Production Notes

SOL Movie, LLC presents

SATELLITE OF LOVE

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

a Will James Moore film

PRODUCTION NOTES

Synopsis

Sam and Blake are best friends since childhood. Catherine (they call her Cat) met them both in college and immediately took to Samuel. How could she not? He’s a force of nature. He gets what he wants. Problem is he wants it all. A few years out of college and Sam is a hard- partying, globetrotting musician sowing oats around the world. While abroad, he catches a big fish. She’s a posh, privileged DJ named Michelle and she’s got a lot of vinyl and not much to do until her next gig spinning for some uber model’s birthday in a giant castle on the coast of Ireland. Samuel entices her to America for “a little adventure” and they jet for The States.

Back at home, lo and behold, Blake and Catherine have just tied the knot while Sam’s been off gallivanting across the pond. No sign of Sam at the nuptials of course. Immediately following the “I-do’s” Blake and Catherine get back to work at the restaurant that Blake has inherited from his father. Catherine hints at a honeymoon, but Blake can’t really hear anything but the call of duty.

Sam’s back in town and wants to see Blake. He bends his ear over coffee saying that his friend and mentor, Alex, has invited them all to idyllic Nadi Vineyards for a week to celebrate the newlyweds and give Sam a chance to atone for his absence at the wedding. Sam’s persuasive charm and refusal to take no for an answer, as well as Blake’s nagging sense that his new bride deserves a proper honeymoon, compel Blake to accept. To Catherine’s delight she and her husband pack up and go; quite possibly the most spontaneous thing that Blake’s ever done in his life.

Arriving at Nadi the young couple find a big house, rolling hills laced with budding vines, a cellar full of delicious wine and a half-naked Michelle who’s ready to get the party started. Sam greets his guests with big hugs and the bottles begin to pop. While Sam and Blake catch up with the help of some semidangerous, outback golf and a bottle of whiskey, the girls are becoming fast friends, strolling through the vines and getting right into some real talk about life and work and marriage and, of course, Samuel.

On a steady stream of Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc they float through several carefree days of bike rides, sunshine and more wine. Blake engineers some fantastic meals while Michelle caters to their musical palates. Life is good. Then Sam runs into Cat alone down by the water. He shouldn’t, he simply can’t notice the curves of her body under the sun. He keeps the conversation light; the advantages of living in Europe, Communism (not the Red Scary kind) and finally as sincere of an apology as he can muster for ditching the wedding. Mildly amused, Catherine kisses his cheek and heads for breakfast.

That night Alex decides to make a cameo on the rooftop patio of the villa. He appears out of the ether to give them a guided tour of the stars with his telescope and his bounty of wisdom. While Michelle and Blake have their eyes on the skies, Sam and Cat have their eyes on each other… as well as their hands. It’s just a glancing touch but it’s enough to rekindle that old flame. Michelle and Blake don’t notice, but maybe Alex does. Something’s going on.

The next afternoon Michelle’s out for a jog and Blake’s reading a book; something he hasn’t done in years. Sam and Cat are up on the roof, drinking of course, and Cat drops herself into Sam’s lap ostensibly to read the lines on his hand and tell Sam his fortune.

His love line is broken. Was it their love that came to a premature end? The question is too massive, the memories too strong, their lips too close. They drag each others’ pulsing bodies to the wine cellar. To remember? To forget?

Post jog, Michelle needs a refreshment and it’s time to crack another bottle. Nothing but empties in the house so she descends to the cellar where she finds the former lovers forming love. She’s astonished and with some guarded words of caution for Sam, shes splits the following morning, too phased to know up from down.

Later that day, unwitting Blake and self-loathing Sam battle it out on the tennis court, their heretofore, highly-anticipated Wino Wimbledon. The subtext of their duel is as thick as the sweat. It’s clear that the frayed ends have completely unravelled at this point and the party’s over. Blake and Catherine make their exit.

Nothing’s been said explicitly but you can cut the tension with a chef’s knife. All of his friends now gone, Sam finds Alex on the roof and Alex knowingly and lovingly consoles him with the story of his walking pilgrimage to Santiago. He never quite made it. He’s still going. He admonishes Sam to press on.
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In the car on the way back to their “real” lives, as changed or unchanged as they might be now, Catherine and Blake silently vow to press on as well. Love plots its own course. The stars continue to shine and the road goes on.

