The short film Lewis is finally under production now that its crew has sufficient funds from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Cal State Fullerton’s Associated Students Inc. and donations from loyal fans on Indiegogo.
Lewis is a drama with dark comedic elements about the collision of a man’s aspirations and his reality.
Writer and director Mark C. Roe said Lewis is a story about a struggling magician whose life is on the ropes when when he gets the opportunity to open for much larger acts.
The title character, Lewis, has to make choices between his relationships and deepest dreams. This story is highly relatable to the young and impoverished artist we all find in ourselves during our golden years.
“I kind of refer to it as my horror story,” said Roe. “Anyone who’s trying to do something in an artistic field, the biggest fear they have is obviously failing.”
Roe added that the short film is similar to the way his life is projected five years from now, acknowledging there is a struggling and starving artist within all of us.
“I feel like this can reach anybody in any field, it’s kind of a wide arching theme of coming face to face with failure,” Roe said.
The character of Lewis is not a prodigy in his craft, and in a sense doomed from the start.
“He’s just failing and failing, and that’s kind of where the dark comedy comes from. You know that this guy got into this big show on some stroke of luck,” Roe said.
This big show is going to take place in the gorgeous Warner Grand Theatre, where the production team received access to film.
Lewis can end his story as a magician along for the ride, or by settling down and taking care of his budding family.
Roe’s favorite character written for the story is Dane.
“Dane who is this over inflated, overly helpful neighbor, who is sort of the wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Roe said.
Roe always had an affection for the villainous characters, making him the perfect person to geek out with about Loki, The Joker and Norman Osborn.
Alex from A Clockwork Orange is Roe’s favorite villain.
“Very rarely do you get to watch a movie where the main character is a villain, not even an anti hero, but just a villain,” Roe said.
Roe mentioned heroes are generally the blank canvas and the villains are the strong colors.
This relationship is seen all the time. Ash from Pokemon is more of a bland character, where Team Rocket tends to be the memorable life of the party.
“The actor we got for Dean, Daegan Palermon, is such an amazing actor. He has such great range,” Roe said.
Audience members can expect Dean to bring strong colors into the story.
Don’t blame yourself if you fall in love with the villain. Everyone loves a bad boy.
Writers drew out the character based on the idea of having the same problems of teetering through insecurity.
“You’re always trying to put your best foot forward, you’re trying to be as confident as possible with what you’re doing,” Roe said. “At the same time you have no idea if it’s going to work out or not.”
Rather than viewed as a film, Lewis is a peek into a person’s life. It almost feels invasive during these highly intimate conversations and moments.
Lewis should be wrapped by December or January. Roe plans to have the film sent to several film festivals including Newport Film Festival and Sundance.
The tentative date for the soft opening is Dec. 16 during the Cal State Fullerton RTVF Annual Showcase.
The a highly talented cast includes John Sera, a CSUF alumni as Lewis and Megan Hensley who stole the hearts of writers during her cold read as Amber.
Another great addition to the cast is Rico E. Anderson, who plays the ever so wise Greg.
Viewers and fans alike can look forward to a final brilliant product.
Roe has been thrilled to share this collaborative piece of work with the student body and indie film lovers, telling the story of gracefully accepting defeat.
Roe posts behind the scenes photos of for fans to keep in touch with the progress of the production of Lewis at Facebook.com/TheMagnificentLewis.