What: I Love Film Mixer and Business Showcase
Who: El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce and El Dorado Lake Tahoe Film and Media Office
Where: El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville
When: Friday, March 14 from 4-8 p.m.
Information: The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce at 530-621-5885 or the El Dorado Lake Tahoe Film and Media Office at 530-626-4400 or filmtahoe.com.
Movie buffs in El Dorado County have the chance Friday to listen to and chat with up and coming film director Deon Taylor, featured speaker at the “I Love Film mixer Friday, March 14 at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville.
Taylor is expected to mention — at least once — his latest project, a thriller called “Supremacy” that stars Danny Glover.
A trailer preview of the movie shows a heart-stopping film that involves a top member of the Aryan brotherhood wanted by the law who holes up in Glover’s home with the victim’s family.
That’s all that’s going to be told here, except that it promises to be a drama that captures the audience’s attention from the start to the surprise ending.
“I want people to see the previews, to see my films,” said Taylor, who lives in Folsom. “I’m one of the most down-to-Earth people you’ll meet and I still consider myself a struggling film maker, so I want people to tell me what they think.”
So head to the Forni Building at the fairgrounds from 4-8 p.m. Friday, March 14, and tell Taylor what you think after you listen to his fascinating story, including a career as a professional basketball player before he bounced into films.
There’s no excuse to miss this special evening, sponsored by the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce — it’s free of charge and will also have wine and food tasting and many exhibitor booths.
“It’s fun, it’s free, with good food and good wine,” said Kathleen Dodge, executive director of the El Dorado Lake Tahoe Film and Media Office.
Dodge met Taylor a few years back when she helped him acquire an El Dorado Hills home that served as the headquarters for the movie hero in “Dead Tone,” Taylor’s directing debut.
“I met Deon when he was looking for locations to shoot ‘Dead Tone;’ we found a beautiful estate for the film,” Dodge recalled. “That’s how my business works, establishing and maintaining relationships.”
Taylor remembers their meeting as well and said he loves working with Dodge.
Although “Supremacy” was not shot locally, Dodge said Taylor has told her he has an upcoming project in the planning stages and “he wants to do it in El Dorado County.”
Those interested in a career in films would be well served to attend tonight’s mixer and learn about how the industry has become involved with El Dorado County more and more, thanks largely to Dodge’s efforts for the past two decades.
Even if you’re camera shy, the film industry still wants to hear from you, according to the executive director.
“If you have a house, a boat, a business, a talent, that’s what my office does — connects the film maker with the public,” she explained. “Or, if you want to have your face ‘discovered’ there will be folks from casting companies such as Studio 24, Media Casting and Back Roads Production, all kinds of industry professionals.”
However, the featured speaker promises to totally captivate the crowd, as he tells of being a self-taught film maker, taking the plunge almost a decade ago to learn the trade he found so compelling.
“I’m very passionate about movies and film but I was never able to go to film school,” said Taylor. “I had no tutoring. I’m an Aquarius, so I’m a stupid, passionate, creative person and I just decided, ‘This is what I’m going to do.’”
Taylor said that momentous decision led to a few sleepless nights as he learned to overcome unexpected hurdles but he added that every one of his films has been worth the worry.
“People love ’em!,” he declared. “I think they’ve all been really good, that I haven’t missed yet — but it is a journey when you have to learn the craft as you go along.”
With “Supremacy” Taylor switches from his previous horror and reality genres to a deeply dramatic tone in a story that focuses on racial tensions and guarantees on-the-edge-of-your-seat thrills.
“It’s been screened in Cannes, in Berlin, to standing ovations,” said Taylor, adding that he “really, really” likes how his latest project turned out. “It’s coming out next week in domestic theaters.”
Taylor, who played basketball with the American Basketball Association in a career that took him to Europe, said he looks at the film making industry in a similar fashion:
“If you’re not competitive, you won’t make it,” he said.
A rough upbringing on tough streets was also likely a factor in creating the tensile steel of Taylor’s life’s ambitions.
He said innovative and talented directors such as Steve McQueen, who directed the Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave,” (Best Picture) inspire him to work even harder in his own art. And while he mentions the works of Steven Spielberg as being another reason he ultimately decided to make films, he added that it might not be for the obvious reasons.
“I’m a huge Spielberg fan and I know that sounds like the go-to answer but here’s why: I love him for the fact that he can flow effortlessly through genres, from comedy to horror, ‘ET’ to ‘The Color Purple.’ That’s what I do and with ‘Supremacy’ I have presented a serious drama — and it’s really, really good,” he said, laughing.
Catch the enthusiasm of a passionate director and be sure not to miss this year’s “I Love Film” mixer.
Taylor’s appearance comes in the wake of other film making notables, including Robert Hays and Perry King, who have graced the local audience with their keynote speeches during previous mixers.
Taylor’s speaking engagement should begin at 6:30 p.m., with limited seating inside the fairgrounds’ Imagination Theater. It will be followed by a reception and VIP after party.
Dodge is brimming with excitement about her longtime friend’s featured appearance and urges anyone interested in the film industry to attend.
“I’ve seen the trailer for ‘Supremacy’ and it was amazing,” Dodge said. “To be able to hear from the director of a film before it is released, what a treat.”
For more information call the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce at 530-621-5885 or Dodge at the El Dorado Lake Tahoe Film & Media Office at 530-626-4400.