At a time when the major film studios are producing nothing but over-hyped movie sequels, it’s a relief to discover a film that relies on its imaginative plot and equally imaginative cast of characters.
First Time Caller, the new feature length film from brothers Paul and Ted Sullivan, possesses both those qualities but still has yet to be picked up for mass distribution.
“We’re a truly independent movie,” said First Time Caller producer Ted Sullivan. “We don’t have any pre-sale deal in place. We’re ultimately going to need a grassroots movement to get this movie into a theater near you.”
While First Time Caller faces competition from studio darlings like Spider-Man 2 and Star Wars: Episode 3, the film sets itself apart from the competition with a cast of talented actors whose performances make the low-budget production shine.
David Alan Basche, co-star of the short-lived hit NBC sitcom Three Sisters and Wilbur in the upcoming Mister Ed on Fox, takes the lead in First Time Caller.
He is supported by a cast as witty and fun to watch onscreen as he is. Patrick Warburton, CeCe Pleasants, Patrick Gallo, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Chris Elliot, Fred Willard and Daily Show correspondents Ed Helms and Mo Rocca offer authentic performances to an already authentic screenplay.
“The main reason we cast David Alan Basche is [because] in the audition he was clearly thinking beyond the lines and finding the humor that isn’t written,” said Paul Sullivan, the director of First Time Caller. “I knew that Patrick, Siobhan, Fred, Chris, Ed, Thomas Gibson and Mo all could take the text and bring some of their own intelligence and wit to the part. And that makes everyone look good.”
First Time Caller follows the story of Dale Sweeney, the host of a virtually unheard of morning radio show titled “Hey, I’ll Believe You.” But on the eve of the show’s cancellation, a mysterious caller phones in speaking in an obscure language.
Unimaginable hype ensues and, as Dale tries to uncover the true origins of the mysterious phone call, he is helped by his best friend, police officer Nick Senna (Patrick Gallo) and a lovely chemistry teacher named Paige Zinke (CeCe Pleasants).
“I’ve continued to work with [the Sullivan brothers] because we see the same value in the projects we decide to do together,” said co-star Patrick Gallo. “The product that is created is always artistically fulfilling across the board.”
Throughout the film, the audience encounters several of Dale’s loony listeners (expect nothing but top-notch performances from Chris Elliot and Siobhan Fallon Hogan) as well as a sexually frustrated expert played by TV funnyman Mo Rocca.
For now, the creators and the actors want nothing more than to see their completed vision released in theaters.
“I would really like to see First Time Caller get distributed with as much enthusiasm as it was made,” said co-star CeCe Pleasants. “It’s such a cool story, and everyone who worked on it is so talented – I would love to see it out there being enjoyed by as many people as possible.”
For more information on the cast and crew and to see the electrifying trailer for First Time Caller, visit the Web site at https://www.firsttimecaller.com.
Marta Rusek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org