Falken Arts Productions
in Association with North River Pictures and
Erik Dehkhoda Productions
a film by
SWEET DEADLY DREAMS
Written By Walter Stewart
Directed by Walter Stewart
For further information, please contact
Peter Halikias, SMG, PO BOX 322, CARLTON SOUTH
VIC 3053 AUSTRALIA
Tel +61 3 9241 9136 Fax +61 3 9241 9130
Lies, Intrigue, mystery.....
...and a manuscript holds the key
On a yacht in the Italian Riviera, the aged, elegant hand of a woman scrawls a desperate message on expensive foolscap. The woman grasps her glass of white wine to refresh her racing mind only to convulse and then collapse from the deadly libation. The letter flutters to the deck--a fatal testament to a secret life; an apologia for hopes gone awry. The killer’s practiced hand with the small tattoo on the wrist deftly picks up the note and insolently discards the lethal glass.
Meanwhile, Taylor (Steven Man) sits slung over a chair in Barney’s (Bill Cobbs) grungy bar—the unsung hero of secret wars nobody wants to know about. Sure, he was a member of the elite “Star Command” with fifty-seven successful missions and a silver star: the stuff that heroes are made of. But that was then. These days Taylor has a tough time impressing himself, for the cost in human life was just too great a price to pay for that heroism. Better he should spend his time picking up unemployment checks and part-time jobs with Harry Pierce’s (John Ashton) detective agency that’s seen better days—like he has. Better he should just make little harmless balsa wood airplane models, read heady philosophy, and listen to classical music. Maybe that way he can find an answer to his existential nightmare. Maybe he can find redemption. And sure, he’s got a girl—sweet and hot Sindee (Kimberley Mills)—damaged goods who’s the only bright spot in Taylor’s otherwise depressing existence. But it’s not love--anyway, not the kind you read about in novels or in Cosmo. But unemployment checks have a nasty way of running out, and Taylor has to take any job to keep body and soul together. This one looks simple enough. Deliver a package. Piece ‘o cake. But like everything else in Taylor’s life, this job is anything but simple. It’s about lies. It’s about secrets… It’s about murder and unrelenting Detective Mott (J.A. Preston). Step by step, he stumbles through a maze of deception where a secret’s hidden in plain sight, where Alfred Blaisdale’s (Quinn Redeker) missing manuscript, and a nutty woman named Maddie (Terry Moore) hold the key to everything, and where he finds the one woman (Kaarina Aufranc) he didn’t believe could ever exist in flesh and blood. In the end, Taylor’s faced with a mystery that’s wrapped in a tangled web of suspense, intrigue, and murder that focuses on the single question--What happened to the last novel of Evelyn St. James?
SWEET DEADLY DREAMS is an original screenplay written and directed by Walter Stewart. Steven Man stars alongside an ensemble of Hollywood greats including J.A. Preston (Body Heat. A Few Good Men), Bill Cobbs (Sunshine State, Enough), John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop I, II), Terry Moore (Academy Award Nominee, Mighty Joe Young) and Quinn Redeker (Academy Award Winner, Deer Hunter, writer).
SWEET DEADLY DREAMS was produced by Steven K. Akahoshi, Erik Dehkhoda and Walter Stewart.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Writer/Director Walter Stewart said his inspiration for SWEET DEADLY DREAMS emerged from a desire to create a film in the great Noir tradition. His appreciation for Film Noir thrillers can be traced to his childhood where he spent more time in the dark confines of a movie house than outdoors. Born and raised in L.A., Walter’s backyard was the backdrop for many of these classic productions.
“I grew up on Film Noir thrillers. A lot of them took place in L.A. and particularly in the environs of Hollywood where I grew up. I could even see the places where these films were made which gave an ironic reality to my youth.”
Walter pursued his dream to write a screenplay that encompassed unique and personal qualities not often seen in today’s Noir cinema.
“I wanted to write Sweet Deadly Dreams to see if it were possible to evoke the same feeling and excitement in the twenty-first century that I experienced as a kid. I wanted a film that would appeal to everyone, that no one would be embarrassed to take his mother to, and would, at the same time, say something serious but entertaining about the human condition that wasn’t trite and could be spit out in a sound bite.”
Joined by producer’s Steven K. Akahoshi and Erik Dehkhoda, the film making team commenced the 15 day principal shoot within the Los Angeles area. The area proved to be a perfect location utilizing local landmarks and the scenic coast lines of Palos Verdes Estates. The film was shot with a Sony 1080-I, 24-P High Definition Camera—the first full-length feature film shot in High Def. Stewart explained his Director of Photography, Cliff Hsui was insistent on using the High Definition format which proved to have crisp, stunning effects.
