DVD Cover Art
Sorry to take a break from the continuing saga of "Holyman Undercover," but my film "Run On" was released straight to DVD last week and this seems like a good time to talk about it.
It's kind of weird calling it my film since I had little to do with it. Tim and I got involved with what would become this project soon after finishing the script for "Holyman Undercover."
David A.R. White had been performing "Holyman Undercover" as a one-man-show for a number of years. With the completion of the film, he wanted to develop a new property to perform live. Timothy Ratajczak and I were recruited to come with something new for him. It was interesting challenge. Tim had more of a stage background than me. I hadn't written anything for the stage since grade school. (Shout out to St. D! Yo! Time for another reunion!) One stage. One performer. It's an unforgiving format. We were game.
"Holyman Undercover" was based extremely loosely on David's life. He wanted his next show to cover the same material, but in a more realistic and honest -- yet funny -- manner. Tim and I began the process by extensively interviewing David about every aspect of his life and career. And I mean every aspect. If his wife, the lovely and talented Andrea Logan White, ever needs to know anything about him, she should call us. Tim and I and David labored on this project over the course of a couple months between other assignments and eventually came up with a show called: "David White: Christian Film Star." Pretty imaginative title, huh?
While we were working, David was building a relationship with a manager who booked performers on the faith-based circuit. Two of the manager's other clients were comedians Brad Stine and Tommy Blaze. Tim and I had already worked with Brad Stine years earlier on a potential film project that did not come to fruition. Brad would later appear in our films "Sarah's Choice" and "Marriage Retreat," as well as a still pending project. We didn't know Tommy at the time, but his presence would loom larger soon thereafter.
The manager liked the show, but he thought David would have an easier time getting booked at the various mega-churches, etc., if it had a Biblical theme. I can't remember which one of us came up with the idea of tying David's life to the parable of the prodigal son, but it proved a perfect fit. David's life already conformed to the general themes, so it was a quick rewrite and we were done.
David thought the best way to kick off his new show was with a movie. And, since he was now represented by the same manager as Brad Stine and Tommy Blaze, he thought they should make a stand-up film together to promote all three of their careers. Initially, they were going to each simply perform their normal routines, ala "The Kings of Comedy," etc. However, after Tommy read David's show, he decided to combine all three of their performances into a single narrative along the lines of the Prodigal son parable. David would start the tale about how he, a preacher's kid from a small town in Kansas, went to Hollywood and drifted away from his values. Tommy would pick up then pick up the narrative with the low point in his life as he faced a painful divorce. Then Brad would finish the show by illustrating the Christian life triumphant. Tommy and Brad wrote their own segments.
Tim and I had nothing to do with the movie script. Tommy simply cut down and adjusted the existing material to fit the overall film. Our schedules did not permit us to go to the filming which took place in front of a live audience in Tennessee. We had little to do with the post-production other than to look at early cuts of David's routine and advise what to tighten, etc.
Fortunately, the film doesn't invalidate David's one-man-show. Only a small portion of it is used in the film, and, since David opened the show, his segment had to carry the bulk of the exposition. As a result, many of the jokes from those segments were cut to make time for the story. If you really want to see what we wrote, you'll have to see David when he comes to your town. He puts on a good show.
Here's the trailer:
And that's the story of "Run On."