"Best Kept Secret in Texas" to be Showcased in Feature Film
SAN ANGELO, TX-- The cartel will invade San Angelo in the Fall of 2017 when filming for the feature film Sub Rosa begins. Writer/Producer/Director Charles Landers, a native San Angeloan, and other cast and crew members spoke with San Angelo LIVE! about the film.
According to the production, Sub Rosa is a realistic action-adventure/thriller set in Mexico during an onslaught of narco-terrorism. Innocent American medical students, a mysterious Mexican agent, and a wild card Confidential Informant must survive the life-threatening aftermath of deception and dysfunction, without destroying each other’s principles.
Sub Rosa will have a local influence thanks to Landers and fellow San Angeloan and Co-Producer Colin Feldhaus along with multiple other Texans working on the film. The two have worked together many times before. They say Sub Rosa is a clean content, high production value movie. “It’s certainly intense, though as a reference point, we’d like to produce something that can still be shown in a youth group. Creatively, we’re approaching it as though re-telling a true story, but one that exists on the margins of every-day reality,” said Landers.
But why San Angelo? For a start, both local producers have lived here since attending Angelo State University. Landers has crewed or produced on over twenty feature film projects, from major studios to indies, but always kept local connections. Landers noted, “I married a local girl and still kept a house in San Angelo when working on the bigger out-of-state studio films. After my wife joined me in the movie business for a while, we decided to take a break to start a family in San Angelo. All that doesn’t hurt, but of course we could make movies anywhere. A typical film investor, studio, or producer will look at San Angelo and see no tax incentives, little cast and crew base, no production/rental houses, no stage infrastructure, and an unknown community. On the other hand, we see easy traffic, plentiful local talent, a helpful community, a probusiness local government, and a positive, selfless culture worth spreading.”
So, who is starring? In addition to familiar local faces who have already participated in 2nd Unit filming, two of the expected lead actors have just been announced. Beyond Sub Rosa, you will find Thomas Lennon in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming The 15:17 to Paris. Often recognized as “Lt. Dangle”, the short-shorts bike cop of Reno911!, he is known inside the industry for billions in worldwide revenue as an actor, producer, and writer of major studio films (Universal’s Cannonball Run reboot is next up for Lennon’s typing fingers). Recent lead actor in The Odd Couple (CBS), and newly-recurring in Lethal Weapon (FOX), Lennon’s more than 250 credits include cult favorite shows like The State (MTV) and Viva Variety (Comedy Central), as well as the films Monster Trucks, Transformers: Age of Extinction, I Love You, Man, 17 Again, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Memento, and the Night at the Museum franchise.
Anchoring the film as a maverick hero is Tony-nominee Sam Trammell of international hit True Blood (HBO), blockbuster film The Fault in Our Stars, indie favorite White Rabbit, and the prominent Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Trammell’s work is often nuanced, such as his complicated figure opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Toni Collette in Imperium. He may be seen in 2017 awards-favorite This Is Us (ABC) and the upcoming thriller Hospitality.
Other actors attached or in negotiations bring credits such as The Walking Dead (AMC), SIX (History), the Power Rangers franchise, and various “Hollywood” film leads.
The producers say they expect to film several movies in San Angelo, using Sub Rosa as the proof of concept. Said Landers, “If we can export a bit of San Angelo’s culture, while importing a few dollars in the long run, then fantastic.” Sub Rosa’s producers also believe the success of Sub Rosa may lure other producers. They say it’s not uncommon for new production towns to become known industry-wide as “film-friendly” when the experience is a good one.
Sub Rosa’s California-based producer, M. Cevin Cathell, has had a long career as a producer, consultant to major studios, and program director of notable film festivals, such as Santa Barbara International. However, she is also a transplanted Texan and former singer on the Austin music scene. “I love San Angelo. Best kept secret in Texas.” Sub Rosa’s producers believe they are validating a new film production model which could impact the film industry-at-large. “Thus far, we haven’t found anyone trying this specific production model or achieving our expected production value per dollar. It really is something new,” said Cathell. Austin-area producers Jeff and Melinda Tucker’s Flying T Entertainment claims over seventy seasons worth of produced television, often with a rural or outdoors flair.
According to Jeff Tucker, “Sub Rosa is more than an experiment for success. We feel a strong behind-the-scenes mission to impact the way films are made and how people are treated.”
The Tuckers’ experience ranges from small to prominent titles like Duck Dynasty (A&E). “Film and TV projects are always highly challenging, so you have to be intentional about making the work environment a positive one.”
Completed 2nd Unit filming already features several San Angelo icons, including the Twin Buttes hills, the old Mejor Que Nada building (now home to Ener-Tel), Lake Nasworthy, Civic League Park, and a residence in the Santa Rita area. Fedlhaus emphasized the importance of locations. “One of the best ways to help is to be generous enough to allow filming on your property when asked. Locations can make or break the production quality.”
If you would like to get involved, stay tuned. Multiple lead roles are to be cast with San Angelo locals, with auditions expected within the next week or two. If you have a property (business or residential) that you think screams “Mexico”, or you have a tactical or otherwise interesting vehicle, contact the production at [email protected]. If you are a business owner with a brand you’d like promoted via placement on-screen, or you have a product or service the film may be able to utilize in exchange for sponsorship promotion, such as a restaurant or hotel, contact [email protected].
Follow the film at facebook.com/SubRosaMovie and SubRosaFilm.com. The producers believe Sub Rosa has potential for wider reach than most films. “Beyond the broad commercial design of the project, we hope to reach underserved markets” said Landers. “It happens that clean, adventurous content meshes well with our creative sensibilities. There is some so-called crossover material out there, but it is sometimes perceived by audiences as pandering. We hope Sub Rosa rings true."