New LDS Comedy "Suddenly Unexpected" Set for Production
For immediate release: July 1, 2002
MPotter Productions of Houston, Texas has announced the production of its first feature length film, Suddenly Unexpected. The film will be shot in Houston, Texas in October 2002 with a planned release in 2003.
MPotter Production principles are husband and wife, Mark Potter, the director and Marjorie Potter, the producer. Mr. Potter graduated from Brigham Young University with a directing degree and has attended graduate school at the University of Houston. He has been directing and writing for over 20 years. Ms. Potter who attended Houston Baptist University has been working with her husband for eighteen years developing various works.
Suddenly Unexpected is the tale of fretting Elder Jones and his green companion, the quirky Elder Smith, who wake up one Saturday morning to discover that they have been evicted, and people are carting away any and every thing that is not nailed down. From there, things go down hill. "Suddenly Unexpected" follows these hapless missionaries through their misadventures as they begin their road trip that leads them to new and different worlds.
All filming for "Suddenly Unexpected" will occur in the greater Houston area.
Open auditions will be held in Houston, Texas on August 3, 2002 from 9 am to 1 pm at 10200 Autumn Meadow and in Provo, Utah on August 5, 2002 from 1pm to 6 pm at the Holiday Inn Provo, 1460 S. University Ave. This will be a non-SAG production.
For additional information, MPotter Productions can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or the web site for "Suddenly Unexpected" at suddenlyunexpected.com
For anyone cast in Utah, we will provide transportation to Houston, lodging, meals and a very modest pay check. There are also non-paid parts.
We will be looking for our leads in Utah. The two male leads are Elder Jones and Elder Smith. Both are young Latter-day Saint missionaries between 19-24. Elder Jones has been out in the mission field for a year and is training a new Elder that he finds a bit trying. Jones is an average, hard working Mormon missionary who is tired and a bit frazzled. We will consider any physical type and race for this part. Elder Smith is a new missionary not out even a month. He is a quirky, fastidious, neat but also a warm person with an upbeat personality. We will consider any physical type and race for this part.
There are two actresses that we are looking for. One is role is that of The Daughter. This actress will be playing the part of a woman, who is 30ish, scatterbrained, self-absorbed but likeable. This character is Caucasian. The other role is that of The Lady, who is 40ish, stylish, a bit of a snob and a kleptomaniac. We will consider any physical type and race for this part.
[Presumably actors from the Houston area will receive the same pay checks as would performers from Utah, without the transportation and lodging. As our website's readers are predominantly form Utah, not Houston, MPotter Productions targed their response to Utah-area talent.]
Summary of actor types needed for LEAD ROLES:
Going to the site at http://www.suddenlyunexpected.com launches the FLASH animation, with a very brief introduction in which handwritten-style letters flow gather onto the screen from outside the perimiter of the screen, to form the words "Suddenly Unexpected." Then the words "THE MOVIE" in red bold block letters emerge and grow in size, knocked the terminal "D" off the word "Unexpected." The letter "D" drops down a bit, and is then followed by the more letters to form the word "Details." Then a menu of options forms underneath this word. A cartoon graphic appears, depicting a missionary sitting on a box, crying about a what appears to be a recently arrived package -- a ruined chocolate cake. Black bars with white boxes -- representing film -- borders the graphic on the left and right. Finally, a new letter "D" fades into place at the end of the word "Unexpected."
The menu includes the following options:
Auditions will be held August 5, 2002 in Provo, Utah at the Holiday Inn, Provo, 1460 S. University Ave. (directions below) from 1 pm to 6 pm. Please bring your headshot or current photo.
If you are unable to make the auditions and wish to be considered, you can mail your headshot, resume and audition tape to 10810 White Oak Bend, Houston, TX 77064. If you wish your tape returned, please include a S.A.S.E.
Off Beltway 8 exit Fallbrook. You will head west approximately 2 miles. There are a number of stop signs. You will turn left on Autumn Meadow, which has a stop sign. You will go to the end of the street and there you shall find us.
(July 9) -- The movie is the comic tale of two LDS missionaries. The fretting Elder Jones and his green companion, the quirky Elder Smith, wake up one Saturday morning to discover that they have been evicted, and people are carting away any and everything that is not nailed down. From there, things go down hill. "Suddenly Unexpected" follows these hapless missionaries through their misadventures as they begin a road trip that leads them to new and different worlds.
MPotter Production principles are a husband and wife team: director Mark Potter and producer Marjorie Potter. Mark graduated from Brigham Young University with a directing degree and has attended graduate school at the University of Houston. He has been directing and writing for over 20 years. Marjorie attended Houston Baptist University and has been working with her husband for 18 years developing various works.