For Stewart Sweet Deadly Dreams is the result of many years of working as a scriptwriter and also teaching concerning Film Noir, film production, directing, and criticism.
Sweet Deadly Dreams is his first feature film as a director. His dedication and passion pertaining to the study of Film Noir are represented in the articulate nature of this production. If challenged about the current style of Film Noir films depicting gratuitous violence, blood, sex and four letter word obscenities, Stewart traces back to the films that initially attracted him to Cinema Noir and continue to stand their test of time, greats like The Maltese Falcon to The Big Sleep and Double Indemnity.
“For I find particular delight in the rawness of the 40’s and 50’s noir films, their in-your-face incompleteness and even imperfections in some respects. These films are clever in structure, dialogue and innuendo, and are well paced and terrifically acted.”
The cast of Sweet Deadly Dreams features an ensemble of Hollywood greats including J.A. Preston, Bill Cobbs, John Ashton, Terry Moore and Quinn Redeker alongside rising stars Steven Man and Kaarina Aufranc. The depth of the cast was highlighted in their ability to bring more than a little bit of themselves to each role. Through the efforts of casting director/producer Erik Dehkhoda, we are able to witness the greats from Hollywood’s yesteryear combined with the future faces of tomorrow.
In relation to his experience with the cast, Stewart explains, “I cannot imagine a more wonderful group of professionals to work with. I think the result of our collaboration is reflected in a kind of joyous spontaneity throughout the piece.”
As director Walter Stewart says – the film is more than an homage to the Film Noir style: “I was also after “fun” here and a kind of roller coaster ride that hasn’t been around for a while. More than that, I’d like to think that SDD is not as much a "homage" to Film Noir as it may be considered Nouveau Noir that works at the same level as that grand old style but on a broader thematic and symbolic canvass.”
Sweet Deadly Dreams will keep you guessing to the final breath; follow the maze of deception through a tangled web of suspense, intrigue, and murder that focuses on the single question--What happened to the last novel of Evelyn St. James?
ABOUT THE CAST
STEVEN MAN PLAYS TAYLOR
Born and raised in British Colombia, Canada, Steven moved to the United States to pursue his love for acting. Steven’s ‘leading man’ distinguished looks have seen him cast in diverse and challenging roles. A consummate professional, he undertook most of the stunt work in the spy thriller Rogue. The German TV project Mr. Hollywood Star saw him embark on a role that carried no dialogue; his entire performance was dependent on his reaction and interaction to his co-stars.
He went on to play a villainous character in the political thriller Red Herring. It was during the shooting of horror film Savage Island that he realized his appreciation of acting and filmmaking, this production confirmed Steven’s unconditional love for his craft.
Steven’s dramatic performance in the dark and disturbing Edge of Nowhere saw him examine the emotional destruction of a man battling his demons. He describes his character as a desperate man traveling on a tremendous rollercoaster of emotions.
In Sweet Deadly Dreams Steven plays Taylor a weary detective who must unravel the mystery behind a murder and a lost manuscript. His work on SDD was praised by the director and fellow actors alike. In the upcoming year Steven will continue producing solid quality work on as many projects as he can.
Film credits include: Edge of Nowhere (2002) Savage Island (2002) Mr.Hollywood Star (2002) Rogue (2002) Red Herring (200)
KAARINA AUFRANC PLAYS LIBBY
A graduate of the Noble and Greenough School (aka Nobles) KAARINA AUFRANC is a talented up and coming actor. Currently residing in the Los Angeles area Aufranc credits her acting teacher, Tim Kelly as one of her early influences, “he supported me in every way. I did a lot of plays at Nobles, one almost every semester. I auditioned for one of the plays when I was 16. It was a comedy. That's how it started. I got the part and got bit by the acting bug. I was in plays when I was little, but it really started at Nobles. Mr. Kelly really pushed me to keep at it.” Keeping at it has paid off. Aufranc has been employed consistently since her graduation. The year 2002 saw her complete work on the film Purpose, starring Mia Farrow, Paul Reiser, Peter Coyote and Hal Holbrook, this was followed by a month in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico whilst shooting the sci-fi horror feature film Black Fire. "Every day is a new day," she says. "I never know what's going to happen. I don't want to be a star; I just want to be a working actor. I do it because I can't imagine doing anything else."
Film credits include: Purpose (2002) Black Fire (2002) Deadly Swarm
Notable TV Appearances: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the West Wing.
