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Home » Podcast Episodes » SOMETHING DIFFERENT – From The Creators of Down By The River | 041

SOMETHING DIFFERENT – From The Creators of Down By The River | 041


by Tommy G. Kendrick




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A new independent feature film from WISDOM PRODUCTIONS and the same family of filmmakers who brought us DOWN BY THE RIVER, Sean Johnson Jr. , LaMarcus Tinker and Trina Brown.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT had its premiere on September 29,2013. If you were able to attend the premiere, or if you’ve seen the film since, please leave comments below about the story, acting, production quality or any other aspects of the film you’d like to comment on. I’m sure the filmmakers will appreciate all honest feedback.


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Casting Session LaMarcus, Trina, Sean

Something Different takes you through the journey of a teenager living with the disease [sickle-cell] on a daily basis. While researching a school project he discovers a potential cure that sets him off on a journey of faith and hope – hoping to one day become disease free.

Something Different Trailer from Trina Montreuil Brown on Vimeo.


Here are a few of the cast members from SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Find out more about this film at the SOMETHING DIFFERENT web site.

Dominyck McCargo (Corey), Rochelle Ojeda (Carrie), Bradley Smith (Kevin) and Trina Brown (Ms. Fortune)
photo 3

the bully


Sean Johnson 5 and lamarcus redLaMarcus Tinker have joined us previously on Actors Talk.

I first became aware of Sean sometime around May of 2012 when I saw a trailer for a film he wrote and starred in called DOWN BY THE RIVER. The trailer for that film really caught my attention and I wanted to learn more about this talented writer-actor-filmmaker.

Then in January of 2013, I was able to convince Sean and his brother actor, LaMarcus Tinker ( Glee, Friday Night Lights, etc) to join me along with two other indie filmmakers on an experimental live broadcast via Google’s Hangout On Air technology.

Sean recently got in touch to tell me about a new film he and LaMarcus and their mother, Trina Brown have produced called SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Like Down By The River, a major plot element for Something Different is a disease called Sickle Cell, also referred to as sickle-cell anemia or sickle-cell disease.


Sickle-cell disease (SCD), or sickle-cell anaemia (SCA) or drepanocytosis, is a hereditary blood disorder, characterized by red blood cells that assume an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape. Sickling decreases the cells’ flexibility and results in a risk of various complications. The sickling occurs because of a mutation in the haemoglobin gene. Individuals with one copy of the defunct gene display both normal and abnormal haemoglobin. This is an example of codominance.

Life expectancy is shortened. In 1994, in the US, the average life expectancy of persons with this condition was estimated to be 42 years in males and 48 years in females, but today, thanks to better management of the disease, patients can live into their 70s or beyond.

The term disease is applied because the inherited abnormality causes a pathological condition that can lead to death and severe complications. Not all inherited variants of haemoglobin are detrimental, a concept known as genetic polymorphism.

Like many of you I have heard of sickle-cell, but don’t really know much about it. My presumption was that this was a disease that was limited to the black or African-American community.

In doing just a small amount of research, I discovered that this presumption was not accurate.

I began my conversation with Trina, LaMarcus and Sean asking for a little background on sickle-cell to better understand the disease and to understand why it is a compelling story element in Something Different.

Trina explained that September is sickle-cell month and the goal was to have the film finished to premiere during this time period. Trina expressed the hope that Something Different will bring a sense of hope to those who are suffering not only from this disease but from other seriously debilitating conditions and illnesses as well.

Find out more about SICKLE CELL HERE.

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photo 4Something Different was shot on Canon DSLRs with high quality glass to give the project a high quality film look while holding the budget down. The cast was a mixture of experienced and newer talent, some of whom had never before been involved with a feature-length 2

Co-director and producer LaMarcus Tinker talked with me about the necessity of organization, planning and rehearsal in shooting a low-budget film in order to get strong performances while, once again, keeping the budget under control.

LaMarcus talked about having 8-10 principal young actors on set at any one time.

“We were fortunate to get blessed with a cast that may not have had a lot of film experience…but they had the drive, the passion and the desire to put forth the effort to learn the craft and bring the characters to life.”

I asked LaMarcus about the time crunch on this production. The script was finished in June, production was underway in July and the premiere is in September. That’s moving super fast to put a feature film project together…especially one with a cast that was lacking in prior production experience.

There’s a time crunch whether you’re on a small budget film or a big budget film. So you kind of roll with the punches. But when you have a solid crew that is very experienced on every level, things run very smoothly.It’s all about communication and proper preparation. We spent weeks in pre-production and we came in with a solid plan and we pretty much stuck to that plan.We did blocking rehearsals before we shot which made things a lot easier on the cast.


The filmmakers wanted to give special recognition to the Texas Film Commission Heather Page, director. Alfred Cervantes, Deputy Director at Houston Film Commission helped them lock down a primary location at Magnolia High School. “With their help we were able to lock an actual high school and we had the whole school to ourselves.”

Sean Johnson

You know, Tommy independent filmmaking is such a hurry up and wait business. We try to take advantage of every opportunity we get. That’s one of our goals. When we’re ready to film we just try to film as fast as possible. By us being, I guess, our own small studio, we just want to make those decisions as quickly as possible.


I asked the filmmakers who the target market is for Something Different:

Definitely the teenage market, but also the faith and family market, says Sean Johnson.

We touched on the element of faith in this film and I asked if that is the market they are aiming for, the faith-based market:

It’s definitely aimed at the faith-based market. Primarily to Christians who have the faith to believe God for their healing, to provide hope. It will appeal to the entire audience of those who are challenged with an illness..


LaMarcus, Sean and Trina maintain their own camera gear (Canon DSLRs -7D and 5D) and lenses and typically rent lighting from the Houston branch of Light Tec .


Trina and LaMarcus served as co-directors, in part because Trina was also acting in the film. I asked how they split up duties and if there were challenges or conflicts?

Trina credits the time spent in pre-production working on splitting up the directing duties with how smoothly things went once the cameras began to roll.


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