St. Joseph got the rare treat of a Hollywood-style film premiere this past weekend—and the movie just happens to feature a St. Joseph native as the starring actor.
Bruce Michael Hall, whose past work includes roles on TV shows like One Life to Live and Passions, shared the excitement of his first feature film with his hometown on Friday, September 10th at Plaza 8 Theaters.
Midnight Reckoning is a psychological thriller that Hall describes as a mix between Groundhog Day and The Twilight Zone. Hall plays, Joe Manning, a struggling musician hunted by bikers through the high desert. Also, haunted by visions, Joe must confront his past sins, accept salvation—or wind up dead by daybreak.
With scores of on-screen credits, including How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Mulholland Dr., Tony Longo co-stars as the eccentric, RV-driving prophet named Atlas. On a mission from God to rescue Joe and save his soul, Atlas is accompanied on this mission by his disciple. Dawn, a once drug-addicted fashion queen played by Persia White, who was also one of the main characters on the long-running sitcom Girlfriends.
Hall said he landed the role through the typical process, with his agent getting him the audition, and with the film’s director being familiar with his past work, but he credits a lot of landing the role to how well he and Longo meshed as actors.
Longo and Hall were familiar with each other’s work, but met up the first time during auditions.
“Tony asked me to go outside and run over the scene that we were doing together,” Hall said. “We had a good chemistry, and the director obviously saw that, which is great.”
The film’s director and writer, Derrick Warfel, was on-hand for the premiere, having flown in all the way from Los Angeles. Warfel talked about one of his biggest inspirations in making the movie during a question and answer session with the audience that followed the film.
“One of the biggest things was the whole move to digital,” Warfel. “I’ve been a writer for years and years, and you get tired of seeing things get close to getting made, and then not get made.”
According to Warfel, digital films can be made much cheaper, and that shooting a movie in the middle of the desert also cuts out a lot of costs, which were two major factors in his idea for the film.
Receiving many awards at a number of film festivals, Midnight Reckoning most notably took first place in the sci-fi/horror genre at both the Bare Bones and London Independent film festivals. Judging from the response that evening at Plaza 8 Theaters, the crowd was in agreement.
“I think it was a great movie and was filmed really well,” said Kirk Branson, one of the movie-goers that evening. “I was really impressed with the quality of the movie,” Branson said.
The film is set for home video release on October 16th. More information on Midnight Reckoning and two theatrical trailers for the movie are available at www.midnightreckoning.com.