In the Fall of 2010, a movie director and a producer from Los Angeles teamed up with a Chicago screenwriter to create THE CALL, a film to steer kids away from a deadly addiction to smoking.
THE CALL, an original screenplay, tells the story of a lifelong smoker and the phone call that links him to his grandchildren. It’s a link that transcends time and space, a link that shows both past and future. Simple, elegant, the link affects everyone involved.
From the outset, the filmmakers planned for an educational component that could be used in middle school classrooms. Family, friends, new online supporters, businesses, and a community foundation generously donated to the project.
Michael Thun, MD, of the American Cancer Society, wrote: “This film has the potential to open kids’ minds to the emotional costs of smoking at a stage when they can still hear this lifesaving message.”
Cast and crew were recruited. Excitement grew as THE CALL’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube expanded, attracting more than 25,000 fans and followers around the world.
Finally, after 15 months of preparation, cast and crew convened under a glorious sky at Will Rogers State Beach in Santa Monica, CA. The time had come to breathe life into the dream.
Sweeping shots of the ocean and beach were made possible by use of a 24-foot crane and a $50,000 camera –– equipment normally reserved for high-priced Hollywood productions –– but for THE CALL, donated to the cause. This equipment was more than matched by the three brilliant stars and the exceptionally gifted and dedicated crew, whose efforts made this shoestring production possible.
Three days later the film was “in the can.”
Magnificent editing, coloring, and sound design ensued. A haunting original score added a level of sublime sophistication not often found in a low-budget film.
Watch THE CALL. Experience ten minutes of emotional, visual, and auditory film power. If you are moved, tell your friends and family about the high emotional cost of smoking. It’s a story that’s been largely hidden from kids, so it’s not surprising that 90% of smokers start this deadly addiction before the age of 18.
THE CALL has been selected for the NYC Independent Film Festival (New York), the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts (Los Angeles), the Chinh India Kids Film Festival (New Delhi), the Green Bay Film Festival (Green Bay, WI), the West Chester Film Festival (West Chester, PA), and On Location: Memphis Film and Music Festival (Memphis, TN). It also won a Best Shorts Competition Merit Award and awards for the screenplay.