Open auditions will be held in Houston, Texas on Aug. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 10200 Autumn Meadow, and Aug. 5 in Provo, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Provo, 1460 S. University Ave. This will be a non-SAG production.
The film will be filmed in Houston in Oct. 2002 with a planned release in 2003.
For additional information, MPotter Productions can be contacted at email@example.com or at suddenlyunexpected.com.
Elder Jones is riding his bike to the post office. Unknown to him his companion is lost. Elder Jones thinks he is telling his companion a story. He comes to a red stoplight and continues to tell his tale. A total stranger in the car stopped next to him ends up hearing his story instead. This needs to come off humorous.
(turning only slightly but never looking back)
You know this estate sale makes me think about how I found her. It was just before you became my companion.
Elder Jones keeps riding. A friend of Elder Jones drives by and honks. Elder Jones waves.
It was lunchtime and we hadn't seen her. Big Brave Elder Reed kept saying "Something must be wrong", "Something must be wrong", but would he go in and check on her -- no!
He made me do it, "You go look Elder Jones." You know what, I was just stupid enough to that.
Elder Jones by then has pulled up to a stoplight. There is a car next to him with the window rolled down; a woman with a straight face looks at him as he turns somewhat towards her (Jones does not turn around enough to realize he is not talking Elder Smith) and continues his story.
Do you know what it is like to find a dead person.
(the woman's eyes get a bit bigger)
They are just laying there cold and stiff.
(he pauses remembering, and the woman's mouth drops open)
And she was cold and stiff when I touched her...
(he suddenly notices the woman looking at him. He tries to smile. Then he looks away and then looks back as she rolls up the window never taking her eyes off of him)
The light changes and the car drives off. He reacts first to telling a total stranger about finding a dead person. He turns to tell Smith how foolish he felt. Smith is not there. He looks around for Smith. Then he panics about losing his companion.
Lines for Elder Smith
In the morning as Elder Smith starts his day, he takes his vitamins and minerals to give him the energy to go. He has just gotten out of bed. He thinks that his companion needs some to help him deal with the daily stresses of being a missionary.
I have never been this tired in my whole life, Elder Jones. Were you tired when you first came out?
Elder Jones nods yes.
If it wasn't for my vitamins and herbs, I would never be able to make it as a missionary.
(he starts looking through his big box of herbs, vitamins and minerals holding one up)
You should try this one. It's for stress.
Elder Jones who is still laying down shakes his head no as he pulls his scriptures from under the bed. Elder Smith puts it back and finds the one he is looking for.
Here we go.
(trying to open it)
This will give you some get up and go
(he struggles to open it)
and strength too.
(unable to open it, Smith hands it to Elder Jones)
It does give you strength, really.
Elder Jones opens it up with no problem.
(Elder Smith takes it back)
I must have loosened it some.
(taking a pill out of it)
It sticks some times.
He holds the pill up, examines it and then pops it in his mouth. He tries to swallow it and can't. He tries to swallow it again. Still struggling, he drinks more water and finally gets it down.
Lines for the Daughter
She is on the phone to her brother George, who is still very distraught about the passing of their mother. George, incapacitated by grief, has been unable to help her settle the estate of their mother. She had given her brother the assignment to price all the items, but he was unable to do so. She is very frustrated because people are there and ready to buy, but nothing is priced!
You told me you were going to do that, George... It's not done... You could have come over here last night or the night before that... Nothing is marked. There isn't a price on a single item... I miss mom too but... A person who is discouraged by the lack of pricing is about to leave.
(covering the phone)
Did you find anything?
The person shakes their head no.
(She follows the person to the door saying)
I am so sorry things weren't priced. My brother was supposed to do that. (out of ear shot of the person, struggling for the right word her mouth contorts and finally comes out with)
(uncovering the phone, she continues to speak to her brother)... What did you do when you came over here?...You just sat in front of the house and cried in your car?
Lines for the Lady
Before reading the lines, we will want you to act out a scene without lines. You are in a house where there is an estate sale. You see a plate that you like and steal it. This should be very short and funny.
The lines that will be read for the Lady take place in the parking lot of a hardware store. You were going into the store. You were looking in your purse when you bump into Elder Smith who is carrying a package. After getting over him bumping into you , you realize that you have met him before, but you cannot remember where. He does not want you to recognize him.
Young man you need to watch where you are going.
(she walks around to look at him. He turns his head another way. She knows that she has seen Elder Smith before)
Do I know you? We have met. I never forget a face.
It'll come to me. This is going to bug me until I remember.
(she is starting to move on now)
I don't have time right now... I know I've seen you somewhere...
Nice picture on the home page of the two actors, in costume, who play the missionaries at the center of story.
