After wrapping a short film, "The Ghost in Her", Dr. Michael Gerard White has just completed his feature film "Ever Fallen", a punk-rock tribute to William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".
White is a film professor at Wayne State College and teaches film and video production. Outside of that, he owns the White Tiger martial arts schools.
The "Ever Fallen" film idea was conceived while "The Ghost in Her" was being filmed. That short film was a "festival darling", according to White.
"'The Ghost in Her' has done really, really well," said White. "We've been finalists in almost everything (film festivals) we've entered. Last year, when I finished 'The Ghost in Her', I just liked my crew so much. I've never had the experience where I've liked all the people I've worked with so much that I wanted to work with them all again. Also, everyone in the cast and crew had so much fun that they all wanted to work together again. I gave it a little time and 'Ever Fallen' was born out of the back story of the 'Alex' and 'Samantha' stories of 'The Ghost in Her'."
Although "Ever Fallen" is a completely different story than "The Ghost in Her", it shares many of the same actors, and of course the same director. Heck, even this Weekender writer makes a cameo as the "Hipster Barista"! The story, though, focuses on four main characters: Remy, Julie, Ari (Ari is a female character, much to the chagrin of this Ari) and Joey.
"While 'The Ghost in Her' is about falling out, 'Ever Fallen' is about being seen," said White. "Remy, the main character is an artist who has lived a life where no one has actually seen him. He's been misunderstood his entire life. Being misunderstood is kind of a form of loneliness and isolation.
"The thing about Julie is she is the only person who can see Remy (emotionally). She is really looking for acceptance, I think. She can't find her people. Ari is looking for a stability she doesn't have. Joey just wants everyone to be okay. They are four teenagers at a crossroad in their lives just like many high school seniors. They are dealing with very adult problems...struggling with identity and many other things. They become the closest of friends. It is about four people who love each other, but just don't understand each other."
The story involves a love triangle among Remy, Ari and Julie, with Joey as the comedy relief.
"The film opens with Remy having a discussion with his music teacher," said the writer/director. "Remy was a child prodigy and his teacher is trying to get him to go to Juliard. He gave up the piano because of the stress it put on his mother. Julie is constantly at odds with her mother, a socialite who wants her daughter to marry someone wealthy and have an amazing life. Ari is a very troubled girl and Julie's best friend. Julie snaps and gets pulled into a world of punk rebellion with Ari. Ari had been in love with Remy since they were young, and Julie unintentionally steals Remy from Ari. It creates this huge tension among the group of friends."
The premier of the movie will be taking place at the Majestic Theater in Wayne, Nebraska, on October 1. There will be a live simulcast of the red carpet event and the Q&A section. The first night is already sold out. The second showing is October 2. That event is not sold out yet, and there will be a Q&A section with some of the cast and crew. The film will also screen at the Sioux City International Film Festival this year.
Be on the lookout for "Ever Fallen" and get drawn into the punk-rock version of "Romeo and Juliet".