Saturday, April 28, 2012

Catherine Bach has a new movie project in "Chapman"; we talk to the producer, Doug Weiser

As she's been enjoying her gig on CBS' "The Young and the Restless," our own Daisy Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard" has had another project in the works.

"Chapman" is a movie being supported by donations and investments, and sounds like it's for a great cause. The project is in partnership with a Colorado-based nonprofit called Mpower, which has been providing positive youth development programs for high school students. Mpower students have been crewing on the film, too.

We talked to producer Doug Weiser, who told us about the film and Bach's part in it.

"Basically, it's two best friends in love with the same girl in high school," Weiser tells BRBTV. "Tragedy ensues because of this love triangle. Years later, one of these young men comes back to the town he'd left trying to bring closure to what had happened. We understand how these people's lives were forever changed by that event."

He says, "The director-writer, Justin Owensby, was a high school student in this area about 11 years ago, and he was having some challenges and found this organization, Mpower. He got involved in that and felt it really changed his life and ultimately sent him on a track that led him to Hollywood where he is having success as a filmmaker. His family's still in this area, so he wanted to do something for this organization."

Thus, "Chapman" was born. So how did Catherine Bach come to be involved?

"This is a fairly serious dramatic piece with a few pieces of comic relief in it," Weiser says. "We were looking for good, recognizable talent for some of these supporting roles. Catherine is a close friend of a my stepmother-in-law. She liked the chance to get away in the summertime with her daughters. Even though it was a very small role she was happy to come and help."

Joining Bach in her scene is Dennis Haskins, whom fans may recall as Principal Richard Belding on "Saved by the Bell."

"He plays opposite her, as a middle-aged husband-and-wife couple," Weiser explains. "They're sort of ex-hippies going through a water birth in a hotel room. Catherine Bach is giving birth in a little kiddie pool. She was lovely to work with and to do it. It's not an X-rated scene, or R-rated for that matter. But it lent a little humor to the story."

He says about the scene, "Our lead character played by Jesse Johnson, who's a bit of a con man, he's also a locksmith. So he picks a lock, and he hears the commotion going on in this room and figures he's going to walk in on a lurid sex scene, and he's literally befuddled by what he sees."

Bach filmed her scene for the movie last July and August, Weiser says, and though he wasn't actually on set when Bach was taping, he heard rave reviews afterward.

"I've met her personally a couple times," Weiser tells BRBTV, "and I had to leave at that particular time -- my father passed away. I was in Miami that whole week. When I came back, she'd finished her scene already. Sadly, in this instance, I wasn't able to spend any time with her. My experience was through the others who were there. She was gracious to everybody. She was a professional. Everyone said how sweet she was. When I got back I couldn't believe what I'd heard."

"Chapman" marks a return to the business for Weiser, who has a cameo role in the film in addition to his work producing it. "Years ago I co-produced and co-wrote a movie called 'Midnight Crossing,'" he tells BRBTV. "That was in '88. Faye Dunaway and Kim Cattrall were in it. Daniel J. Travanti of 'Hill Street Blues' -- remember that show? The movie still shows now and then. For many years after 'Midnight Crossing,' I became involved in real estate. I left L.A. in '89, and moved to Aspen, Colorado, where I started a real estate company, met my wife, then went back in Florida to build a hotel, then moved back to Colorado in 2002. I've been writing screenplays and trying to get back into the production business."

And the movie certainly appears to be a labor of love for the Mpower organization. Weiser says about 20 percent of their budget has come from donations so far, with the remainder from investments. If the movie makes a profit, he says, the first half of a million dollars will go to Mpower. "That's how we were able to use the Mpower students as crew and support people for the shoot, so they had the experience of working on a feature film."

"Chapman" is in post-production right now. "We don't have a distributor yet," Weiser says. "We just began showing screener copies to a sales agent and one distributor who expressed an interest just by hearing about it. It's a very low-budget feature, and I don't know if it will receive a theatrical release. I'm learning my way aournd it again, since I've been away from it for so long."

You can view the teaser for "Chapman" at the movie's official site, and check out the IMDb page for more info, as well. BRBTV wishes Weiser and the crew the best -- it will be great to see Catherine on-screen in this one.

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