Passion and Politics: 2 New Films From Whitebridge Farm Productions

ernest-thomp
Ernest Thompson at Whitebridge Farm, photo by P.T. Sullivan

ELYSIAN FARM

A complicated young man rescues a little girl from her abusive parents and is instantly suspected of kidnapping. And the chase is on.

PLATO’S PARTY

A college professor is far more interesting, witty and intelligent than the presidential candidates whose debate he’s moderating and is approached to run as a favorite son.

I’ve spent four years scripting and directing, acting in and writing songs for two new movies, TIME AND CHARGES and HEAVENLY ANGLE, offering both as On Location Training; more than 800 people participated. The movies’ combined budgets might keep a Hollywood movie stocked with M&Ms but both films are playing festivals now and the audience reactions have been gratifying, exultant crowds warming to what we all love in movies: a lot of heart, a lot of humor, a lot to think about. And now, along with my Whitebridge partners Morgan Murphy and Lori Gigliotti Murphy, I’m inviting distributors to help us expand that audience. Our trailers can be seen at www. timeandcharges.com and www.heavenlyangle. com.

We’re developing two new projects at Whitebridge. My script for ELYSIAN FARM is ready to roll, a ripped-from-the-headlines story of child endangerment, never, tragically, more timely. PLATO’S PARTY, about the bizarre state of our elective process, I rewrite every day because every day it gets, speaking of headlines, more bizarre.

ELYSIAN FARM asks a question we all may face and never know the answer to: if you saw a mother smacking her little girl in public, not in a TV What Would You Do way, but in real-life life- and-death, would you get involved? Gus Mullins does. Coming from a Dickensian childhood, too, he responds without thinking and, in no time, finds himself running from the police and the girl’s vindictive mother and step-father in a desperate race to find little Polo a safe haven.

Because of the implications of taking Polo away from her small town and because Gus tries, without immediate success, to enlist his own abuse-victim siblings, the frantic manhunt unfolds in the claustrophobic confines of the woods and streams of rural New Hampshire, ending, eventually, on Elysian Farm, the house of horror Gus grew up in. Bailey, a well-meaning, if bumbling, female cop trailing Gus, complicates matters further by seeing Gus for the hero he is and falling for him.

It’s a story of passion, more than compassion. Compassion means kindness, seeing a social problem and writing a check maybe, but this is the deep, hard emotion of FEELING the little girl’s agony and ACTING ON IT. First Gus, then Bailey, then most of the community in an uplifting, dramatic courtroom scene when the judge decides who will provide Polo with what she needs most – solace, safety, love.

We have our script and director; all we need is you. At Whitebridge Farm Productions we’ve demonstrated that we can make powerful films for next to nothing. With a budget of 5-7 million, ELYSIAN FARM could be the movie-star movie it deserves to be. Gus and Bailey are great roles. But we want it to be more than a film; it’s a cause. We want to shoot social media and TV PSAs to educate and reassure children in trouble that it’s okay to ask for help. And to encourage caring adults to follow their passion.

We have our script and director; all we need is you. At Whitebridge Farm Productions we’ve demonstrated that we can make powerful films for next to nothing. With a budget of 5-7 million, ELYSIAN FARM could be the movie-star movie it deserves to be. Gus and Bailey are great roles. But we want it to be more than a film; it’s a cause. We want to shoot social media and TV PSAs to educate and reassure children in trouble that it’s okay to ask for help. And to encourage caring adults to follow their passion.

In PLATO’S PARTY, Thaddeus Barker teaches political science at the small college hosting a primary debate and, with his superior knowledge, acumen and charisma, far outshines the conga line of candidates. On a whim, KB Hardy, a veteran operative fed up with what used to be HIS passion, suggests that the professor throw his hat in the ring; why not? Thaddeus, well-versed in the travesty American elections have become, surprises him by accepting the challenge, but only if they can do it old school – no war chest, no commercials, no lies.

For KB, it’s refreshing to back a candidate with nothing to lose – Thaddeus unbound is a resounding voice of clarity and unmitigated courage – until he starts to win. The voters are charmed by Thaddeus’s no-nonsense, take-me- for-what-I-am approach and he pulls ahead of the career politicians. When Thaddeus’s colorful past comes calling, he’s unapologetic. “People aren’t voting for my past; they’re voting for their future.” The cutthroat battle to Primary night is as suspenseful as a thriller and will end depressingly predictably. Or will it?

PLATO’S PARTY isn’t just a good story; it’s a good chance to make a statement, to make a difference. We’re looking for True Believers to join us in the campaign. For a million or two, we could change theheadlines. To get involved or learn about these projects and more, visit www.ErnestThompson.us.

 

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