Del Shores Finally Finds Backing for Battered-Women Movie 'Trailer Trash Housewife' (Exclusive)
The $1 million independent production is adapted from his award-winning play and will star the original cast.
Eight years after it swept top awards for stage productions in Los Angeles, Del Shores finally has independent financing to bring his play about battered women, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, to the big screen.
Shores, who wrote the play and movie script, will direct the under $1 million independent production in Atlanta with the original cast from the acclaimed Los Angeles stage production. Beth Grant (No Country for Old Men) reprises her role as abused housewife Willadean Winkler. The part won her best actress honors from the L.A. Drama Critics Circle, the Ovation Awards and Backstage West Garland Awards.
She will be joined by Dale Dickey, a recent Gotham award winner and current Spirit Award nominee as best supporting actress for Winter's Bone; along with Octavia Spencer, recently cast in DreamWorks' The Help; David Steen, one of the stars of Shores' TV series Sordid Lives; and recording artist Debby Holiday.
Grant said the opportunity to re-create Willadean, "who represents so many of the forgotten women is just beyond thrilling."
The film, set in the South, explores the emotions and secrecy surrounding battered women, according to Shores, while also offering hope, healing and truth.
The movie is being financed by Kestrel Communications of Atlanta, which is making its first foray into movie production after having made its mark with TV shows for ESPN, Speed TV and elsewhere. Kestrel CEO Robert L. Rearden Jr. will produce along with Shores (and his Del Shores Prods.) as well as actor-turned-producer Emerson Collins and Grant's Big Leap Prods.
Shores said they plan to make the movie first and then try it out on the festival circuit and seek a specialty film distributor. This will be Shores' third play to be made into a movie after Sordid and Daddy's Dyin' (Who's Got the Will?). Shores' play Yellow was honored last week by the L.A. Drama Critics as best world premiere.
Trailer Trash ran for six months at the Zephyr Theater in L.A. in 2003, and was revived in 2006. There have also been numerous regional productions in Atlanta, Dallas and elsewhere.
Tamera Brooks will line produce, Joe Patrick Ward will write a score and new original songs, in addition to those he did for the play, and David Sanderson, who worked with Shores on Sordid Lives, will be the director of photography.
Shores said a major reason they are shooting in Atlanta is the tax breaks offered by the state of Georgia. Shores credited Atlanta accountant and consultant Peter Stathopoulous with helping structure the deal, which will take advantage of 30 percent in tax rebates, a break on Georgia sales tax and a provision that allows investors to write off some losses.
"Tax incentives were very influential in raising the capital for the independent feature," said Rearden, "and bringing Shores and his team to Atlanta."