JOHN ASHTON PLAYS HARRY
Gruff character actor John Ashton will never be out of work so long as screenwriters are in need of brusque authority figures in their plotlines. In films from 1977, Ashton first gained prominence as Dennis Quaid's brother in Breaking Away, a role he repeated on the subsequent Breaking Away TV series of 1981 (with Tom Wiggin in Quaid's part). Ashton went on to portray the humorless detective Taggart in the Beverly Hills Cops films. In addition to his film work, John Ashton has been a regular on three TV series: the aforementioned Breaking Away, Dallas (1978-79 season) and Hardball (1989, again cast as a taciturn veteran cop).
Film credits include: Bill’s Gun Shop (2001) Avalanche (1999) Instinct (1999) Meet the Deedles (1998) The Tommyknockers (1993) Midnight Run (1993) Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Notable TV Appearances: Kojak (1973) Wonder Woman (1976) M.A.S.H. (1972) jag (1995) Judging Amy (1999) Body & Soul (2002)
ROSCOE LEE BROWNE PLAYS DEVLIN
Roscoe Lee Browne was already an internationally famous track star when he attended Vermont's Middlebury College and Columbia University. Browne taught comparative literature and French at Pennsylvania's Lincoln University before turning to acting in 1956. Refusing to limit himself to the subservient roles generally assigned to black actors in the 1950s, Browne established himself in the classics, beginning with his inaugural stage appearance in a New York Shakespeare Festival staging of Julius Caesar. He later appeared in such highly regarded New York theatrical productions as The Blacks and Brecht on Brecht. From his first film appearance in Shirley Clarke's The Connection onward, Browne projected a commanding, authoritative presence, even when playing "hired help" characters like camp cook Jedediah Nightlinger in The Cowboys. His series-TV credits include the roles of Saunders on Soap (1980-1981 season) and Rosemont on Falcon Crest (1988-1989 season). Having never let a year go by without at least one theatrical engagement, Browne won a Tony award for his work in the 1992 production 2 Trains Running. Outside of his performing activities, Roscoe Lee Browne is an accomplished poet, short-story author, playwright, director, and musical arranger.
Film Credits include: t (2002) Babe: Pig in the City (1998) Naked in New York (1993) Mambo Kings, The (1992) Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) Legal Eagles (1986)Uptown Saturday Night (1974) Topaz (1969) Black Like Me (1964)
Notable TV Appearances: Spiderman (1994) ER (1994)
BILL COBBS PLAYS BARNEY
Character actor Bill Cobbs began his acting career relatively late in life after working odd jobs in Cleveland, OH. At the age of 36, he moved to New York and joined the Negro Ensemble Company, making his Broadway debut in First Breeze of Summer. His film career started in the late '70s with small film roles and guest appearances on television. Throughout his film career, he has built a long list of credits playing kindly fathers, grandfathers, and even Moses (in The Hudsucker Proxy). He was Whitney Houston's manager in The Bodyguard, an old man in New Jack City, and Grandpa Booker in People under the Stairs. Though he appears in nearly all genres of Hollywood films, he occasionally gets meatier roles in made-for-TV dramas like Carolina Skeletons, Nightjohn, and Always Outnumbered. In 2002, he played wisened elders in Sunshine State, Enough, and Sweet Deadly Dreams.
Film Credits include: Enough (2002) Random Hearts (1999) I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) Hope Floats (1998) That Thing You Do! (1996) Fluke (1995) Hudsucker Proxy, The (1994) Demolition Man (1993) Bodyguard, The (1992) New Jack City (1991) Dominick and Eugene (1988) Color of Money, The (1986) Cotton Club, The (1984) Silkwood (1983) Trading Places (1983)
TERRY MOORE PLAYS MADDIE
Terry Moore was born Helen Koford; during her screen career she was billed as Helen Koford, Judy Ford, Jan Ford, and (from 1949) Terry Moore. She debuted onscreen at age 11 in 1940 and went on to play adolescent roles in a number of films. As an adult actress, the well-endowed Moore fell into the late-'40s/early-'50s "sexpot" mold, and was fairly busy onscreen until 1960; after that her screen work was infrequent, though she ultimately appeared in more than a half-dozen additional films. She claimed she was secretly wed to billionaire Howard Hughes in 1949, and that they were never divorced; for years she sued Hughes's estate for part of his will, and finally was given an undisclosed sum in an out-of-court settlement. She wrote a book detailing her secret life with Hughes from 1947-56, The Beauty and the Billionaire, in 1984. For her work in Come Back, Little Sheba (1952) she received a "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar nomination. She co-produced the film Beverly Hills Brat (1989), in which she also appeared, more recently Terry has starred in Mighty Joe Young, Final Voyage and Stageghost. A great amongst Hollywood greats, Terry gives a memorable performance in Sweet Deadly Dreams.
