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My Name is Paul - The Feature

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MNIP - BTS 8.jpgThe feature length version of My Name is Paul has completed filming and is now in post-production.  Hopefully we will be able to see it sometime this year or next depending on how long the editing and scoring take.  I've seen some the footage and the cinematography is excellent!

This project started with a screenplay by Vanessa Ore.  A short was made and directed by her husband Trey Ore along with a sizable cast and crew.  The short was very popular on the film festival circuit winning several awards including the Dove Family Appoved seal for ages 12+.

"The short was selected Globally into multiple Film Festivals on 4 continents and was the Short Film winner at Kingdomwood Film Festival, Films with Valor in Acapulco, Mexico and the Redemptive Film Festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia."

After showing the potential of the story, they have expanded it with the help of Tara Lynn Marcelle into a feature length movie.  Also, after having shown the potential with the short film, they have brought in a team of investors to make sure they have the resources to do everything to the best of their ability with the feature.  From what I've seen they have the footage to make it even better.  Now it's up to the editors.



Production Company: Quite No More Films
Produced by: Trey Ore, Vaness Ore, Tara Lynn Marcelle
Written by: Vanessa Ore, Tara Lynn Marcelle
Director: Trey Ore
First AD: Adam Drake
Second AD: Jen Becker
Second Unit Directors: Caleb Vetter, Corey Vetter
Original music by: Jergen Beck
Sound: Willie Kimbrough
Cinematography: Christian Simpson
Production Design: Lisa Cobb
Costume Supervisor: Luis Carlos Machicao
Assistant Costume Designer: Lisa Roszler

Cast: Andrew Roth, Elijah Chester, Vanessa Ore, Tim Ross, Catherine Trail, Patrick Keenan, Davis Osborne, Joe Coffee, Bonnie Johnson, Madison Ore, Kayli Maree Tolleson, Christopher Tolleson, Michael Joiner, Abigail Rose Cornell, Isaiah Stratton, Adam Lee Ferguson, Cranston Johnson, Karen Abercrombie, and more...   See the full cast and crew.





Below is a trailer for the short.  It will give you an idea of what's to come with the feature, where the bigger story is told.



Vanessa, this began as a short film that you wrote. Tell me about the short and how it evolved into the feature that you are currently filming.


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Vanessa Ore: I first wrote the short after my husband Trey communicated a desire to shoot a film about the life of Paul/Saul from the Bible. After meeting one day in detail about it, I sat down and looked back over some Bible study notes over the years and wrote an 18 page short. I contacted some great and talented folks I've met over the years from acting and we created a small but mighty production crew and went on to shoot the short which was either a finalist or won at several film festivals. After over a year in pre-production, much planning, contacts made, and fundraisers, we forged ahead with the feature. 


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Give us a short synopsis of the feature and how you have expanded it from the original script for the short.


Vanessa Ore: Caught between The Way and the world. Paul, blinded by hate and intent on destruction is determined to find and kill Peter, the enemy of his leader. However, a terrible accident and a miraculous discovery take him off course and on a road of self-discovery where he learns to live and love The Way. The Short script was given to Tara Lynn Marcelle with the vision of what Trey was looking for in the Feature and she ran with it brilliantly.


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Tara Lynn Marcelle: When Vanessa asked me to write the feature, I was a little overwhelmed. I wasn't used to writing action (especially post-apocalyptic action), and the thought of writing something based on a real-life person from the Bible intimidated me. After reading her short, I had a better idea of what they wanted but was still nervous about turning it into a feature film. 


With Trey and Vanessa's encouragement, I began studying the life of Paul on my own and tried to understand who he was as a person and what his main struggle seemed to be. I was surprised how easily Paul's conflict translated to my own personal conflict, as well as others I knew, and it didn't matter if it was way back then or 2013. 


So once I understood that, and the setting Trey and Vanessa envisioned, I started coming up with the other characters who inhabited that world, and how they might react in those particular conditions.

 


Vanessa, you also had a part in the movie as Priscilla. What is she like?


