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Cassandra's Echo

Cassandra's Echo

Synopsis
Unsure exactly how far beyond her prime she is at age 40, a naively ambitious Lorelle (Jeanette Harrison) leaves family and home behind in Texas in order to embark upon a new life in San Francisco -- as an aspiring actress.  But even in a city so far removed from all she has known before, Lorelle finds herself stalked by her former life in the person of an apparently crazed denizen of the streets (Zachary Drake), a ranting sibyl who seems to know entirely too much about Lorelle's past . . . and future.  Reaching out of that past, something relentless makes it increasingly clear that it is not about to let her go, as each intriguing encounter pushes Lorelle closer to the realization that not only does life not begin at 40, this may well be the end of the road.

Cassandra's Echo premiered at the 2006 FAIF International Film Festival in Hollywood October 10, 2006.


Cast

"Lorelle" - Jeanette Harrison has appeared in feature films Cathy Morgan, Almond Tequila, and in the short films The Claim, Smell My Feet (directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges), After a Long Period and Zingaroo, for which she was awarded "Best Actress" from the West Valley Film Festival (2001).  She was the voice of Trillian in the radio play The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (WHPK-FM, Chicago).  Onstage, she has worked with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, AlterTheater Ensemble (with Frances Lee McCain and Ann Brebner), San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and many more.  Harrison is a founding Ensemble member of AlterTheater.

Zachary Drake

"Teddy" - Zachary Drake, born in Minneapolis, now hails from Berkeley.  In the Bay Area he has performed with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival's school tour, Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival, Mountain Play Association, and the Asian American Theater Company.  He has worked with Northwest Asian American Theater in Seattle, and in the Twin Cities area with Mixed Blood, Minnesota Festival Theater, and Great American History Theatre.  In January 2004, he played the lead in Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, co-produced by Theater Mu and Park Square Theater.  He also performs a solo show, Dust Storm, about the experiences of a Japanese-American high school student from Berkeley sent to an interment camp in Utah during WWII.  Most recently, he narrated 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America: Gold Rush for Telling Pictures which aired on the History Channel.  He holds a B.A. in Computer Science and Psychology from Yale, where he appeared in numerous shows including title roles in Oedipus the King and M. Butterfly.  He is also a graduate of American Conservatory Theatre's Summer Training Congress.  Before embarking on his professional acting career, Mr. Drake was a computer game producer.

"Mrs. Drumm" - Elinor's most recent work has been on stage as Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman.  She has also appeared as Blanche in Romantic Comedy, Mrs. Warwick in The Unexpected Guest, Emily Gorski in Greetings, Joanne Remington in Ladies at the Alamo, Lillian in The Oldest Profession, as well as understudying the role of Rhoda in the premiere of Finn in the Underworld at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.  Also active in film and voiceover, she recently completed narration of her sixth book for the National Library Service and with her husband is putting the finishing touches on IrisAudio, an in-house recording studio for audiobook production.

DEWAYNE SPALDING. "Vic" - DeWayne Spalding is a Kentucky native.  He is a former staff member, actor and director with Actors' Guild of Lexington, where he appeared in Six Degrees of Separation, XXX Love Act and Marvin's Room.  His regional theatre directing credits include Eric Bogosian's subUrbia, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky and Neil Simon's Broadway Bound.  In 2004, DeWayne was an Irene Ryan Scholarship Competition nominee for his performance as Puck in City College of San Francisco's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
MARTHA RAMIREZ LUEHRMANN. "Abuelita" - Martha's film roles include Old Mexican Woman in Bernstein's Teachings of the Disgusting and Awful, Martha in Litle's Erogenous Jones, Ph.D., Meg in Pinter's The Birthday Party, and Virgo in cummings' him.  Martha's stage roles include Abby Brewster in Kesselman's Arsenic and Old Lace, Letitia Blacklock in Christie's A Murder Is Announced, Mrs. Gibbs in Wilder's Our Town, Lady Bracknell in Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest, Sonya in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, Mildred in Robert Reich's I Met Her Only Yesterday In The 84th Street Sewer, and many more.  She did a great deal of acting in the 60s, including a summer stock stint with Meryl Streep, but her children made her quit acting in 1972.  They promised she go back into acting when she was old and retired, and could then do all of Ruth Gordon's roles.  She is working on that right now. Martha is a member of Theatre Bay Area. 

