City film Festival
native finds success
in world of Hollywood film
debuts his first production
this month in hometown
Helen E. McKinney
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (August 2009) Its been
eight years since John Paul Rice drove alone across the country to Los
Angeles, arriving at a friends sisters apartment to live
in a room with no bed, only a floor on which to sleep. The ride was
well worth it for Rice, now a film producer and owner of his own production
company, No Restrictions Entertain-ment LLC.
John Paul Rice learned
filmmaking while living in Los Angeles.
This Louisville native began acting at age 6 in school
plays and later acted in dramas at Trinity High School. His first film
role was in Remember The Titans, where he was cast as one
of the core members of the Titan football team.
Getting up at 5 a.m. each day for two months was one of the best
experiences that taught me I wanted to do something in the field of
film, said Rice.
Such experiences led him a year and a half later to an entry level job
at a start-up film company in Los Angeles, Senator International Inc.
Rices job was to read scripts and pitch them during creative meetings.
During this time he started to formulate a plan to produce movies.
Rice credits meeting Latino filmmaker Edgar Michael Bravo and reading
his scripts along with a mentorship by Senator International Inc.s
president, Joe Drake, to his determination to produce films.
Joes mentoring combined with the reaction from industry
professionals to Edgars scripts confirmed what I gutturally felt
in my reactions to stories and films that inspired me, that made a connection
to how I felt, Rice said.
In 2008 Rice produced his first indie feature film, One Hour Fantasy
Girl. The film was written and directed by Bravo.
One Hour Fantasy Girl is based on a true story in which
the main character, Becky Lewis, escapes an abusive alcoholic mother
at age 15 and has survived on her own in Los Angeles ever since. Its
the poignant story of a troubled young woman trying to make a better
life for herself. The film is expected to gain a rating of PG-13 for
some violence and adult language.
A screening for One Hour Fantasy Girl will be held at 8
p.m. Friday, July 31, at The Vernon Club, hosted by the Derby City Film
Festival. A second screening will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1,
at the Comedy Caravan, hosted by the Louisville Creative Center. A Screenwriting
Workshop will precede the latter screening from noon to 2 p.m. A question-and-answer
session with Rice and Bravo will follow each screening.
Kris Rommel, organizer of the Derby City Film Festival, said the screening
at The Vernon Club is part of a series known as Derby City Independent
Film Series, held once a month. Beginning in August, the series will
be held every last Tuesday of the month at the Comedy Caravan. The series
is free and popcorn will also be served free of charge during the screenings.
The series was created to promote awareness of the Derby City Film Festival,
to be held on Feb. 18-21, 2010, in Louisville. Were trying
to foster a community of independent films in Louisville, said
I cant believe how well done it is, said Rommel of
One Hour Fantasy Girl. He cautions, Louisville filmmakers
should pay attention to it. Its an excellent example of what somebody
from Louisville set out to do.
He cites the high quality of technical work as outstanding for an independent
Such films usually do not feature big name actors like Brad Pitt or
George Clooney but rather talented Broadway actors, said Rommel. This
makes qualities such as lighting and sound more important, especially
when these films are generally shot on a lower budget.
Rice said he had heard about the tough life runaways have when they
came to Los Angeles and he wanted to make a movie based on a true story
that might help people in similar tough situations. The director
and I interviewed all sorts of runaways who told us their stories.
Rice was particularly interested in those runaways who had found
a way to survive. Many of them had a plan, dreams of becoming something
more than just a fantasy girl. It was the complexity of
their lives that ultimately led to the interest of doing the story.
Telling a story about a person who endures pain to find empowerment
was interesting to me.
Rices next project is a film titled, The Magic Stone.
It is about the choices made when becoming an adult.
He plans to stay in Los Angeles for the next five years but would consider
moving back to Kentucky if film tax incentives for Kentucky filmmakers
were passed, he said. Beyond just the ability of making it more
affordable to make a film and providing local residents work, a tax
incentive brings immediate revenue to local businesses and services,
making tax incentives of greater long-term benefit to the state, said
Beyond the affordability and quality of films, it is the financial
successes and long-term benefit to commerce that will sustain the incentives.
There is a $20 fee for the Screenwriting
Workshop and a $5 admission fee for each screening. To learn more about
John Paul Rice or One Hour Fantasy Girl, visit: www.onehourfantasygirlmovie.com
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