Monday, July 5, 2010

Stricken by a Hornet's NEHST

For Fresno based cameraman Matthew Sconce, the high came early in the form of the American Idol Music Video Contest, which he won with his wife in 2004 and placed among the Top Three in 2005. The low came a few years later, in 2008, when he traveled to then-Sacramento located NEHST Studios to pitch Stricken, a feature film script that extended the premise of his award-winning short of the same name. He was, in his own words, "torn to shreds. I then curled up into a ball and stopped pursuing the film."

Sconce eventually came out of his self-pitying cocoon to shoot Stricken on weekends around his day job, a process that took five months. His debut feature is set to premiere locally on July 9th at the MET Cinema in Oakhurst, CA, after which it will make its way to Los Angeles for the 2010 Action on Film International Film Festival.

One of the most unusual aspects of the production arc of Stricken, the tale of a police detective (David Fine) investigating mysterious events that follow the death of a 25-year-old woman's (Stephanie French) parents, were the contributions of Sconce's father Gary. A science teacher at Yosemite High School, Sconce Sr. wound up building everything from a special effects tower and camera cranes to a police station set with one-way mirror interrogation room.

Sconce also managed to rope in a couple of below-the-line Hollywood veterans: dialogue editor Brad Semenoff (Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2) and sound mixer Stephen A. Tibb (Modern Family, The Office). Co-star Fine has a healthy list of mainstream credits that includes The Pursuit of Happyness and Patch Adams.


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