DOWN BY THE RIVER – A FILMMAKING FAMILY AFFAIR
Before we get into the current episode I want to take time to acknowledge a few people who reached out over the past week or two in support of Actors Talk Podcast. First Mr. Brett Chapin of LaLa Land on CRN an internet radio show that is part of CRN Digital Talk Radio and they can be found HERE ON FACEBOOK
And finally, thanks to Benjamin Dane, actor-producer who was my guest on episode 007 when we talked about his new film Beyond The Farthest Star. Check out Episode 12 to see the very nice comments Benjamin made about my interview with One Less Bitter Actor writer, actor Markus Flanagan.
And now, here’s some information about Sean Johnson and DOWN BY THE RIVER:
Sean Johnson was born on October 11, 1985 in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. At age 13, his life was shattered when he watched his father get a life sentence in prison. His mother, Trina Brown, a well known playwright in New Orleans kept him from following after that same path. Johnson assisted his mother with her plays like “Christmas in the Hood” and “We’re in this together.” He would eventually discover that he had his mother’s gift for writing.
After high school and two years of college and still not sure what he should do with his life, Johnson was drawn to screenwriting and began writing screenplays. He received a scholarship to New York Film Academy in Los Angeles and graduated from the school as one of its top writers in more than a decade. But it would take more than that to swim with the sharks of show business. His mother and his mentor, Ameer Baraka, kept him encouraged as he knocked on the great walls of Hollywood at the time of the writer’s strike.
Over time, Johnson realized that his passion to write was also his gift. Not long after he got an offer for a writer’s internship at Raleigh Studios and was subsequently hired by Sagemont Studios to write the compelling family-based drama “Down By The River”. The film is to be realeased in 2012.
Type: Independent feature
Executive producers: LaMarcus Tinker, Sean Johnson
Co-executive producer: Alethea Bailey
Produced by: Trina Brown, W.L. Molina
Written by: Sean Johnson
Directed by: William Leonardo Molina
cast: Sean Johnson, Adriana Ford, Alethea Bailey, Trenise Gray, Beny Schwarzt, Chad Thackston, Chuck Houston
Skylar Ford (Sean Johnson) is a young man who aspires to be a writer, but must balance following his dreams with helping his mother, Tammy (Alethea Bailey) take care of his little sister, Hannah (Adriana Ford), who suffers from sickle cell anemia.
Despite his lack of time, Skylar manages to complete his first story and attempts to get it published by a local publishing house, but finds that rejection is harder to take than he anticipated. As Hannah’s birthday rapidly approaches, her estranged biological father, Leroy (Beny Schwarzt), comes home unannounced after several years, creating serious tension within the family.
When Skylar meets Hannah’s doctor, Julia (Trenise Gray), their desire for Hannah’s well being creates a spark that brings Julia closer to the family. After a local publisher gives Skylar hope, he discovers that balancing his work, his family, and his dream is more difficult than he could have ever imagined.
While Skylar attempts to hold things together, Hannah suddenly collapses at her birthday party, and the whole family is thrown into an emotional spiral which tests Skylar’s limits, his faith, and makes the dreams he desperately pursues feel more out of reach than ever.