Vanessa Ore:  I thoroughly enjoyed her portraying her in the Film. She is a strong Woman and essential to the "Way People" in the sense of equipping new believers and helping raise some of the children (along with Lydia, played by the incredible Karen Abercrombie) of her camp.


We see her quiet strength and her momentary struggles of her faith dealing with the common question: Why God...? When she is met with a challenge by Annon (Tim Ross) who is like a brother to her. 

I related to her and loved how Tara wrote her. This is such a well written character driven script with such wonderful action moments as well. 


Tell us about the effort put into the wardrobe and set design to reflect the time and situations these people are in.

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Luis Machicao: The movie happens in a post-apocalyptic time that's why I was very cautious to make sure that the wardrobe reflects that period in the world and also accentuates what people should be wearing at that time, some of the combinations reflects whatever clothes they would find while the upper class always display elegance and glamour.




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Lisa Roszler: Yes, near future, within the next 15-20 years or so.


The vision is of a new world order. The emblem on the assassin (black) and guard (green) uniforms reads (in Latin), "One world rising from the ashes" and features a phoenix in front of the Tower of Babel. It is a world with two classes: the government and the populace. Government people have the best of everything, and the masses have nothing. The Way People are a subset of the general population and are in hiding due to persecution from the government. This is reflected in costuming and makeup as well as in set design.


We looked to The Book of Eli and The Road for inspiration, and Luis decided on a mostly monochromatic scheme of dirty, patternless neutrals (tan, beige, khaki) for the masses. Main Way People characters had pops of color to help them stand out. Of note were faded green for Annon, who is a healer; blue for Stephen, whose eyes reflect heaven; purple for Lydia, whose namesake in the Bible is a dealer in purple cloth; peach for Priscilla to represent her warmth. The government characters were crisp and clean, mostly in black with chilly silver accents. Luis designed shoulders that are sharp and/or exaggerated. Military uniforms are severe, with little to distinguish one from the other except for stripes denoting rank.


Lisa, how far in advance did you need to begin working on a project like this?


Lisa Roszler:  Dan, I began working with the actors gathering measurements in October of 2012. By that time, Luis had already designed the custom pieces. I began sewing in November, making prototypes for the assassin and guard jackets. By December, the prototypes were approved. 

By January's end, 400 hours or so had been spent working on the 19 custom-fitted pieces. Luis also scoured thrift stores to pull together The Way People clothing, which we distressed (scissors, cheese graters, ripping, stretching) and stained with coffee, tea, vanilla, and good ol' mud.

Luis Machicao:  Shhhhhhh!! you giving away our secrets....

Lisa Roszler:  Also, Dan: all of the salvagable (cleanable, non-torn, or unused) clothing used in this production, as well as the footwear (including boots used by military characters) has been donated to Hand in Hand Ministries, a Charlotte-based organization that works to assist refugees from Burma who have been resettled in Charlotte. 

Also donated: space heaters used on set, set furniture, props and unopened surplus food and water items from craft services. 


That's great that everything went to good use after it was no longer needed for the production.


What do you want the viewers to know about Paul?


Vanessa Ore: I believe that anyone can relate to the Apostle Paul. Who of us (believer or not) can say I'm without blemish or flaw? No one! And Paul was always mindful to give his testimony and proclaim to his audience that he was the chief among sinners... that's a great way to get everyone's defenses down and allow them to hear his message.


Joe, will you tell us about yourself and your role as Ben in the movie?


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Joe Coffey: A little about me?....well, my favorite color is dark purple, and whenever I buy a new t-shirt the first thing I do is cut the tag off. I also live in California and I'm the only one who owns a truck called "The Red Baron"...as far as I know.. As for Ben, he is a power-hungry, self-motivated nihilist. He has no respect for anyone; not even his own people. Values and faith don't mean anything to him. The only thing he respects is his own craving for control and glory. He is the only one who can get the job done and everyone else is incompetent in his eyes. When Mason Stark questions his abilities in the office scene, Mason might as well have smeared his face in mud. His disbelief turns to frustration which turns to rage and he is almost on the verge of tears. The fact that Mason would dare to challenge Ben, nephew to the Supreme Leader, is appalling to him. Ben never forgives...and never forgets. It was a lot of fun to play Ben. He's a nasty fellow, and those are fun to play without judgement. Patrick Keenan did a fantastic job playing opposite as Mason Stark. We had good chemistry and I enjoyed working with him. I was also thankful that Trey allowed us to try different approaches as it allowed us to find the most organic takes possible. A very rewarding experience overall!

