PEARL.   After a round-table press junket I found out some interesting tidbits of information from Producer David Rennke.  He told me that originally King and Dave thought they’d need to have two actresses to play Pearl.  The film covers a six year span in her young life.  Elijah Dejesus was the perfect choice for the 12-14 year old version of Pearl, at the time Elijah was 13 herself.  The filmmakers were scouting for a potential older version of Pearl.  Now Elijah didn’t think they needed that.  So she got a camera and convinced her dad to do some line reads with her.  David and King watched as a 13 year-old gave it her all and from that screen-test they decided to try out Elijah as the sole Pearl in the film.  Elijah doesn’t really see what the big fuss was over – she knew she could do it the whole time.

Blessed indeed.  Its amazing to realize that the strong will of the subject matter was perfectly captured by a fellow strong willed young woman.  We see Elijah play a mischievous little girl to a talented pilot to a young woman in love.  But the love part of the story was what Dave and King feared the most.  Could a 13 year-old play someone falling in love with a young man?  They saw her “play” along with her dad, but they needed Elijah to actual kiss someone.  The big issue was that the young actor that plays her love interest Scottie had a pretty big age difference.

So how about that age difference – Elijah was 13 and Sean Cain, who played Scottie, was 24 at the time.

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Elijah with Sean (16 and 27 now).

As open and cool as Elijah was the rest of the cast and crew were as well.  First Ad Lance McDaniel discussed with me a lot of the behind the scene location finds, the script challenges, and the choices that need to be made for a low budget independent film like PEARL.  Lance has a pretty unique history and his resume has some wonderful highlights on it.

O the guy from MILLION DOLLAR BABY HIRED ME?  Yeah that’s normal!!  But we’ll get back to that “guy”.  Lance talked about the differences of a film based solely on its budget.

So Lance decided to head back home, to Oklahoma, and start being involved with the local independent film scene.  He found work pretty quickly on some horror films.  Lance talks about how that turned into working on Pearl.

The Chickasaw Nation did a great job in finding the right talent to tell the story of Pearl.  Lance went on to explain what happened once he jumped on board the project.

Ok now to get back to that fella that directed MILLION DOLLAR BABY.

Yeah I know – says a lot about how awesome King Hollis is on a set.  I’ve been really impressed at how close the Cast and Crew got during the film.  Its a testament to them sharing a belief in bringing about the best story of Pearl Carter Scott.

Lance McDaniel, Cameron Rostami (Georgie), King Hollis, David Rennke, Elijah DeJesus, Angela Gair (Lucy), and Andrew Sensenig (George Sr.) at the Dallas Screening.

Take a chance with this one folks.  Films that have this much heart on the screen and behind it don’t get made often.

Once again – 5/20  (that be tomorrow) in Houston at 7:30 PM at the Studio Movie Grill – 805 Town & Country Ln., Houston.  Also follow them online – here’s the website link again.  Also they do have a few more screenings coming up and I still have some more STORIES from Inside the Cockpit!!!!!!!

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