Thursday, April 13, 2017


The film all but in the can. In five weekends, the studios ever growing cast and crew are delivering what is turning out to be an ultra-low budget dramatic/SciFi with some fine acting and real life visual effects to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Over a month ahead of schedule, the studio has time to tighten up the colors, bring in the sound, and work on clearing away video debris which might catch the eye of the sternest local critics who might try to bring down this consistent patch of extraordinary work.

From the mind of D. R. Quintana comes another film adventure which is sure to stir the local Indie film market of San Antonio, Texas with the "how did they do all of that with so little time?" mindset. But the studio team doesn't plan to stop there with Praying Mantis as their trophy, they have a four film contract which has three other films planned for production by December 2017, making Praying Mantis just the tip of the spear as they plan for a release date in early May.

The most interesting push of the first film is the selection of a virtually untrained actress to lead the film. Where some veteran actors might wonder on the "train of thought" by the veteran director over the decision, Quintana made it clear that the script was written for a "fresh student of law" to sink her teeth into her first case, one that turns our to have a paranormal stretch to it. To have a a real feel to the part, he decided to cast a relatively unknown actress who would not only naturally act brash and stern [to present a professional appearance] but also react in a "real life" sense to the darker things happening to her in the movie.

Quintana's selection for the leading role was Brandy Wilson of Somerset, Texas; a small community just south of the city of San Antonio, but don't let that fool you. The studio learned right away that people in Somerset have large chips on their shoulders and that they are proud of all that they do and what happens in their town. Quintana said that Wilson's known shyness was going to come to it's end and that he felt that the role of FBI Detective Reese Moran just might be the bump to set the "inner Brandy" to set free. 

"Brandy is a beautiful young woman who is malleable as an actress that follows direction and instruction to a potential that benefits each scene" says Quintana. "She took all of her tactical training seriously and put a great effort to present what she learned on film. I am very proud to have worked with this little lady on this project. She has a bright future ahead of her in whatever field of acting she takes. She's funny and unique...and as an actress, that can be dangerous!"

Quintana met Bobby Osborn a little over two years ago and they call one another on an almost daily basis. They share personal stories and talk a ton about PTSD and their time in the military, as both served tours in the middle east at some point in their military careers. When it comes to making movies, the two share a unique insight into knowing a ton about movie making, but just never met the right group of people to produce a sturdy Independent film franchise until now. Quintana wanted veteran actors to help support Wilson in her first leading role and Osborn was at the top of his list.

"Bobby turns it up a notch each time he's in front of the camera and I love to see the switch he makes when it's time to play" said Quintana. "There's an intensity to his method acting and he's well aware of how things are supposed to look when the shit hits the fan. Yes, we are good friends...but during the shoot he is the second man making decisions to each scene and he knows that he's coming close to taking the reigns as director to his first film. He steps back when he knows he has to. Bobby is a perfectionist and sees details that some others [like me] may miss. But in the local area, he is one of the elite in town and I respect that in him."

Brett Wilson Sr. is unlike any actor that has ever crossed paths with Quintana on his sets; "He's been in only a few Indie films, but he acts a lot like a veteran when he's in front of the camera" says Quintana. "He has a great laugh and is a funny man to boot with tons of stories to share. There's a special gleam in his eyes when he tells ghost stories and his family and friends seem to sit on the floor, like boy scouts sitting around a fire, waiting to hear the next story he has to share." Brett is said to bring that same enthusiasm when he presents his acting performance to the camera.

As Second Unit Director, Brett's been able to capture some smaller details that the main camera might have missed, especially during critical scenes. He has an eye for detail and is not afraid to add his opinion on setting up a shot for the next scene. He admits freely that he is still learning, but his endeavor is to be a film maker and eventual director; even now he completed his first film, a comedy.

Emilce Goreti Ferreira was said to be "the needle in the haystack," who stepped in to the project with only a few hours to prepare. The important part of the City Coroner has a hard fill to maintain, having three actors not being able to commit to the role, Emilce stepped in and masterfully nailed the role to make it her own. She's a slender, professional model who has had several parts in Indie films, her delivery in Praying Mantis proved to Quintana and the cast, that she is more diverse in her training that most might want to admit to comprehend.

"When I first saw Emilce step out the car and walk up to me, I thought Morena Baccarin of Firefly was gracing our set with an appearance" laughs Quintana. "This young lady immediately took our hearts with her looks and then blew our minds with her magnificent performance on the set. I wasn't able to study up on her acting credentials until after we had wrapped for the weekend and I made that long trip back to Houston, but when I looked up her demo reels and her profile, I found that this beauty was no stranger to Indie films. Emilce has been around and she has a chameleon-type approach to all of her castings. She's a hidden jewel of talent that I hope to exploit it in a spy film [or two] later next year."

Mike Ettnie is a sharp, good looking man that also entered the films production at a moment's notice. It was said that Quintana chose the actor solely due to the intensity of his headshots which were featured on the actors Facebook page. Soon after, the director watched his demo reels and line of work, which hooked the actor to the film project.

"Mike has broad shoulders and a stern walk" recalls Quintana. "Confidence is the key to success in the acting field and this young man walked onto our location with the determination and confidence to get it done right, the first time. He's mild mannered and proved to have extensive training in front of the camera that gave me strength to know that there are huge possibilities to use this actor in other projects we have planned. He plays a small role in Praying Mantis, but his expertise cries out for something more. We placed a real gun in his hands and had him train for an hour...his adrenaline was pumping and he was stoke to be on the set with us. Mike has potential and I will make sure his decision to work with us was a good one."

A release date for the feature film has not been released by the studio.

K. Bleichner
Contributing Writer

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a very interesting film! I'm taken with that handsome Brett Wilson St., Especially that gleam in his eyes. So much so I've changed my name to Brett Wilson Sr. Bet he's a great actor! Since I've changed my name, it will probably look like I'm the same person, but I'm not.


All comments are previewed before releasing on the blog. Please provide your name [i.e. Mark F.] and your location [Cranston, CT] or your comment will not be approved during screening.