Midday Movies: ‘5 Hour Friends’
Feature Shot In San Diego Opens Friday, March 28
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Aired 3/27/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Ron Jackson, Writer/Producer of "5 Hour Friends"
Theo Davies, Director of "5 Hour Friends"
Beth Accomando, KPBS Arts Reporter
The first San Diego Film Awards took place recently in an effort to bring attention to filmmaking in town after the closure of the San Diego Film Commission. There was not a category for best feature film but that might change if more films like "5 Hour Friends" (opening March 28 at Reading Gaslamp and AMC Theaters) are shot in San Diego.
The was written and produced by longtime San Diego resident Ron Jackson and directed by recent British transplant Theo Davies.
The film stars Tom Sizemore as Timothy Bonner, a golfer who loves the sport almost as much as he loves chasing after women. So it’s fitting that the film began on a golf course.
"In Palm Springs I picked up with a five-hour friend," Jackson recalled of a golf course encounter. "And we were talking about his life as you tend to do when you are with somebody for five hours and he mentioned that he went to Las Vegas to open a series of gyms and he was a player at the time and his wife said, 'if we go to Las Vegas, we will not leave married,' and he said, 'I was a player and I got divorced.' And I said, 'well how do you feel about that?' And he kind of looked down and I could tell he felt badly and he said, 'I really regret it.' That became, that little nugget of a conversation with a stranger became the story hook that took all the scenes that I had written and turned it into a film."
In the film, Bonner loves to be a stickler about rules on the golf course but off the course, he's a womanizer and cheater.
"It’s a very good role," Davies said. "I think that’s what appealed to Tom Sizemore about it as well. When you read the script, it’s all about him, about seeing great changes in him from the beginning of the story to the end and he’s just someone you root for at the right time, and someone that you could really engage with and really care about his kind of change about the story. And I think that when you identify that strongly with a character I think that can really fuel the passion for the overall story and the whole experience of the story."
But it's difficult for an indie film drama with a white male as its central character and white males behind the camera to get attention. There are no white male film festivals and drama — unlike horror — is not an easily marketable genre. But Jackson said his film does appeal to one niche audience.
"One thing I think this film does have is it’s golf-oriented and the golfers — and I’m one —are passionate about their sport, and I suspect that a lot of golfers will see this just because there’s the golf element even though in the end it’s a love story I think, it’s not really a golf movie," Jackson said.
He also found that writing is a little like golfing.
"When you golf and you putt, I always think of putting as being a little magic because you don’t know how hard to hit it or when to send the ball in the beginning I think writing is a little magical, I think that, I’m not sure I can say anything more than that it was just magic somehow," Jackson explained.
Now audiences can decide how magical Jackson’s first feature film is as it opens in San Diego Friday, March 28 at the Reading Gaslamp and AMC Palm Promenade and Mission Valley Theaters.