Film Credits include: Stageghost (2000) Final Voyage (1999) Mighty Joe Young (1998) Second Chances (1998) Beverly Hills Brats (1989) Going Overboard (1989) Father's Day (1988) Waco (1966) City of Fear (1965) Why Must I Die? (1960) Peyton Place (1957) Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953) Man on a Tightrope (1953) Two of a Kind (1951) Gambling House (1951) Mighty Joe Young (1949) Return of October, The (1948) Sweet and Low-Down (1944) Maryland (1940)
J.A. PRESTON PLAYS MOTT
Star of stage and screen, J.A. Preston has been featured in films including A Few Good Men. Remo Williams - The First Adventure, Body Heat, and Two Minute Warning; on television in Roots - The Next Generation, Magnum P.I. and Hill Street Blues and on stage in Death of Bessie Smith, Freeman, and Cherry Orchard.
JOE TOPPE PLAYS PHIPPS
Film credits include: Hollywood Vampyr (2002) Birth of Babylon (2000) Once (2000) China Lake (1989)
Notable TV Appearances: Alias (2001) Boy Meets World (1993) Tour of Duty (1987)
QUINN REDEKER PLAYS BLAISDALE
Born in Woodstock, IL. Redeker entered American television in the early 1960s. He co-wrote the screenplays for The Deer Hunter and 2 Birds with 1 Stallone. Redeker’s acting credits include The Marriage-Go-Round, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules, The Candidate, At Long Last Love, The Electric Horseman, Where The Buffalos Roam and Ordinary People. From 1979 until 1987, he appeared as Alex Marshall on Days of Our Lives. Redeker has appeared in many made-for-TV movies and has numerous guest appearances on American TV series. He was nominated for Best Screenplay written directly for the Screen 1978: The Deer Hunter (w. Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn & Louis Garfinkle)
Film Credits include: American Reunion, An (2002) Finders Keepers (1998/II) Ordinary People (1980) Electric Horseman, The (1979) Rollercoaster (1977) Midnight Man, The (1974) Three Stooges Meet Hercules, The (1962) Marriage-Go-Round, The
ANDRE GOWER PLAYS BERNSTEIN
Born on 4/27/73 in Los Angeles, CA as Jon Andre Gower – Gower has appeared in numerous Television productions. His enigmatic nature has seen his status rise to that of a teen idol. During his teen years he was undoubtedly one of the more highly visible young stars in the teen magazine set. His first lead role in the big-screen picture production, The Monster Squad received warm reviews. This former child star returns to the screen in his performance on Sweet Deadly Dreams.
Film Credits include: Monster Squad, The (1987)
RICKEY MEDLOCKE PLAYS PEETIE
Rickey Medlocke has been performing onstage since he was 3 years old. Over the years, Rickey's love of music and performing pushed him to excel not only at the banjo and guitar and drums, but at a variety of instruments - mandolin, dobro, keyboards, and particularly the guitar. While in high school Rickey got the acting bug and in addition to his musical pursuits he performed in school productions of shows like West Side Story, Oklahoma and Brigadoon. Rickey grew up with the members of the Jacksonville band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, he was soon asked to come play drums with the legendary band. Rickey wrote and sometimes sang with Skynyrd. In 2000, Rickey saw the new millennium as time for some new challenges and he decided that he wanted to pursue the acting career he'd always dreamed of, he began studying and reading for parts. William Shatner cast him in his first role, the recently released Groom Lake.
Sweet Deadly Dreams sees Rickey cast in his second feature film.
Film Credits include: Groom Lake (2002)
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
WALTER STEWART (Director)
Walter Stewart is a California native who earned a doctorate from UCLA in Germanic Philology and Linguistics. He teaches in several disciplines at a private university including German, Philosophy, International Studies, Egyptology, and Film Studies and gives lectures in Quantum Mechanics. In addition to his academic activities, he also specializes in the life and works of the philosopher Nietzsche about whom he has written both a scholarly study as well as two novels, Zarathustra and Tesla in addition to his first-year German language text, German in Action. Sweet Deadly Dreams is the result of that of many years of teaching concerning Film Noir, film production, directing, and criticism. He grew up in Hollywood and resides just outside of Los Angeles.
STEVEN K. AKAHOSHI (Producer)
Having worked in Hollywood for years as an actor, producer, and director on such projects as Hollywood Vampyr and At Face Value, Akahoshi was asked to bring together the staff and departments for the initial shoot of Sweet Deadly Dreams.
