Photo:  Reese Raven craft as Ann and Woody Almazan as John get acquainted at the Rustic Saloon in this screenshot from the Fresh Production short film “Shhh” shot by Travis Myers.

 

Larry Johnson

For the Record

It was a busy weekend shooting “Shhh,” a short film written and directed by Penny LeLeux. Bridge City’s Rustic Saloon was one of two locations filmed Saturday. The other was an International Apartment on Meeks Drive in Orange.

“I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished,” said Rustic Saloon owner, Paul Bryant. He was on hand to witness most of the filming and even did a bit of background pool playing at one point.

Bridge City native Eastwood “Woody” Almazan and Reese Ravencraft of Lumberton star in the spy romantic comedy that will be making the rounds of film festivals upon completion, hopefully by the end of the year or early next year.

LeLeux watched Almazan grow up on Orange Community Players, Inc. stage and knew he had the fight skills and acting chops the lead role required. Almazan has been living in Houston and is very active in cosplay and does professional stunt work. He readily agreed to do the part when LeLeux told him she wrote something he was perfect for back in April. She also put all the fight choreography in his hands.

“The fight scenes look amazing,” said LeLeux. “Everything has far exceeded any expectations I had for the film.”

Eastwood “Woody” Almazan gets ready for battle with big pharma thugs in the short film “Shhh” that just completed principle photography in Orange County and moves to post production. The film will make the festival circuit for about a year once complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I can’t wait to see the fight scenes cut together,” said Almazan. He’s anxious to add the scenes to his reel.

Ravencraft came to the film through auditions.

“I did video auditions first, and then from there, brought in select candidates to do compatibility tests with Woody,” said LeLeux. “There were some great candidates and it was a tough decision, but I finally decided on Reese and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. She is a phenomenal actress.”

LeLeux partnered with Doug Underwood and his production company Fresh Productions to produce the film. Parts of his team are from Orange and are two-time winners of the 48 Hour Film Race for Boomtown Film Fest. After principal photography was completed Saturday, Underwood said this may be the best project his production company has done so far.

Reese Raven craft as Ann is amused has Penny “Mom” LeLeux harasses Woody Almazan as John at the Rustic Saloon in this screenshot from the Fresh Productions short film “Shhh.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason LeLeux played the bartender in the short film “Shhh.”

 

 

 

 

Other Orange Countians in the film are John Frederick of Mauriceville as the main Dharma agent. LeLeux’s son, Jason, came on as the Bartender and even LeLeux did a cameo. There were several other background roles filled by actors from across Southeast Texas and one came all the way from Austin.

John Frederick of Mauriceville confronts John at the bar just before a fight scene at the Rustic Saloon in “Shhh.”

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Hooker taught the bar patrons an original line dance conceived by Dayle Gunn specifically for the movie, to a tune written by Orange’s Mike Magnusson. There will be several songs from area songwriters utilized in the film.

The film now moves into post production which will take several months to complete.

The goal is to submit the film to film festivals across the United States and internationally to promote Orange County as a viable location for filming, hopefully enticing other production companies to come here. “Our area has a variety of different locations that would make great film settings,” said LeLeux.

“I feel pretty good about this film and I think it will be accepted into a number of festivals,” said LeLeux. “The cast and crew all seem to be very excited about the quality of this project.”

Once the film is complete, there will be a private screening set up for supporters of the film, cast and crew at the Rustic Saloon.