 

Patrick what about your character Mason Stark. Is he a peer of Ben's or a subordinate?

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Patrick G. Kennan:  I'd say they were closer to being peers. They both think they are the 'rightful' successors to the Supreme Leader. Anytime you get the two of them together, there's a heavy tension in the air. I had so much fun playing opposite Joe Coffey. At any moment one of them may snap. Mason is not the nihilist that Ben is, and prefers not to get his hands dirty. It ends up being this clash of chaotic anarchy versus methodical manipulation.



Bonnie, tell us about your character Millie.


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Bonnie Johnson:  I think Millie comes with extreme curiosity and listens to Paul with skepticism due to knowing the ferocity of his hatred for The Way people and his determination to destroy them. On the other hand, his gentleness, humility and powerful message convinces her that God has, indeed, turned Paul's life around.






Tim, how do you fit into the picture?

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Tim Ross: I feel very honored to play a true life biblical character and a person who's involved in a very critical moment in the film. My characters name is Professor Annon and I have been given the gift of healing. I am confronted with a very difficult choice of healing a man who I personally hate but who I am told by God is important to our cause. For an actor it is a wonderful opportunity to play a character whose faith is tested to the extreme and who has to make extremely difficult choices. That is the kind of conflict any actor loves to work with. I have been involved with this story and this character for over two years, since I also did the short, so it is a personal joy to see it come to fruition



Catherine, who is Myra?


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Catherine Trail:  Ahhh, I've loved this woman since I met her in the short. Myra is a strong feisty woman and large in her faith in God. Yes, she knows exactly where she's going. Myra and Myron (brilliantly played by David Sweeney) have been long married and they've been fussing the whole time. But they're dedicated to each other and are encouragers to The Way People. Their hearts are broken by the loss of so many.


When they find an enemy on the side of the road, where else can they take him but to The Way People Camp?


It's been a pleasure to play alongside so many of my talented actor friends. These roles we've taken on are being brought to life, and the story of Paul is a great one to tell.  It's an old story for a new generation. And I'm glad to be a part.


I'm curious. I know you were filming last week when we had that gloomy day then later the snowstorm. The next day was bright and sunny. How did this affect the shooting?


Vanessa Ore:  Actually the gloomy weather translates beautifully on film. The sun causes more challenges. However, our DIT/color correction guy, Jeremy Ball, is on set working with our Editor and he's brilliant!



Janna, how dod your children enjoy their work on the film?


Janna Tolleson: Kayli and Christopher both had an amazing time on set today. The amount of talent on this project is hard to wrap your head around. This film will be setting the bar very high and I know so many people are going to love it.

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Kayli Tolleson:  Best. Day. Ever. working with friends, making new ones, hair/makeup and wardrobe!!! wow!!!


Christopher Tolleson: I wish I could have worked more. I made lots of new friends. I had a great time!! (and they had M&M'S!).



Joe Coffey:  M&M's was definitely one of the highlights of the shoot for me too. "Wooo!" and high-fives all around when I saw them on the table with the snacks. Not every production I've worked on has had M&M's but I'm glad My Name is Paul knew what was up!


Patrick G. Keenan: There were M&M's? 


Joe Coffey:  I ate them all that day before you could get any, Mason.


Patrick G. Keenan:  Drat! Foiled again!


Joe Coffey:  Muahaha. Better luck next time, Stark. 



I see that the short has won several film festival awards. What path will the feature take?