Director's Statement

Immediately after graduating from the University of Texas in 1999 I moved to Santa Monica where I lived three blocks from the beach and shared an apartment with Mike Lutz and Jonathan Case. This was one of the most exciting times of my life. The three of us we were figuring out who we were as individuals, without parents or professors for the first time. We were trying to decide what we would do with the rest of our lives. The future was truly a blank canvas and knowing this was incredibly empowering and frightening all at the same time.

Fast forward to January 2010, my wife and I live in Austin and we decide to visit my good friends Mike (along with his wife Jill) and Jonathan in Santa Monica. Over the course of a week I realized how much our lives had changed and how far we had grown apart. Not in a bad way but we had all made choices over the previous eleven years and as a result we had matured into completely different people, leading different lives. We had become adults.

This observation interested me and I approached Jonathan to see if he would like to explore the idea further and write a screenplay. We had been looking for something to work on together and I thought this would be the perfect topic since it dealt with friendship. He agreed and as we hashed out the story, what interested me most about the process of maturing into adulthood were the inevitable doubts that result from the choices we make. Our goal was to write an honest story about real people that audiences could connect with because of a shared human experience and I felt that doubting our paths in life was something all of us could identify with.

The story focused on Samuel, Catherine and Blake, three best friends from post-college days. Samuel has shared a bed and bond with Catherine but now Catherine is married to Blake. After missing their wedding, Samuel invites the newlyweds to a vineyard to atone for his absence, bringing his girlfriend Michelle along. The four friends spend a week in paradise and while wine flows and records spin the perpetual drunken state of bliss quickly loosens everyone up enough that they begin to reconsider their options. Jonathan and I wrestled with how to end the film and although infidelities occur and Catherine still very much loves Samuel, we decided the honest choice was to have these characters leave just as they had arrived. Blake and Catherine still married and Samuel still very much the traveling carefree musician with no desire to settle down.

After a year of writing the script was completed in January 2011. Prior to casting or even hiring a producer I spent several months scouting locations. The main location in the script, Nadi Vineyards, is a magical and beautiful place that provides an escape for the four main characters and I knew the look and feel of the film would be determined by the locations. I wanted the main characters to escape but I also wanted to take the audience along with them. It was important to me the audience feel an urge to visit Nadi Vineyards when the film was over even though the locale only existed on screen. My DP, Steve Acevedo and I had worked together previously and I knew he would create the realistic yet magical look I wanted. Steve and I agreed that the characters were learning and the film was very much about self-discovery and reflection so a decision was made to let each shot breath as much as possible. Also, when editing I would only cut if necessary for pacing or if mistakes were made during the take (like a boom mic in the shot or a forgotten line).

The project grew legs in April 2011 when we Jonathan gave the script to Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek) to see if Nathan would be interested in playing the lead role of the film, Samuel. Nathan immediately signed on and suggested we contact his friend Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings). Mike Lutz, now on board as a producer had also recommended Zach after working with Zach on
a pilot and coincidentally I had already sent Zach the script. It was kismet. Zach agreed to the film with one caveat; we had to shoot between June and July because this was when Zach was on hiatus. It would work no other way. Once again, this was April 2011. I had raised a tenth of my budget, had basically no crew and only two actors. What the hell! I agreed.

I started planning a trip to Los Angeles to meet with my two leads and it was around this time that Zach’s agent at UTA, Stephanie Comer, contacted me to help with casting. Stephanie emailed me a list of the available UTA female actors to see whom I would like to audition. When I arrived in Los Angeles I spent four days casting and Shannon Lucio knocked it out of the park so we offered her the part. Unfortunately we had no luck casting the fourth lead…. Samuel’s girlfriend, Michelle.

I flew back to LA a few weeks later and after several days of auditions we still had not found the right actress.

Then, on my last day in LA while at a read-through, Shannon mentioned she had worked with this girl on The Gates who would be perfect. Janina Gavankar. Shannon sent Janina the script that day and Janina promised to read it that night. I flew back to Texas and the next day received a call from Janina. She was in. I had my four main cast members, my locations, a script, no money, and no crew other than a DP and producer. This was happening!

