Louisville, KY (PRWEB) February 16, 2009
The dark-haired girl stood trembling with fear in the cold back alley. A tear trickled down her cheek, stinging the cut on her upper lip - the one she had received from her abusive mother the night before. Her would-be kidnapper, a street thug, held a gun to her forehead as she stood silent, clinging to her half-starved puppy, Walter. Suddenly, and without warning someone yelled, "Cut! That was great!" Immediately, the dark-haired girl began to giggle, as Walter the Puppy started to lick her neck. Hayley the dog handler stepped over to take Walter back to his holding area while a production assistant quickly wrapped the girl in a warm wool blanket to protect her from the harsh February cold.
The dark-haired girl is Christina Dawn Fougnie, playing the role of Clancy Miller, the title character in Kelly's Filmworks' newest feature film, 'Clancy'.
'Clancy', which opens in select cities March 6th, is the third motion picture produced by the Louisville, Ky.-based movie company, whose previous films include 'The Perfect Stranger' and 'Another Perfect Stranger', both based on the bestselling novels by David Gregory. 'Clancy' marks the first original story produced by the self-proclaimed, 'mom and pop production company'.
A Labor of Love
"At the core of 'Clancy' is a plain, easy-to-understand explanation of the Gospel", says Kelly Moore, producer and owner of Kelly's Filmworks LTD, "that's something that has always been important to us - the Good News of Jesus brought forth within the context of an entertaining storyline." To carry that storyline, screenwriter Jefferson Moore chose the talkative, angelic character, Clancy Miller, a girl who has suffered abuse at the hands of her alcoholic mother, yet whose positive disposition and eternal hope bypasses all earthly understanding.
Moore, who wrote the original screenplay (and plays the role of Clancy's homeless guardian, Nick) came up with the story several years ago, and refined it over time.
"The 'Clancy' script was with him everywhere he went for all those years that he was still a working actor - backstage at the theatres, on airplanes, in hotels…and whoever was within reach got to be the 'guinea pig' to help him work out the dialogue - including fellow theatre actor Tom Luce, who wound up with one of the lead roles in the movie", said Kelly. "The name 'Clancy' even came from a former cast mate of Jefferson's named Clancy Hauber."
Blessed By Cast, Crew and Community
Kelly's Filmworks has maintained basically the same core crew since 2005, when they made their first movie. That consistency has made production on three movies and seven television shows not only a recipe for success, but also a nice way to earn a living.
"Our crew is family," says Kelly, "we have a hard time referring to what we do as work with such a great atmosphere - something that is rare in a business like this. Outside the set, we still go to movies together, have each other over for dinner, babysit each other's kids, etc."
Finding 'Clancy' star Christina Fougnie (pronounced foon-yay) was also a real 'God' incident. Jefferson met Christina during a local Easter Production and auditioned her basically because, "to me, she looked like Clancy". That proved to be an understatement, as Christina turned out to be an amazing actress, full of depth and personality, able to carry an entire film on her tiny 12 year-old shoulders. (side note: Christina's incredible performance in 'Clancy' has already earned her a second starring role, in the upcoming Christmas movie, 'The Perfect Gift'). "For it being her first movie," states Kelly, "Christina was a true professional. She did her own stunts - including a ride down a muddy 15 foot well shaft - and she always came to set prepared, energetic, and ready to throw herself into her performance. And of course, the entire cast and crew fell in love with her and her parents."
Getting 'Clancy' to the Big Screen
Moore says that, these days, there is a certain legitimacy that comes with a theatrical run for a new independent movie. "It puts you on the map, so to speak, and helps build awareness for your project."
'Clancy' seemed suitable for the theatre from the get go, but getting on even one screen proved difficult. "The bigger theatrical distributors are pretty reluctant to put out the funds needed to put a small film in the theatres and to supplement the much-needed advertising," says Kelly.
Kelly's Filmworks was lucky to hook up with Midwest Moving Images, an independent releasing company based out of Indianapolis. The company was very interested in promoting a faith-based motion picture.
"MMI deals with the smaller and independent chains," explains Kelly. "They focus on the mid-size markets where the Hollywood machine doesn't have quite as much control over theatre owners; instead of servicing New York City, they might service Long Island. Instead of Nashville, they would service Brentwood."
So far, about 10 cities (including Louisville) have been confirmed for a 'Clancy' opening on March 6th. MMI looks to add additional cities in the coming weeks, in what is commonly referred to as a 'rolling release'. Large scale church releases, for communities without theatres, is also in the works.
Important for the church to support
The recent box office success of faith-based films like 'Facing The Giants' and 'Fireproof' has been largely attributed to a community of committed Believers nationwide; ones who realize the value of supporting stories of faith that both enlighten and entertain. Their attendance at the all-important opening weekend for a film insures its success and longevity in getting the story out there - especially for the non-churchgoing community.
Kelly points out: "These people understand that when you buy a movie ticket, you are investing in a message sent to the movie industry - that stories of a spiritual nature deserve a place next to 'Hannah Montana' and 'The Wedding Crashers'".
For more info, including showtimes and ticket information, go to http://www.clancymovie.com