As we have every year since 2004, Sedona Monthly brings you a preview of the Sedona International Film Festival & Workshop, taking place Feb. 24 – Mar. 1. We have exclusive interviews with filmmakers; actors; a film historian and an animator. Find out how to score tickets to the hottest movies and preview some of the festival’s most talked about films. Hollywood has nothing on Red Rock Country!
Ed Harris: Touching Home
Four-time Oscar nominated actor Ed Harris needs little introduction – he’s famous for his roles in The Truman Show, The Abyss, Apollo 13, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and, most recently, Appaloosa. Though he wasn’t positive he’d be at the Sedona International Film Festival, he checked in with Sedona Monthly from Los Angeles to talk about filming Touching Home and his impression of Red Rock Country.
Sedona Monthly: You first met the Miller Brothers [co-directors of Touching Home] at the San Francisco Film Festival – what was your first impression?
Ed Harris: Well, their energy made me smile – I appreciated that right off the bat. The fact that they’re identical twins took me back a second. They were so enthusiastic and determined to get me to do this; it was pretty funny, actually. They showed me footage they’d shot at the Colorado Rockies training camp and it looked pretty good. They were very earnest, good guys. They weren’t insane or anything [laughs] so I listened to them.
What was it about the Touching Home script that compelled you to sign on?
They had explained how much the film meant to them. They told me about their dad and their relationship with him. I thought the script reflected that – it seemed to be a well-told story. But it was really their enthusiasm and their insistence I do it – they basically wouldn’t let me say no. They are pretty amazing guys and it was a really fun shoot; I had a good time doing it. I didn’t have much time that year but we made it work.
What was it like to work with a pair of first time writers, directors and actors? Was it a challenge?
I’m sure it was a challenge for them but, by the time I showed up, they had their crew together, they were very organized. They’d been working with Brad [Dourif] and Robert [Forster], both seasoned actors, and this was their story so they knew emotionally what the story was about. I liked working with them as directors – it was a good atmosphere to work in. I knew I was helping them out and I wanted to play their father with honesty as best I could. It was a very positive experience.
The Sedona International Film Festival really focuses on independent films and you’ve done both indies and blockbusters. Tell us about the difference and your thoughts on independent film.
Well that’s kind of a loaded question. For one thing, with a project like National Treasure where you can just see dollars, no expense is barred and the waste is rather amazing – a little bit disconcerting. When you’re working on something like Touching Home you know every dollar is being spent on screen – it has to be. You’re making deals where you can and getting what you need to make the film the right way. It’s just a different attitude – it’s a personally charged atmosphere. I enjoy working in both realms, it just depends on the project. If you’re working on a character you’re interested in playing and working with people you want to work with it’s great whether it’s a big studio movie or small independent film.