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LILAC – Series Pilot – “Getting the Point Across” (2015 SS Fest Entry)

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(DRAMA / PILOT) What if Robin Hood was a homeless ten-year-old girl living in a modern city…

Awards: Accolade Global Film Competition 2014; Awards of Merit for: Internet Programming, Direction, Cinematography, Actress in a Leading Role -Elora Coble, Original Song -“Broken Sky”; IndieFEST 2015 Awards of Merit for Webisode, Direction, and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Elora Coble as “Lilac”)
Hank Isaac – Producer, Writer, Director
Joe Andolina – Cinematographer, Camera Operator
James Ward – 1st AD
Larry McConnell – Producer
Stephanie Isaac – Production Consultant
Corey Embring – Camera Operator
Will Carson – Stunt Coordinator
Grant Stevens – Composer
Michelle Willis – Singer, Songwriter
Marie Turner – Makeup Artist
Diane Raines – Costume Designer
George Watt – Gaffer
Marissa Brent-Tookey – Script Supervisor
Rhoda Evangelista – Production Sound
Lindsey Steffener – Unit Still Photographer

Elora Coble – “Lilac”
Destri Bernstein – “Peter Littlejohn”
Andrew Tribolini – “Detective Gisbourne”
David Maki – “The Professor”
Ken Kreps – “Father Tucker”
Andrew DuBois – “The Bishop”
Nicole Guzun – “Irinka Vasseliev”
Anatoly Petrov – “Alexei Vasseliev”
Diana Oliphant – “Scarlet Wills”
Teigun Pesce – “Git”
Kira Bennett – “Amy” -pilot only
Steven Bruceton – “The Creepy Guy” -pilot only
Keaton Kowal – “Schoolboy”
Feliz Coble – “Schoolboy”
Rick Nelson – “Amy’s Dad” -pilot only
Dani Robinette – “Amy’s Mom” -pilot only
Larry McConnell – “CSI Investigator”
David Coble – “CSI Investigator”
Beginning with the massacre of primary school children in Dunblane, Scotland a couple of decades ago and then watching more massacres as well as the rising level of violence perpetrated by children upon each other -my preteen daughter missed being in the midst of a school shooting by only seconds – her gymnast friend wasn’t so lucky – I knew that it would never be enough to simply tell children, “No!”

So I decided to create a potential role model who could easily hurt or kill, but makes a conscious choice not to. I’d like to try to “reeducate” an emerging young population on other ways to handle conflict.

Lilac represents the child in all of us as she tries to make sense of her rapidly changing world. In many ways, Lilac is a super hero. However, instead of possessing some unimaginable powers, Lilac capitalizes on what she does best and nurtures and hones those skills until they seem nearly supernatural.

I realize that aiming a story at a family audience when that story and its characters are often dark and edgy is risky. But “Lilac” deals with important issues such as child trafficking, bullying, homelessness, and violence, and how difficult it is for anyone – grown-ups and children alike – to tell the bad guys from the good guys. Pretending none of it exists doesn’t make it all go away.

• Michelle Willis who co-wrote and performed “Broken Sky” for “Lilac,” was only twelve years old at the time.

• The cigarettes Lilac and Peter smoke are custom designed to look and act like the real thing but have internal valves and no tobacco, rendering them safe.

• Even though loaded crossbows were never aimed at anyone and practical FX were used for the dart hits, Elora who plays “Lilac” became so good with the weapon that she could hit the EDGE of a piece of corrugated cardboard from twenty feet away.

• The night scenes were all filmed in the same evening. The filming ran late and the crew raced to get everything done before the sky started to get light. Even so, after the last shot wrapped, there was less than a minute of fuel remaining in the generator. We reminisced about the first Moon landing.

• Part way through filming the opening sequence, I realized Lilac, who should have been wearing her leather gloves, was not. We were too far along to go back and reshoot everything. Besides, I liked the performances. So I wrote in a scene wherein Lilac suddenly remembers she’s not wearing her gloves. In the process [spoiler ahead] she ends up wiping off the darts and uncovers a teddy bear. All of these on-the-spot story changes proved to be hugely beneficial to the overall story in several ways. Sometimes mistakes lead directly to something better.