After taking out a few small business loans I secured enough funding to make it through production and hired a local producer (Bobby McDonald) who quickly assembled a crew. The plan was that we would have 16-17 days of production, shooting about 6 pages a day. Roughly two days into the shoot our producer received a call from Nathan Phillips’ manager and our plan was thrown out the window. Nathan was under contract with a pilot that had first position and they needed him to be in Nashville a month earlier than originally anticipated which left us with only six days to shoot Nathan out. In addition to this, Janina was flying back and forth to LA to shoot the fourth season of True Blood and the majority of Nathan’s scenes were with Janina. Luckily, Mike Lutz’s wife Jill was in town at the time and she is an amazing producer. Jill quickly revised the schedule and to my dismay informed me that if we were to succeed, we had to shoot 8-10 pages with 1-3 company moves a day. It was brutal but we got it done.

I hope you enjoy!
Will Moore

About The Cast


NATHAN PHILLIPS (Samuel) – Phillips is an Australian actor who is currently based in Los Angeles. He is perhaps best known for his role as backpacker Ben Mitchell in “Wolf Creek” and for his American film debut, “Snakes on a Plane”, opposite Samuel L. Jackson, in 2006.

He began his career in 1999, with a role on the popular Australian soap opera “Neighbours”. His television career was later followed by roles in “Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story”, “Blue Heelers”, “Something in the Air”, and “The Saddle Club”. In 2002, he made his feature film debut with a role in “Warriors of Virtue: The Return to Tao” and his next role as the lead in “Australian Rules” earned him a nomination for the Film Critics Circle of Australia’s Best Actor award.

Phillips has since enjoyed a thriving film career, starring in Australian movies such as “Take Away”, “One Perfect Day” and “Under the Radar”. In 2005, hit horror film “Wolf Creek” introduced him to an international audience, helping to launch his US film career with roles in “Snakes on a Plane” and “Redline”.

Phillips stars in the Warner Brothers film, “Chernobyl Diaries”, which opens Memorial Day weekend 2012.

SHANNON LUCIO (Catherine) – Lucio received her BA in theater from the University of Southern California. Shortly thereafter, she landed her breakout role on Fox’s “The O.C.” Most recently, she collaborated with Aaron Paul and Lena Olin on the feature film “Quad” and was featured as a series regular on a pilot for TNT called “The Tin Star.”

Past notable credits include “Fireflies in the Garden,” with Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds, “Feast of Love,” directed by Robert Benton, and recurring arcs on “True Blood,” “Prison Break,” “The Chicago Code,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

A founding member and Creative Executive of Filament Features, Shannon is involved in all aspects of production. She starred in and produced both “Baggage,” Filament’s first short film, and more recently, Maere’s music video “Amen.” She is represented by Paradigm Agency and Untitled Entertainment.

ZACHARY KNIGHTON (Blake) – Knighton can currently be seen in the critically acclaimed ABC comedy “Happy Endings”. His character “Dave” is the lovable groom who was left at the altar – and over the last 2 seasons we have seen his character blossom into the hilarious “not so cool” guy of the group: opening up a food truck stand “Steak me home tonight”, finding out he’s one- sixteenth Navajo, an addiction to V-neck tees, Knighton has taken the “straight man” role and turned him into a hysterical character. The second season finale is on Wednesday, April 4th.

Knighton’s feature film credits include “Surfer Dude,” with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, “The Hitcher,” “The Prince and Me,” opposite Julia Stiles and Miranda Richardson “The Mudge Boy” and “Cherry Falls,” He recently completed production on “Tug,” opposite Yeardley Smith.

On television he starred as Dr. Bryce Varley in “FlashForward.” He also starred in the series “Life on a Stick” and guest starred on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “Law & Order,” “Ed” and “Related.” He appeared in the TV movie, “Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal.”

Knighton’s stage credits include “Birdy,” “Madame Melville,” “The Pumpkin Pie Show,” “Equus” for which he was nominated for the Irene Ryan Award — and “Endgame.”

