I'm in a grand old Texas town called Smithville, shooting my next movie Doonby with a great cast and crew. The film was written and is being directed by Peter Mackenzie. The cast is an amazing group of friends new and old-John Schneider, Robert Davi, Will Wallace, Jenn Gotzon, Joe Estevez, and others. On the flight out from LAX I ran into Joe and we had a nice chat. Add a few years onto his nephew Emilio Estevez and you have Joe. He's a great guy who told me all about his great family of 10 brothers and sisters born into an Irish Catholic/Spanish family (including his brother Martin Sheen). His mother was apparently told that she couldn't have any more kids after the first two, but she ignored doctors' orders and had eight more. Love that.
The film centers around a mysterious character named Sam Doonby, played by Schneider, who shows up in a small Texas town, Smithville, which is every bit as beautiful as when Hope Floats was shot here. John is cool under pressure, unflappable and above all a gentleman. He's blogging here with updates on the film as well. Will Wallace plays a bad guy and is playing it to perfection-a character light years away from the nice guy who is on the set with his wife and two toddlers and their presence has really served to make the set family-friendly.
One of my roles as co-producer has been lining up talent and I brought a recent friend Jenn and an old friend Robert to the picture. Jenn plays John's love interest and is very intense in her preparation and really delves into her character. Robert arrives tomorrow and plays the Sheriff.
We've all fallen in love with Smithville, which is a short drive from the Austin Airport. The town has just one hotel but a number of amazing B&B's. I overheard my 9-year old daughter describing the situation to her sister in LA on the phone this way: "People pretend their homes are hotels and you can stay there!"
We're at a great B&B called Katy's where Sallie is taking good care of us. The people are friendly, the barbecue is great, the hospitality superb, and from what I've seen of the dailies so far, the movie is going to be amazing.