Lo­cally-filmed movie has suc­cess­ful pre­miere

South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE - By ISHEKA N. HAR­RI­SON and BREION MOSES

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Re­cently, over 150 peo­ple turned out to en­joy the gala pre­miere screen­ing of “Chas­ing Ti­tles: Vol­ume 1,” an award-win­ning short movie that was filmed in parts of Riviera Beach, Singer Is­land,West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens.

Mem­bers of the star-stud­ded cast and crew took pic­tures and en­gaged with fans on the red car­pet dur­ing a pre-screen­ing mixer.

They in­cluded: writer, direc­tor and pro­ducer Ryan Egypt, Brian Austin Green, Clifton Pow­ell, Barry Shabaka Hen­ley, Haas Man­ning, Erica Eynon, Ter­rance Richard­son and young new­comer Landon Gimenez.

The film is about a father (played by Green) who adores his son (played by Gimenez) but has chal­lenges mak­ing ends meet, so he takes some des­per­ate mea­sures. Green said the re­al­ity of the script con­vinced him to take the role.

“I think Ryan wrote some­thing that is very be­liev­able in so­ci­ety to­day. Peo­ple try and do the right thing and some­times they do and some­times don’t,” Green said. “For those that don’t, we vil­ify them, but they just made the wrong choice and that’s what this is.”

Egypt said the film’s suc­cess makes him hum­bled and proud.

“I just wanted to make a re­ally great film. Any­thing on top of that is just truly awe­some,” Egypt said.

Though Egypt works in Hol­ly­wood, Cal­i­for­nia now, he said he wanted to shoot the movie in South Florida where he at­tended mid­dle and high school in Palm Beach County.

“I en­vi­sioned a South Florida vibe to it and I wanted to keep that au­then­tic. Even though it’s more dif­fi­cult to shoot here, we got it done,” Egypt said. “I re­ally could have shot this any­where, like At­lanta and got­ten tax in­cen­tives, but I wanted to do it here.”

Egypt said his goal with the movie is to chal­lenge stereo­types and send a clear mes­sage about the con­se­quences of bad de­ci­sions.

“I chal­lenge a lot of things in this movie. I chal­lenge racism, I chal­lenge what a young man is sup­posed to do; I chal­lenge what you may por­tray a drug dealer to be,” Egypt said. “At the end of the day it’s ev­ery de­ci­sion that you make and ev­ery ac­tion has a con­se­quence and hope­fully peo­ple will think twice be­fore mak­ing a bad de­ci­sion.”

Ter­rance Richard­son – who plays Chris Jones, Mar­cus’ (Haas Man­ning) best friend in the film – said Egypt’s chal­lenge of por­tray­als is a part of the rea­son he took the role.

“What I liked about it is, it was kind of like not your nor­mal thug. He wasn’t rough. He didn’t have the guns and shoot them up. He didn’t have a cer­tain look. He ac­tu­ally car­ried him­self as a man about busi­ness,” Richard­son said.

He added the film­ing lo­ca­tion sold him be­cause he is orig­i­nally from Chicago.

“It was shot in Florida; why would I want to turn that down? That was a great op­por­tu­nity. … They said it shoots in Florida and I said I’m down,” Richard­son said.

Hen­ley plays Luke Parker, Joe Holmes’ boss in the film. He said he took the role be­cause he was as­sured the pro­ject would be com­pleted.

“I get a lot of scripts from peo­ple and they never get done and this one was a go when I got it. (Ryan is a) first time film­maker and a per­son with a lot of pas­sion so I thought it was a good com­bi­na­tion. I didn’t have any reser­va­tions and I have no re­grets,” Hen­ley said.

Egypt and the cast joined the au­di­ence for an in­ter­ac­tive Q&A fol­low­ing the screen­ing.He cred­ited his cast and crew for mak­ing the film a suc­cess.

“I wouldn’t have been able to get this done, first of all, with­out God, but also just hav­ing an amaz­ing cast and crew,” Egypt said.

He said his in­spi­ra­tion for the film came from see­ing peo­ple chase the wrong things in life.

“I see peo­ple chas­ing ti­tles rather than chas­ing what’s im­por­tant in life and that’s how I imag­ined this story and cre­ated all these char­ac­ters,” Egypt said.

“Chas­ing Ti­tles” is Egypt’s de­but film from his newly launched in­de­pen­dent film la­bel OPREME Films. Ac­cord­ing to the film’s web­site, it is slated for re­lease in Fall of this year (2017), with a full fea­ture “Chas­ing Ti­tles:Vol­ume 2” to follow.

To learn more about “Chas­ing Ti­tles:Vol­ume 1” and stay tuned to up­dates, visit www.chas­ingti­tles.com or follow the movie on in­sta­gram @chas­ingti­tlesmovie.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF HENBO VI­SION

The cast of lo­cally-filmed movie "Chas­ing Ti­tles: Vol­ume 1" an­swers ques­tions after the pre­miere screen­ing in West Palm Beach.

PHOTO BY BREION MOSES FOR SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES

"Chas­ing Ti­tles: Vol­ume 1" direc­tor Ryan Egypt, left, and DJ Irie share a laugh while tak­ing pho­tos on the red car­pet at the West Palm Beach pre­miere screen­ing.

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