Akahoshi is best remembered for his portrayal as "Doc" Matsuda on the Emmy Award winning CBS Television Drama Tour of Duty. He has starred in such films as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and Fatal Beauty, starring Whoopi Goldberg. The actor-turned-director qualified for the prestigious 2000 Academy Award in the Best Live Action Short category for his work on the 35mm. narrative short At Face Value. The short was produced in association with the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance. Akahoshi also suggested friend Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynynrd fame for the role of Peetie.
ERIK DEHKHODA (Producer)
Erik Dehkhoda has held a long distinguished career in Special Effects and 3D Digital Animation with feature film credits including Space Jam, Mars Attacks and Angelmaker. Throughout his illustrious career he was worked closely with Disney, Warner Brothers and MTV. He has done some of his more recent work on Monster and Godsend.
A faculty member of the Academy of Contemporary Digital Arts, Erik has pioneered 3D Animation and Digital Art into the Film and Television Industry.
Director Walter Stewart says that it was Erik’s experience and professional approach that made SDD possible: “Erik was with the production from its inception to the end and served additionally in a number of capacities such as Casting Director, Editor, and Special Effects Editor. He supervised the entire project and was responsible for bringing Steven Akahoshi on board for the initial shoot to handle the line production”.
As a creative artist in his own right, Dehkhoda has collaborated with the likes of H.R. Giger and Morpheus International. Dehkhoda’s private held corporation, ErikTek Inc has contributed artwork to several major studios including, VIACOM, Universal Studios, Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount and several production firms in the Media istrict.
CLIFF HSUI (Director of Photography)
Cliff Hsui has received critical acclaim by his peers for his contribution as a leading Cinematographer.
As assistant camera. Hsui’s credits include the 2003 production, A Foreign Affair, Francois Velle’s New Suit, Nicole Holofcener’s Lovely and Amazing and Chuck Bowman’s Dead above Ground.
A graduate of NYU with a BA in Film with an emphasis on Lighting and Cinematography (35mm), Hsui recently completed a Master of Cinematography Program at FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic.
Hsui has extensive experience with various motion picture film cameras (Arri, Panavision, Photosonics, Aaton) as well as the new High Definition video cameras from Sony and Panasonic.
Hsui has a knack for experimenting with equipment to produce amazing results: “After shooting with the Sony F900 for several weeks, I had a chance to see what we could realistically do with the camera. We avoided the standardized advice that the manufacturer was telling us and started playing with the menus of the camera.
©2006 Falken Arts Productions in Association with North River Pictures and ErikTek. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to newspapers and periodicals to reproduce this text in articles publicizing the distribution of the Motion Picture. All other use is strictly prohibited, including sale, duplication, or other transfer of this material. This press kit, in whole or in part, must not be leased, sold, or given away.
BEST PICTURE / BEST FEATURE FILM BEST DIRECTOR / BEST ACTOR
ZOIE FILM FEST SCRIPT-2-SCREEN FILM FEST
Taylor, an unemployed, burned-out ex-special-forces commando, hopes to scrounge a couple of bucks on a simple package delivery. But he finds that the gig’s not so cut-and-dried. It’s a murder, and it leads Taylor into a confusing maze of intrigue, deception, and death where he must answer a single question to survive: What happened to the last novel of Evelyn St. James?
Steven Man (Mr. Hollywood Star; Savage Island; Edge of Nowhere, CSI)
Kaarina Aufranc (Purpose; Deadly Swarm; West Wing; CSI)
Joe Toppe (China Lake; Citizens of Perpetual Indulgence; Hollywood Vampyr, Alias)
WITH FEATURED STARS:
John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop I, II; Midnight Run; Instinct)
Roscoe Lee Browne (Topaz; Logan’s Run; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; The Mambo Kings)
Bill Cobbs (Ghosts of Mississippi; Hudsucker Proxy; Enough; A Mighty Wind),
Andre Gower (Young and the Restless; The Monster Squad)
J.A. Preston (Body Heat; A Few Good Men; Air Force One)
Quinn Redeker (Ordinary People; Electric Horseman; Academy Award Winner, Deer Hunter, writer)
Terry Moore (Academy Award Nominee, Mighty Joe Young; Come Back Little Sheba; Daddy Long Legs; Peyton Place;
Cast a Long Shadow)
Shot in Hi-Def, Sweet Deadly Dreams was written, directed, and executive produced by Walter Stewart and produced by Steven Akahoshi and Erik Dehkhoda.
Steven Man is Taylor
Kaarina Aufranc is Libby
J.A. Preston is Mott
Bill Cobbs is Barney
Roscoe Lee Browne is Devlin
Quinn Redeker is Blaisdale
Sweet Deadly Dreams Trailer