While the influx of Hollywood-based Hollywood feature and TV shows are setting up shop here for six months of filming, a local indie feature, with a respectable budget, a local cast of 25 and a crew of 50, has started a three-week shoot on a murder mystery in the western suburbs.
Precious Mettle is being produced by DeAnna Cooper of Amarok Productions (I Heart Shakey 3D), a former Hollywood studio executive and directed by Edmond Coisson, of Our Path Productions, better known as the founder/director of the Naperville Independent Film Festival.
“This is such an exciting time for Chicago,” says Cooper. “There is so much exquisite talent behind and in front of the camera. We hope to be part of the new wave of Chicago filmmakers focused on character-driven stories — stories we hope will inspire audiences everywhere.”
Veteran actor Paul Sorvino stars as police commander Frank Walsh, alone after losing his family in a car accident and about to retire, who attempts to help a daughter he never knew escape heroin addiction and a past that endangers her while investigating his best friend’s murder.
Coisson also originated the story and co-wrote the screenplay with executive producer Leonard J. Brink, a retired software company executive, and his wife, writer Glessna Coisson.
Starring as Sorvino’s addicted daughter is Fiona Dourif (True Blood TV series, The Master) and Matt Bushell (Twilight and many TV shows including Mad Men, Bones, NCIS, 24) is the menacing presence that threatens their relationship.
With the exception of six L.A. actors, the large cast is comprised entirely of Chicago actors, including Jodi Russell, Andy St. Clair, Yasen Peyankov, Dan Waller, Loren Lazerine, Fernando Albiar, Paul Tinsley, Diane Shaw and Dianne Bischoff.
The crew, whose DP Ross Heran is utilizing a Red Epic, will be shoot on a number Naperville and Aurora locations, including a state-of-the-art police station, stately houses, Rush Copley Hospital and a train station. They will shoot through June 24.
Among the crew are line producer is Jacqui (JJ) Ingram; first AD Joshua Schilling; sound mixer Jesse McAlpin; production coordinator Stephanie Rabiola; production designer Caitlin Laingen, production designer; art director Lena Rush; Smith; and script supervisor Brian Nowak.
The story germinated with Coisson when he met Cooper at his 2010 festival and was intrigued with his script for a short film on which Precious Mettle is based. Cooper told him she’d be interested in working with him if he developed the script for a short film into a feature.
Coisson and his wife spent 18 months developing the script and then Coisson and Brinker spent another 18 months on rewriting, “approaching the story from many different angles,” he says.
Precious Mettle is the third film of Amarok Production, DeAnna Cooper’s company with her husband and business partner, Kevin Cooper. In addition to I Heart Shakey 3D, the Coopers produced The Painter with Ron Caldwell (Flight) which tackles the subject of how violence is robbing the innocence of our youth.