Bring Paradise to Big Screen

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING WEDNESDAY AUG 13, 2014

Filming wrapped this week on Paradise, FL, an independent feature written, produced and shot entirely within Southwest Florida but which attracted talent from Hollywood to help bring the project to fruition. Now the film enters the time-consuming post-production process, but filmmakers are confident the movie will help boost the presence of cinema in the Sarasota area, and are hopeful the film may even grab the attention of programmers at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah or South By Southwest in Texas.

The movie follows the life of a Cortez fisherman battling a pill addiction and dealing with challenging family issues. The cast includes SAG actors Mary Mara (ER), Kristopher Higgins (Devil's Knot) and Lauren Sweetser (Winter's Bone). But more important the local filmmaking community, the film showcases Asolo Conservatory alumns and students, including Jon-Michael Miller, Gretchen Porro and Brian Nemiroff in lead and feature roles, and also relies heavily on filmmaking talent out of Ringling College of Art and Design.

Tony Stopperan, the write-producer who spearheaded Paradise, FL, said the film builds on the successful collaborations between Asolo Conservatory and Ringling College built through last year’s The Lucky 6, a film that premiered in April at the Sarasota Film Festival. “Building upon that process, it was necessary to structure Paradise, FL through a traditional "for-profit" filmmaking model,” he said, “one where cash flow problems were solved and students could be granted greater responsibility in their departments and with budgets. In order to do so, supporters of summer filmmaking converted from donors to investors understanding that the merits were exactly the same.”

The film relies on local companies like TriForce Pictures (Belief) and area producers such as Victor Young (Stratosphere) to bring the project together.  TriForce co-founder Shaun Greenspan said the film shot its exteriors in Cortez Village while filming much of the interior drama in three houses in Sarasota.

With principal photography wrapped, the film now enters the length post-production phase. Director Nick Margulis will fly to Ohio this month to work with an editor and preparing a final cut, and hopes to have the film ready for consideration at the Sundance Film Festival, the nation’s top film festival. The event will be held in January, and the deadline for submissions is in September. Margulis also has his sights set on the South By Southwest festival in Texas, a venue that in recent years has become a high-profile ground for premieres.

Regardless of its fate, filmmakers are proud of Paradise. “We gathered the best and brightest young filmmakers from Ringling and gave them an opportunity to showcase their skills and talent to the world,” Margulis said. “Every actor on the film told me that this was the best set that they had ever worked on.”

Picture from Shaun Greenspan: Film crew led by director Nick Margulis shoots scenes for the upcoming Paradise, FL feature.

Read more at SRQ Backlot

« View The Wednesday Aug 13, 2014 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Art Center Sarasota Presents off the Web

Art Center Sarasota Presents off the Web

Mar 31, 2020

Embracing Our Differences 2020 Outdoor Art Exhibit Extended Through April

Embracing Our Differences 2020 Outdoor Art Exhibit Extended Through April

Mar 30, 2020

The Many Identities of Artist and Multidisciplinary Designer Alissa Silvers

The Many Identities of Artist and Multidisciplinary Designer Alissa Silvers

Andrew Fabian | Mar 27, 2020

Local Outfit Employs Virtual Reality for Therapeutic Ends

Local Outfit Employs Virtual Reality for Therapeutic Ends

Andrew Fabian | Mar 20, 2020