Traveling by Amtrak Acela fast track from NYC to Washington, DC line two weeks ago, I shared many long hours with cast and crew on the streets of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., developing a story. That story is “One Penny,” an independent feature film from a Maryland based company. The company, Stone Park Productions, was established by director Michael De Vita and producer David Melendez.
Yesterday, with the day off from my shooting schedule, I walked south a mile along Cherry Hill Road to the local shopping center to discover Maryland charm in the voices of those working in the service stores.
It is 5 am, and the third floor sliding door of my Marriott hotel room is open, as I prepare to be driven to our shooting location Fort Howard.
The blooming aromas of the Cherry Blossom season in Silver Springs Maryland waft their scents around Adele serenading over Pandora from my laptop.
As the story begins we meet the Professor, once a tenured college faculty professor, who suffered the loss of his wife and son in a horrific car accident caused by his own drunken state. Stricken with grief, he fell into a deep depression surrendering his will to alcohol abuse resulting in the loss of his job and apartment. After many years of wandering the back road of Maryland society, the Professor’s life was about to change. His path crossed with the helpless child Dylan, who had just witnessed his mother’s cold-blooded murder.
Flash forward ten years, the Professor actively takes part in daily routines of ‘hunting and gathering’ in dumpsters for food and supplies, and as an elder resident advisor in the Shepherd Cove homeless community. As Dylan’s paternal guardian who home schooled his teenager, the professor guides Dylan to seek his future potential.
Dylan (Harrison Samuels) and his friend Collin (Will Roland) fill their days helping their Shepherd Cove community with chores and supplying needed products. Aided by the local merchant Joe (Larry Beron), they repair an old generator to bring electricity to the homeless tarp residents.
Conflict is stirred up when the soup kitchen waitress, Jordan (Erin O’Brien) befriends the two orphan boys and provokes a jealous reaction from the local gang leader Tristan (Ben Rezendes) who ten years prior had murdered Dylan’s mother. Afraid for Dylan’s safety, the Professor tracks down the gang’s hideout to stop them.
With two weeks remaining for on-camera production, today I will be meeting the fight coordinator who will guide me through the fist and fiery choreography I will need to perform while avenging my film son-ward. Post production will take a year with ‘One Penny’ being released in 2016.