Knighton discovered his passion for acting during his freshman year of high school. He would later get his B.F.A. in theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University and study abroad at Oxford University to hone his craft. Knighton, who lives in the Los Angeles area, loves to surf, sail and play with his two dogs, Jetson and Crash.

JANINA GAVANKAR (Michelle) – Gavankar’s coming out party was this summer in the HBO hit series “True Blood”. Already a fan favorite for her two earlier series, “The L Word” and “The Gates”, Janina’s arrival as the new love interest for Sam Merlotte, played by Sam Trammell, is the talk of the Trubies. Her character, Luna is a shape-shifter, which pretty much describes Janina in her real life.

In addition to her starring roles in three series, the three-quarters Indian, one-quarter Dutch beauty has appeared in “Stargate Atlantis”, “The League”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “The Cleaner”, “Dollhouse”, “NCIS” and “Three Rivers”. But as an accomplished musician, she has a second life as a performer. She grew up studying classical and voice, joined the girl group EnDera on the Cash Money label, and has seen her original music licensed for film and television. Her 2010 music video reworking the Kanye West hit “Love Lockdown” elicited raves from fans and critics.

But there’s also Janina the Geek, who not only creates websites for friends, but who was also the first celebrity to sign up with Twitter and who is so technologically creative that she is regularly asked to be on panels at conferences educating the entertainment industry on the practical application of multiple new digital platforms. Janina’s tech savvy pursuits were recently recognized as she was presented with the Gravity Summit’s Excellence in Social Media/Entertainment Award that was presented to her on February 22, 2012.

PATRICK BAUCHAU (Alex) – Bauchau is a versatile actor who maintains a busy schedule in both Europe and the United States, Patrick Bauchau was born in Brussels, Belgium, on December 6, 1938.

In the early ’60s, Bauchau became interested in film, and worked as an assistant to French filmmaker Eric Rohmer; this led to Bauchau being cast as Adrien in Rohmer’s 1967 “moral tale,” La Collectionneuse. Bauchau and his fellow leading actors Haydee Politoff and Daniel Pommereulle were also credited with the film’s dialogue. While this got Bauchau’s acting career off to an impressive start, his naturalistic performance left many believing that Bauchau was simply playing himself; after Tuset Street (also released in 1967), Bauchau moved away from acting, as he built furniture and worked with Salvador Dali, constructing large pillow-like animal sculptures.

In 1980, Bauchau re-launched his film career in Robert Kramer’s Guns, and in 1982, Wim Wenders cast him in the leading role of his drama Der Stand der Dinge, which finally established his credentials as a working actor. In 1984, Bauchau made his American film debut in Alan Rudolph’s typically eccentric romantic comedy Choose Me, and through much of the rest of the decade he worked regularly on both sides of the Atlantic, though he appeared in as many low-budget exploitation efforts as art films. In 1991, Bauchau scored an impressive role in Michael Tolkin’s superb drama The Rapture, and four years later the same director gave him a meaty role in the satire The New Age. In 1996, Bauchau was cast in the television series Kindred: The Embraced as a patriarch of the living dead; while the series lasted only a few weeks, it did lead to the series regular role of Sydney in another series, The Pretender, which debuted the same year and ran for four seasons. Bauchau’s higher profile in television helped him win notable roles in high-profile films such as Clear and Present Danger, The Cell, Ray and Panic Room, though he also plays notable roles in the independent features Twin Falls Idaho, The Secretary, Boy Culture, and The Gray Man among others. Bauchau is a series regular playingthe blind seer Lodz on the HBO hit show Carnivale and recurs in NBC’s Revelation and ABC’s Alias. He can be seen guest starring on numerous television shows including Burn Notice, Castle, CSI, How to Make It In America, Numbers, Women’s Murder Club, House and 24 among many others.

About The Filmmakers

WILL MOORE (Director, Co-Writer, Editor and Producer) Will has written, directed, edited and produced films that have screened at the Cannes Film Market, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. He directed 2 feature films prior to SATELLITE OF LOVE and over 20 short films and music videos.

WESLEY CASH and COWBOY SMOKE are both modern western features that received foreign and domestic distribution. For his work on COWBOY SMOKE he was awarded best Director at the Action on Film International Film Festival. His short film, FUNKY PICKLES won best short film at the Houston Comedy Film Festival.

