Monday, July 30, 2012

HILL HARPER, WAYNE BRADY & Tommy Oliver on the 1982 Film Set in West Oak Lane

I visited the set of the film 1982 earlier this month (I reported on this in my Fox 29 clip last Thursday). It's a film about a father Tim Brown, (Hill Harper),
Hill Harper
whose wife Shenae Brown, (Sharon Leal) succumbs to a crack cocaine addiction and him trying to wean his wife off it while shielding their 10 year old daughter (Troi Zee). It takes place in Philly in 1982 at the very onset of the crack epidemic and is ultimately a story of a father doing whatever it takes to save his family.

The film was shot in West Oak Lane on Andrews Ave Philadelphia neighborhood where writer, directer and producer Tommy Oliver, grew up.

The film was a family and friend project as many of his participated in the making of it, even flying in from California to work as a favor. Actor David Bianchi told me "Tommy is the kind of friend you do that for." The home used in the movie is in reality Oliver's grandmother's house. His grandmother is played by Ruby Dee.  He told me his grandmother was thrilled when she met him.

   Bokeem Woodbine and Hill Harper

Director Tommy Oliver and Troi Zee
A surprise add to the cast the day I was there, Wayne Brady, who was so thin I didn't even recognize him.  I loved seeing the cars from the '70s like the Pinto that wouldn't start and they had to push down the hill to jump start it, or the vintage clothing, which came from Echochic in Philadelphia. The last film Oliver produced, Kinyarwanda, won the audience award at Sundance and was ranked #6 on Roger Ebert's top 10 films of 2011.

writer, directer and producer Tommy Oliver, Hill Harper and Wayne Brady get some shade on this very hot day.  Shortly after this I got the tip about Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth eating at Capital Grille, and as it happened the 1982 crew was heading out to lunch, so I made my way back to town and got the exclusive shots of the duo leaving the restaurant.