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Production begins on Oklahoma film "Light from the Darkroom"; extras needed for the religious thriller

by Brandy McDonnell Published: August 6, 2013
Lance McDaniel (Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman Archives)
Lance McDaniel (Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman Archives)

Production has started on a new Oklahoma based film, “Light from the Darkroom.” The film is being directed by Lance McDaniel and produced by Nathan Gardocki, both of Oklahoma City, from a script written by Tulsa’s Kathleen Rooney and Al Reinhart, the Oscar-nominated co-writer of “Apollo 13.”

“Light from the Darkroom” is a religious thriller set in Panama and China that will feature a primarily Latino and Asian cast. Puerto Rico’s Lymari Nadal (“American Gangster,” “America”) is starring alongside former Miss Panama and Telenovela star Patricia De Leon (“Love Orchard,” “Men of Certain Age”).

The film is a faith-based thriller set in Panama. When a religious pilgrimage turns into a massacre, Dr. Carmen Hill (De Leon) returns home to Panama City to comfort her best friend, Blanca Zamora (Nadal), and find out what happened. An undeveloped roll of film arrives, providing the only clues to the massacre and forcing the women to confront their faith and fight for their lives.

The story is very respectful of Christianity and the Catholic faith, according to a news release.

The leading men include Russell Wong (“Romeo Must Die,” “The Joy Luck Club”) and Steven Michael Quesada (“Agent Steven Gomez,” “Breaking Bad”). The cast also includes Oklahoma actors Stephanie Pena and Eleanor Threatt Hardy as well as former Oklahoma State Cowboy football player Yue Pun Szeto. Both Pena and Hardy starred in director McDaniel’s previous film “Crazy Enough,” which is now available on Netflix and Red Box.

Kathleen Rooney, executive producer of “Light from the Darkroom,” is married to Francis Rooney, owner of Tulsa-based Manhattan Construction Group. Francis Rooney also served as Ambassador to the Holy See from 2005-08 under President George W. Bush and is a member of the Panama Canal Advisory Board. The settings and subject matter of the film reflect a deep knowledge of and respect for those experiences.

Despite the foreign settings in the film, the Rooney’s wanted to produce the film in Oklahoma. “We’ve been impressed by the steady growth of the local film industry,” said Kathleen Rooney in a news release. “We wanted our investment to support the creative people living and working in Oklahoma.”

“Light from the Darkroom” films throughout the month of August at various locations around Oklahoma using an almost entirely Oklahoma-based crew.

Production began Monday with filming in Oklahoma City. Latinos, Asians, African-Americans and American Indians are needed over the next several days to appear as extras in “Light from the Darkroom.”

Extras are needed to depict Panamanians and Chinese for various scenes between now and Aug. 25. The film takes place in Panama City and Beijing, China, though all filming will take place in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas.

All extras will be paid a flat rate of $50 per day for their appearance in the film.

“Most extras are only needed for one day, though some people can certainly work more than that if available and interested,” said Casting Director Chris Freihofer (the Oklahoma-made films “Rudderless,” “August: Osage County,” “To the Wonder”).

To apply to be an extra, email a photo and all contact information to People who are selected to appear in the film will be contacted by a member of Freihofer Casting.


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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