Elder Jones, the senior companion, is played by non-LDS Houston-based actor Jerald Garner. Garner will be the first African-American actor to have the lead role in a Latter-day Saint-themed feature film. (DeSean Terry played "Elder Banks" in "God's Army", 2000, and Tarance Edwards played "Troy" in "The Singles Ward", 2002, but those were supporting roles, not the lead role.) Having only recently begun acting, this will be Garner's first feature film. Garner came to "Suddenly Unexpected" auditions only to audition for smaller roles, but the director saw that he was the perfect actor to play the movie's generally responsible but fretting lead character.
Elder Smith, the new greenie, is played by Utah-based actor Michael Judd. Described by the director as a "Chris Farley/John Candy type" of actor, Judd has had small parts in the films "Supreme Belief and Lady Luck" and "Heavens Hullabaloo," as well as a small role in the upcoming Latter-day Saint-themed feature film "Day of Defense." His television credits include "City Beat" and "Touched By An Angel." "Suddenly Unexpected" is Judd's first major film role.
"The Lady" (second most important female role) will be played by Clara Susan Morey, who seems to be EVERYWHERE these days. She has smaller roles in "Jack Weyland's Charly" and the Blair Treu movie "Little Secrets," both released this year.
The Daughter (the female lead role) will be played by Houston-based actress Junie Hoang. Hoang must be a talented and versatile actress. Looking at her photos it is obvious that she is Asian. Presumably the director was so impressed by her audition that he decided to despense with the "Caucasian" aspect of the character description found in the casting sheets.
Junie Hoang graduated from Texas A&M University. She had a major supporting role in the independent 1998 movie "Fifth Ward," directed by Greg Carter. She also appeared in Carter's film "Thug Life" (2000). She has done voiceover work in animated productions, including "Street Fighter." Her recent projects include "Casanova Movie." She has been described as one of Houston's busiest actors.
And of course Robert Mock will be playing the war veteran, but we already knew that. He was pre-cast.
And you already know that Tucker Dansie will be the cinematographer.
Here is the updated plot synopsis posted on the site:
Two young Mormon missionaries wake up to find themselves evicted from the house, where they had been renting rooms from a now deceased widow. Unbeknownst to the Elders, the widow's daughter has come to settle the estate, evict them, and have an estate sale all in day. The two missionaries awake to find people rummaging through their belongings asking "Is this for sale?" The day takes some twists and turns as Elder Jones and Elder Smith ride their bikes to pick up a Birthday present for Elder Smith. The Elders' bikes are unfortunately backed over at the post office and they end up bumming a ride with an older but kindly man and his wacky dog, Batty. The Elders hope to return home quickly but their new friend has other plans. They are soon off going from one strange adventure to another. The Elders wonder what on Earth they have gotten themselves into but before the day is out their view of the old man and themselves changes. We live in a world of sorrow and pain but all it takes is one person unafraid to make a difference. The Elders are surprised and delighted when they learn this lesson first hand.
Check out the updated site at http://www.suddenlyunexpected.com
Text from updated pages is shown below:
|Elder Jones||an average missionary having a very bad day.||Jerald Garner|
|Elder Smith||Jones' quirky new green companion.||Michael Judd|
|The Man||the kind, lonely war vet.||Robert Mock|
|The Dog||a loveable mutt.||Batty|
|The Daughter||self-absorbed but likeable landlady.||Junie Hoang|
|The Lady||the snappily-dressed kleptomaniac.||Clara Susan Morey|
|Chair Man||out looking for a bargain.||David George|
|A Person||trying to buy the missionary's bike from under them.||Ron Finberg|
|Man #1||moving things out of the Elder's place.||Fortune Diginee|
|Postal Person||wants to go home at the end of the day and can't.||Jack Gonzales|
|The Donut Woman||Mary Margaret Allen|
|Man #2||Kenneth Goodwin|
|The Hood Driver|
|Woman in Car||Jalen Mack|
|Driver of car with Woman||Mary Margaret Allen|
|LDS Van Driver|
|Lady on the Porch|
|Elder Westly||Martin Estridge|
|Elder Robinson||Brendan Estridge|
|Old Man who fixes tires|
|Elder Sayers||Benjamin Ellis|
|Elder Raven||Nick Ronan|
Crew information will continued to be posted. [sic]
Underscoring will be done by
His web site is
[End of posting of updated text on "Suddenly Unexpected" website.]
Some of Our Notes About the Newly-Announced Cast and Crew
Ron Finberg ("A Person" trying to buy the missionaries' bicycles) is a Houston, Texas-based actor and filmmaker. Finberg (along with collaborator Amir Valinia) won the Audience Choice Best Short award for his film "The Audition" (Northstar Filmworks) at the Third Annual Bare Bones Film Festival, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2001. He may be the same person as the "Ron Finberg" who is the executive producer of the album Portrait of a $erial Player, featuring the singer "Born 2wice," as well as Rhythm D., Nanci Fletcher and Kool Keith. Finberg has no major film or television credits.
