April 28--It's been three years since David Garver created the character Danny O'Shea. O'Shea was originally one of nine characters in Garver's one-man show, "The Age Between Sage and Fool" and Garver wanted to create a film about the character.
"I created Danny to be a part of my play but there was much more to him," Garver explains. "I started to work with Jennifer (Jordan) on turning his story into a screenplay and decided that Danny was the most dramatic story."
That was a year ago and now Garver and Jordan are nearly done with the film "The Walking Shadow of Danny O'Shea."
"We're putting the finishing touches on it and we're getting it ready for festival season," Jordan says.
Jordan directed, co-executive produced and adapted the screenplay for Garver. She says the film is a cross between "Boondock Saints" and "V for Vendetta."
The film follows O'Shea, who is a former actor turned assassin, as he battles with his former life as a struggling actor and happily married family man.
He meets his alter ego in a shadow, who begins stalking him on his first artistic voyage to Paris. The shadow emerges when O'Shea's compassionate side is revealed and creates a battle within.
"He believes that in being an assassin he is assisting God, but feels bad for destroying innocent families," Jordan explains. "That's the battle he is forced to deal with. And his calling card harkens back to his acting side as he performs a piece from Shakespeare before killing his target."
Garver says production for the 30-minute film began in August. It was shot in and around Taos.
He says during October the main core of the film was shot in the Old Taos Plaza Theater and then exterior shots were made for 10 days.
"We ran into a snag when all the footage we shot in August had to be shot again in November," he says. "We realized that the sound wasn't good enough and just scrapped the footage. I also felt like my performance was kind of stiff and all of us were pretty nervous."
When it came to casting for the film, Garver says he was surprised to see that there is so much talent in New Mexico.
"You don't realize how much is here until you are working in the thick of it," he says. "Casting was easy and we were able to get some really great actors. Our mission from the beginning was to make a film by an all-New Mexican cast and crew."
Garver stars at O'Shea, while two-time Grammy winner Robert Mirabal is O'Shea's spiritual guide Johnny Whitehorse.
Kristian Moore, Aponi Kai, Mischa Garver and Norman John Cutliff III round out the cast.
"We were fortunate to get a great ensemble," he says. "I've also known Robert for a while now and I've always wanted to do a project with him. He was so gracious and just really made Johnny a great character. He really stepped up to the plate with this film."
Jordan says as production moved forward, she relied heavily on the New Mexico Film Office for guidance.
"Dirk Norris and Toby Ives really were a strong backbone for us," she says. "They helped explain the tax incentives and even made a visit to our set. It was extremely nice to have that kind of support."
Jordan says the production hired Anthony Riazzi, who has worked editing films "X-Men: The Last Stand," "The Matrix Revolutions" and "Resident Evil: Extinction."
"We're ready and eager to get this on the festival circuit," she says. "We've also developed a TV series with the character and we've utilized some comic book style drawings to break up some of the scenes in the film."
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To learn more about "The Walking Shadow of Danny O'Shea" visit 8theyeproductions.com
(c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)
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