JOHN MICHAEL MEASELLS (Producer) John Michael began his career in entertainment as a talent manager, booking agent. During his tenure at the Texas Senate, John Michael worked closely with the Texas Film Commission and other advocacy groups to cultivate film legislation in Texas. Currently, in his practice he represents clients ranging from production companies, musicians and actors to multi-optioned screenwriters, while also maintaining projects alongside top-tiered music and film producers.

JONATHAN CASE (Co-Writer and Music Supervisor) Jonathan Case studied screenwriting under Horace Newcomb and Bob Foshko at the University of Texas at Austin and was awarded the Todd Milam Schulze memorial Scholarship for an original screenplay entitled Scrubs. He has licensed music to Criminal Minds, Medium, Felicity, as well as ESPN and the Ford Motor Company.

STEVE ACEVEDO (Director of Photography) Steve Acevedo graduated with a MFA in Cinematography from the Florida State University Film School in 2005. SATELLITE OF LOVE is his second feature film and second collaboration with Will Moore. Steve has also shot two feature documentaries, SOJA: LIVE IN HAWAII and SOLARIZE THIS (In Production). In addition, he has shot over 50 short films, music videos and commercials, working throughout the United States and other locations such as Mexico, Aruba, Honduras, China, Puerto Rico, etc. Steve was one of three directors selected out of 800 submissions for the 2009 Disney/ABC- DGA Directing Fellowship.

CREDITS

Directed by
Will James Moore

Writers
Jonathan Case
Will James Moore

Producers
John Michael Measells … executive producer
Will James Moore … executive producer
Mike Lutz … producer
Bobby McDonald … producer
Jonathan Case … co-producer
Scott Honea … co-producer

Cast
(in order of appearance)

Nathan Phillips … Samuel
Shannon Lucio … Catherine
Zachary Knighton … Blake
Janina Gavankar … Michelle
Patrick Bauchau … Alex
Turk Pipkin … Lou
Chad Mathews … William
Mike Lutz … Mikel
Fagan Patterson … Burner
Patrick Wilkins … Mark
Meaghan Cooper … Radha

Cinematographers
Steve Acevedo

Editors
Will James Moore

Costume Designers
Allann Campbell

Second Unit Directors or Assistant Directors
Bobby McDonald … first assistant director
Cody Moore … second assistant director

Sound Department
Jason Manzano … sound mixer
Stacie Manzano … additional boom operator
Karlo Montano … boom operator
Patrick Wylie … additional boom operator

Camera and Electrical Department
Chase Jonathan Azimi … grip
Stefani Spandau … gaffer
Anthony Foreman … key grip
John Anderson … first assistant camera
Mathew Hardesty … second assistant camera
Trevor Harris … grip
Drew Daniels … dolly grip

Associate Producers
Michael Allen
Wilson CiFuentes
John DeYoung
James Easterling
Lenny Moore
Jason Sanchez
Tori Sanchez
Walter Womack
Christopher Wright

Craft Service and Catering Provided by
Ron Lutz

Water Provided by
Cielo

Casting Assistance Provided by
Stephanie Comer
United Talent Agency
Cazt
Benjamin Hayes

Final Sound Mix
Jason Manzano

Colorist
Brandon Thomas

Opening Credits
Carlos Fuenes

Online Services
Wendy Shepherd

Online Content
Sean Richardson

Special Thanks
Alyssa Moore

Thank You For Your Generous Donations and Support
Stanley & Madeline
Moore Angela & David Wright
James Gietz
Joseph Graham
Terri Graham
Gilbert Garcia
Sara Worchester
Chris Viteychuk
Jesse Cole
Walker Hartman
Eddie & Judith Case
Michelle Galuppo
Bill & Lalan Larche
Chris Brundrett
William Blackmon
Dave Conway
Ian Kasnoff
Reagan Reaud

Special Thanks
William Chris Wines
Duchman Family Winery
Austin Film Society
Ciy of Austin Parks and Recreation
Justine’s
Watermelon Thumb
Hole in the Wall
Tuscan Hall
Flipnotics Coffee
Nations Reliable Lending
Accion Texas
The Texas Film Commission
Chuys

Production Companies
SOL Movie LLC

 

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