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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The FORCERY Four, together again!

I don't know how else to put it, but there are some things that happened at Dad's funeral that despite the occasion were an amazing delight.  And I truly believe that Dad would have had no small measure of pride if he could somehow know that this celebration of his life brought so many wonderful people together to celebrate not only his own life, but also of the most precious things in all our lives.

During the service I spoke a few words about Dad and since the other ministers were sharing stories from his life, I did likewise and related some tales of how forgiving and relenting - even if he didn't understand what the heck I was doing - of the many stunts that I pulled during the life that we shared.  One of them was during the filming of Forcery: my first (and Lord willing still the first of many more to come) film project.  So there was Dad watching as we did things like setting fire to the living room floor of his house, having sledgehammers flying all over the place, "breaking" my best friend's legs etc.  Dad saw this one day and he started to leave.

"Are you headed out Dad?" I asked him.

"Uh-huh, way out," was his reply.  That got a good laugh from the very many who came to the service.

Well, as it turned out, Dad's funeral turned out to be the occasion of a reunion of sorts.  Because among those who came were Chad Austin, Ed Woody, and though it was a long drive for them Melody Hallman Daniel and her mother attended... and boy was my heart jumping for joy to see each of them!  Ten years ago we were all making Forcery.  And as things would have it, we wound up all together once again.

It hadn't been planned, but I really believe that it was something God let happen: the reunion of the Forcery Four.

So here - from left to right - are Ed, myself, Chad, and Melody (with her service dog Sasha) ten years later, just after Dad's funeral:

We don't look all that different than we did when we were making that movie, do we? :-)

And here they are, the stars of our show: Chad and Melody, AKA George Lucas and Frannie Filks:

For such a low-budget project, it is absolutely amazing where our little film has gone and has accomplished since then.  Melody shared how many of her former drama students and fellow faculty members come up to her to tell her they saw her in the Forcery footage that was featured in The People vs. George Lucas.  Chad and Melody were seen on the screens at Cannes.  Forcery was mentioned in Time and The Village Voice and a lot of other publications, and made a whole bunch of bigtime filmmaking-related websites.

I won't say that I myself am proud of Forcery.  Instead, I will say that I am proud of what we accomplished together.  We didn't become only friends because of Forcery: the four of us and others became a real family.  Chad and Ed, have long been my brothers.  Melody became as beloved to me as any sister.  And all of them brought amazing consolation to me when I needed it most.

That is what makes Forcery so special in my life... and it always will be.

But it better not be another ten years before we come together again!  We've already planned to reunite again and watch Forcery once more.  No doubt next time we will have even more family to share it with :-)

EDIT 11-27-2014 3 a.m. EST:  After attempting it multiple times and failing, I finally got Forcery, the entire movie, to upload as a single YouTube video!  No more having to jump to parts.  Here it is.  Enjoy!