Vanessa Ore:  We are currently speaking to a few different distribution opportunties. Our goal is for this to not sit on a shelf and for a Spring 2014 release at the latest. With that said, we prefer a theatrical release first then to Walmart, VOD, Christian book stores etc. The theatrical release will allow an easier sell through stores. The quality of this film demands it to be seen by a larger scale. 

Did you have a feature in mind when making the short or did that come later?


Vanessa Ore:  The desire to do the feature was from the beginning. We wanted to do the short first to capture interest and awareness and see how it would do in the festival circuit.



I see. Peter was not in the original short was he? Was he added as part of the extended story line?


 Vanessa Ore: He was not in the short neither were quite a few folks. They were added to bring the big picture to the screen and move the story along.


Elijah Chester, who has been doing period pieces lately (The Box, Lincoln), plays the part of Peter. 



Elijah, will there be any horse riding in this movie?


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Elijah Chester:  Ha! Unfortunately I wasn't able to bring the horse with me. However, working with this company made up for it, with their attention to detail, quality crew, overall energy, and total professionalism.


I had not been able to audition back when they were searching for actors, and so wasn't apart of the cast up until several weeks before my character was to shoot. They lost the other actor due to unforeseen personal changes in his life, and it opened up a need. Vanessa called me and offered me the role and explained the project. Before she was able to finish her speech on the phone, I was ready to say yes regardless of what she had to say!

I was that excited about this project from the first time I had read about it. It was refreshing to play a good guy, and one who was at peace with his life, since most of the characters I find myself being cast in are seriously messed up, hurt, angry, or even the bad guy. 

"Peter" in the Bible is quite often thought of as impulsive and very bold, early on in his life with Jesus, but I think that this script allowed me to play him more at peace, and living into the leader side of himself. A wise, comforting man. The "rock' quality Jesus spoke of when referring to him.

Again it was a thrill to work with Andrew, and a quality crew, to be supported by Trey, and the staff, as well as Vanessa who took confidence in bringing me on. There is no doubt this project will be a success!


Andrew Roth:  Thank you Elijah, the pleasure was truly mine, you were wonderful to work off of


Andrew. Please tell me how you found your role as Paul. Did you audition or did someone have you in mind?


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Andrew Roth: I found the role on my own and submitted a video sub for Vanessa after receiving sides then was auditioned by Trey over Skype. As soon as I read the sides I knew this was a role I highly indentified with. I have a strong faith background and a few times in my life have fallen away from it only to be brought back again and again, as unworthy as I felt. I drew on my own life experiences which I felt paralleled Paul's and went from there. This wasn't a role where I was acting, I believed almost every word I said so it wasn't a challenge in bringing Paul to life for me, rather it was a chance to purge my own demons in order to make amends with my own life. I'm grateful Trey and Vanessa afforded me the opportunity to take the role on as it was the perfect time in my life. What do you think is the hardest, the shooting or the editing? Vanessa Ore: I guess that would depend on who responds but I do believe the editing would be the toughest on any project. so much footage to go through and there are so many elements to it... mixing, design etc... The thing is that the editor also has to be a good storyteller.. he pieces it all together based on the script and then the script supervision, then the director's vision, the DP work, and a little of his own vision. I think you're right. Especially the part about it depending on who answers. Editing is probably the most time consuming and seemingly unending. Though putting together the set design and actors and getting the shots right is by no means an easy task. It's all about teamwork isn't it? Vanessa Ore: It is all about teamwork. And I have to say this is truly the beat team ever! Lisa Roszler: Dan, I have to chime in on this one. I was seamstress/wardrobe for the film and spent most of my time "backstage" in the same room as Jeremy Ball, who was reviewing and color-correcting footage on a constant basis. I was absolutely stunned by the beauty and quality of the images that were being produced: at one point, he showed us a montage that left me literally speechless (a feat of astronomical proportion!) and in tears! I was undone! This, after being very familiar with the script and having high expectations to boot. Yes, better than I imagined... and I have a vivid imagination. 'Nuff said! Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts with us and we're looking forward to seeing My Name is Paul.