As has been noted before, the lead actress Junie Hoang has film experience in the Houston area, and supporting actress Clara Susan Morey has film experience in Utah ("Two Dimes & A Nickel", "Jack Weyland's Charly", "Little Secrets").
The rest of the cast appear to have little or no film and television experience, and are making their bug screen debut in "Suddenly Unexpected."
Here is a capsule biography of Austin, Texas-based film composer Brian Satterwhite, from his website (http://www.nuancemusic.com/bio.html):
Brian Satterwhite graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, with dual majors in Film Scoring and Composition. While at Berklee he gained valuable knowledge and experience in the art and science of composing music for film, ethnic and stylistic adaptation, large and small ensemble recording, timing, spotting, conducting, budgeting, contracting, and MIDI scoring. Among honors awarded are The Robert Share Award in Film Scoring and the Scholarship Award of Excellence in Composition. His film music piece entitled "Last Goodbye" represented the Berklee Film Scoring Department in the 1997 Student Writing Awards Concert in which Brian assembled and conducted a forty-piece orchestra.
Upon graduation, Brian relocated to Austin, Texas, where he founded Nuance Music, a music production company capable of supplying music for cinematic features and shorts, industrial and educational videos, television, and other forms of media entertainment. Brian's work can be heard on an array of short and feature films including Cicadas (2000), "Tracker" (2000), Dogs Bark (2002), "Once A Storm" (2002), and "Twinkle, Twinkle" (1999), which was included in the 2000 Texas Filmmaker's Showcase. In the Spring of 2001, Brian was selected as one of ten finalists in the Young Film Composer's Competition, sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. Later that Spring he partnered with Boxershorts Cartoons (www.boxerstudios.com) to compose an original score for their animated short film "Drastic Park" (2001). During the Fall/Winter of 2001 Brian finished up the year scoring a documentary for Brazilian television entitled Nascendo no Brasil [Born in Brazil] (2001), and also composed the score for the short film "The Late Show" (2001) which was scored entirely with solo drums performed by Austin musician, Matthew Crawford.
Beyond scoring films, Brian maintains a rigorous teaching and lecturing schedule which includes his classes "The Art and History of Film Music", "The Film Music of Bernard Herrmann", and "What is that Noise? An Appreciation of 20th Century Music" for the Armstrong Community Music School in Austin, Texas, and "Film Music: Listening to Movies" for the University of Texas Informal Classes Program. Brian has been featured in such periodicals as The Bastrop Advertiser and was interviewed for the July-August 2002 issue of fortissimo Magazine on his career as a film composer in Austin. On Friday nights you may even catch Brian as a guest on the radio show, Film Score Focus, on KMFA 89.5 FM.
After an exciting and successful year, 2002 is appearing to be even better. Brian has completed the scores for the short films "The Salvage Yard", "Once A Storm", "Rorschach", "Still" and the feature film Dogs Bark. In the upcoming months, Brian is scheduled to score a number of new shorts including "Fun With Clones", "Stationary Games", "Vince", "Smokes" and "Chef du Jour" as well as the features, American Generator, Down the Road, and Yorrick: Fool of Denmark. With all of his film scoring and teaching dates, Brian still finds time to devote to his new venture Brouhaha Studios (www.brouhahastudios.com) which offer live mobile recording services in and around Austin, Texas.
Here is something Satterwhite says about his film composing (http://www.nuancemusic.com/filmmusic.html)
Brian Sattewhite [sic] is one of the premiere film composers in Austin. He began his professional career after earning his Bachelor of Music in Film Scoring and Composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. His music represents the work of a filmmaker rather than a musician. His understanding and sensitivity to the many forms of cinematic expression are unparalleled. The art of composing music for film lies so much deeper than the surface quality of just having cool music. You want a composer who understands the project and how it relates to the audience. How will they react, how will they feel, or more importantly, how do you want them to react and how do you want them to feel? Brian's experience, knowledge and talents will unleash this power and seperate your film from those who don't understand or harness the power of music in film.
For additional information, you can check out their web site at www.suddenlyunexpected.com.
Shortly after the release of God's Army, Richard Dutcher mused to me one day that he was surprised a cluster of LDS movies had not followed in the wake of his success. He need wonder no more. There are more new "Mormon genre" movies in release or being made than the market can likely support. Some will be great. Some will be OK. Too many will be disappointing. A few are likely to be awful.
From a really wonderful web site, ldsfilm.com... comes an almost shocking list of "Mormon movies" announced, in production, promised or being created in the most fanciful of day-dreams kept afloat by nothing but faith. Here is what Mormon movie goers can look for in near future -- presuming of course they get funded, finished and finely made.