The Road to Stardom
Have you ever heard the story about Lana Turner? Legend goes that the Hollywood actress (famous throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s) was originally discovered as a teenager by a talent scout at a drugstore in Los Angeles. I like this story. It makes me think that all my dreams could come true just by someone spotting me buying a pack of gum. But God usually doesn’t work quite that way. Success doesn’t come in an instant (Lana’s legend is just that, a legend) and we probably won’t be plucked from oblivion and placed at the center of our dreams. In reality, the meandering road that does eventually lead us to our heart’s desire is more challenging and painful, but also stranger, more exciting, and ultimately more fulfilling than instant success would ever be.
I like to think my friend Jeff Guerrero had a journey to stardom
that beats anything Lana could dish out. Back in 2004, Jeff was
working firmly behind the scenes on Chalk, a low-budget (and ultimately
very successful) Austin-based independent film. The director needed
more bodies in the shot, so Jeff was pulled in front of the camera.
At that moment, a star was born. Jeff stole every scene he was in,
thrived in the film’s improvisational style, and found a new love:
Cut to four years later. The Doorpost Film Project announces an
online filmmaking competition. Make a five-minute movie and you could
What’s a burgeoning young talent to do?
Over the course of seven days this past May, Jeff wrote a script,
gathered a crew, produced, directed, and starred in a short film on the
subject of freedom. Had he ever done any of these things before?
Nope. But the film, Therapy was chosen as one of fifteen finalists in the competition. Each
finalist received $10,000 to produce a longer film, based around the
theme of hope.
Jeff went back to the drawing board, gathered a larger crew, more
actors, and set to work on his second film. The Dreamer, co-written by
the film’s producer Angie Alvarez, embraces a magically realistic
approach to storytelling that is at once surprising and endearing.
Look for All Saints’ own Martina Alvarez (sister of Angie) in a role as
the “hot neighbor.”
The 15 films went live on The Doorpost website September 1st (voting
will be closed Sept. 10th). The winner (determined by audience and
jury votes) will be announced at an awards ceremony in Nashville on
September 13th. The third-place winner will receive $20,000, the
second place winner, $30,000 and the first place winner will be awarded
$100,000 and a trip to Los Angeles to meet with development studios.
You have to watch all the films in order to vote (a policy enforced
by The Doorpost to promote authentic voting), but it’s a great
opportunity to see what stories people are telling these days. The
Doorpost Film Project hopes to challenge visionaries to produce films
that have impact while entertaining. Check it out and see if anyone
Become a fan on Facebook (this will help get the word out).
toddy, wonderful post! thanks for letting us know about jeff’s film…we just wish you were here to tell us about it in person 🙁