CREW

FRANCISCO J. PADILLA.   Production Manager -- We were extremely lucky to have the services of Francisco as Production Manager.  Francisco was born in Nicaragua and has lived in San Francisco since 1987.   He is a registered Civil Engineer and holds a certification as a Project Manager and Web Designer (he got us started on our website).  He is a self taught Digital Designer with a passion for any form of art (some of his original artwork can be seen in Cassandra's Echo). 

ANTHONY WESLEY.  Anthony was sound recorder on two days of shooting. He recruited our main sound recorder Michaela, and Paige who plays one of the acting students and the young Mrs. Drumm. When Anthony wasn't busy helping with whatever needed to be done on the set, he shot some behind-the-scenes footage. Anthony also played the Good Samaritan in Cassandra's Echo.

MARIANNE McCARTY.  Production Assistant -- We first contacted Marianne about being an extra.  It turned out her work schedule meshed with our shooting schedule and we asked if she'd also take on the role of Production Assistant.  Fortunately for us, she agreed.  Marianne is a native of New England.   She moved to San Francisco in 1971.   After working for 20 years as a travel agent, Marianne is now a bartender at what's said to be one of the best dive bars in San Francisco -- The Hearth (Geary & 11th).   When Marianne isn't helping out fledging filmmakers and working at the bar, she enjoys growing orchids, knitting, and reading mystery novels.

CLAUDIO CONCIN.  Claudio was the sound recorder on our last day of filming, helped with set decoration, and pitched in wherever help was needed.  Claudio also played the talent agent in Cassandra's Echo.  Claudio is Professor of Italian at City College of San Francisco.

MICHAELA HIGGINS-CLOYD.  Sound Recordist.  Michaela is in film school.

MIKE CASSO.  Set Designer and Electrician.

ROBERT BLACK.  Computer Consultant.  Computer expert turned sculptor, photographer, and all around go-to person, Robert built the "Monster" computer needed for editing a digital movie.

ROSE BLACK.  Rose is one of our most enthusiastic supporters.  She recruited Martha Luehrmann who plays Abuelita, was handler of Pedro who plays Cody the dog, and did set decoration.  Rose was also an extra in one of the diner scenes.   Rose is a published poet.

HAIR & MAKE-UP -- A tale of two artists:

Hair and makeup for Cassandra's Echo was originally to be done by a friend of cast member and sometime sound recorder Anthony Wesley.  When that friend's mother took ill very shortly before principal shooting was scheduled to begin, we were sent scrambling for a substitute.  Up until the day before shooting was to start we had no one to do hair or makeup.  We finally were able to make a last-minute connection through reeldirectory.com, hiring India-born Pallavi Jindal to report to work on the set the following morning.  The talented and gracious Pallavi was right on time -- and eight months pregnant.  Despite her skill and obviously good-natured work ethic, we were very concerned about her continuing on the project because principal shooting was scheduled to continue for another month and we felt that the last complication we needed was a birth on the set.  Nevertheless, Pallavi was able to work with us for the next week of shooting, while we set about finding a replacement.
Eventually we made online contact with the equally talented and gracious Kimberly Doss, who eagerly agreed to come in on the project and help us out.  Of course . . . having the same due date as Pallavi, Kim showed up eight and a half months pregnant at that point.  And sure enough, towards the end of the shoot, we received word that Kim would not be arriving to do makeup and hair that morning because she was on her way to the hospital to have her baby.  Given both the timing and our budget limitations, the actors had to struggle on doing their own makeup, or doing without entirely.  Fortunately, the plot of Cassandra's Echo is such that a little muss towards the end was not at all out of place.

TONY VELLA.  Stunt Coordinator

MUSIC by Jeffrey Chin