News Column

Local nephrologist takes shot at big screen production

September 13, 2013


Sept. 13--A quick look at Felipe Porres' offices in Odessa and Midland give no hint that he's much of a movie buff, let alone a producer.

"When I'm here, I'm all medicine," Porres said.

But recently, as some of his coworkers watched a movie together, they were actually watching the work of one of their own, as the office's doctor was this film's producer, and wrote its musical score.

The nephrologist, who has been with Permian Nephrology Associates for 18 years, said he was hoping to break even with his $1.3 million animated film "The Last Flight of the Champion" with a planned DVD and video-on-demand release, after it premiered in theaters in 15 cities across the country, including Dallas and Houston.

Tina Martenson with Desert Milagro Dialysis Center, across from Porres' Odessa office, said she thought she was "fortunate" to see Porres' film -- and a film produced by a West Texan.

"Yeah, you heard of Hollywood movies being in the Alpine area ... but here you get a specialist, a nephrologist, working amongst the public ... he's been doing this vesting a lot of money and time," Martenson said. "We'll see how many people in Midland and Odessa can say, 'yeah, I'm an executive producer, and I wrote a score!' "

Porres said he had interest in the arts before he entered the field of nephrology, but, like many artistically-inclined people, thought to himself, "yeah, I can play music all of my life, I'm probably not going to make much of a living out of this, or I can go back to college and become a doctor." Since then, he kept busy.

"Medicine is a harder task mistress than I thought," Porres said with a laugh.

The work on "The Last Flight of the Champion" began in 2007 with Houston-based Omnipulse Entertainment, when what was then Omnipulse Media struggled in its web design and marketing business, and decided to change to more of an entertainment venture.

Porres acknowledged that the time put into the film was lenghy. Porres said he and his partners at Omnipulse planned to have it wrapped up in 2010 but ran into production issues, and a change in direction after the film's marketing firm at the time suggested turning the short cartoon into a full-length film.

Early figures reported to stated the movie grossed $2,200 by Sept. 1. Porres said he didn't have the gross earnings for the entire week of the film's release, but said this first foray for him and Omnipulse on the big screen was more about getting the firm's name out, and didn't expect huge ticket sales on this attempt. Still, he anticipates the film to recuperate the $1.3 million spent through its DVD release later on.

"I would like to keep it going, and build it bigger and better," Porres said of his company.


(c)2013 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas)

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