Montana Mischief: Inspired to Empower Young People

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

My main inspiration is Director Luc Besson.

Studying the films of Luc Besson we see that excess and stylisation are the two major hallmarks. We are aware of this in characterisation, decor and genre. The characters are usually larger than life, physically strong and they seem to lack psychological or historical depth, rather like comic-strip characters. They are spectacular images cut loose from any clear historical context. The decor sometimes overrides the narrative.

Credit: Esteban Calderin

What makes Besson’s heroes inspiring is that we all have something in common with them, that is their weaknesses.

When asked about strong female characterisations, Besson replied that he found women much more interesting to make films about, because they are not as strong as men, physically. The strategies that women adopt to be strong is what makes them so interesting in movies’ leading roles, said Besson.

Montana Mischief builds a teen girl leader of spectacular moving images with a vivid and compelling underlying story. Focusing on decor, genre, impacting cinematic statements, we attempt to create psychological depth to the characters and a meaningful story from a clear historical background. The main character evolving and developing from visual images. Her character traits are revealed in the ways she chooses to deal with her circumstances. The storyline is illustrated in pictures, the dialogue and soundtrack aid in complementing of the deceptive narrative which purposefully misleads the audience to make different suggestions as to what the “Truth” is.

The main character Janelle Montana owes the inspiration for her existence to the epic character Joan of Arc, an adolescent who dreams and obeys a higher call.

The life of Joan of Arc reflects the rising of a messiah. The question that has entertained historians is the “How did she happen?” How did a young girl of sixteen or seventeen convince the Dauphine of France the future Charles VII to give her an army, to lead a battle against the English? She drove the English out of Orleans and Charles was crowned King. Subsequently, Joan is captured by the Burgundians sold to the English tried by the church and executed at Rouen.

She appeared in a time of unrest when a nation needed a saviour. Joan was sent from God. Her virginity was a powerful sign of integrity in her society. She was considered to have a pure and devoted heart. Most importantly Joan of Arc represented a challenge that had to be met.

I chose to build a character that held some sort of similarities with Saint Joan of Arc. Not in the magnitude of her influence but in the reflection of her emotions, her character traits and how she is viewed by others in her society.

I wanted to create a character who was special no so much for her dreams, vision and God sent messages but for her strong personality which was a direct inheritance from a very respected, feared and exceptional predecessor. A character who would be free from the stereotypical format for a modern hero. A character passionate and strong induced by the command of a greater source of power. Janelle Montana is a character that can stand alone as a saviour/hero, for she is been permitted to do so by higher authority. She is trusted because of her inherited character and the loved shown to her and the loyalty of all those around her, yet she is especially vulnerable to ill fate.

The most important and relevant aspect of the film is the vision it holds to empowering young people to believe in themselves and think highly of who they are. To look at the future ahead with bravery and enthusiasm.

The Plot

The action-packed story of a young girl who has suffered a great loss and receives an extraordinary calling. It focuses on how she deals with her loss, it will also reveal the bravery of her character and the loyalty of her friends. Her decisiveness in the way she copes with her father’s death and how she deals with what is at stake marks a new stage in her life and shows how she assumes responsibility, gains strength and builds her character. All these events clash with the celebration of her 15th birthday.

At a poker game the key members of the 3 clans leaders discus what is to be done against Montana’s heir. One of the gangs was an ally of Montana’s the other is an enemy and the third has been indifferent but now wants a share of the pie and is waiting to take advantage of the situation.

About Sylvia Love Johnson

Author, Film Producer, Filmmaker, Actor, Method Acting Teacher Acting Career Coach,

Sylvia Love Johnson is an Entrepreneur, Filmmaker, Actor, Writer, Producer, Method Acting Tutor and Acting Career Coach Founder at HEKATE Film Works. Her company focuses on providing tailored solutions for professional Actors seeking continued support, mentorship, career coaching and advanced training. Filmmakers and Producers seeking Distribution and Investment. Investors are interested in finding great private investment opportunities in the UK Film Industry.

Sylvia is Currently Casting her first Feature film 'Montana Mischief' and in Pre-production with METHOD Short Film.

Winner of the Best Produced Kid’s Short Film Award at San Diego International Kids Film Festival for “Art’s Eyes” 2013. Her short film "Forgotten Paradise" was selected in the Official Selection of Depth of Film International Film Festival in 2015, the official selection of the Nairobi International Film Festival in 2016 and featured in PalmsSprings Short Film Market in 2015. "She Moon Experimental" was selected in the Official Selection of A Film for Peace International Film Festival 2014 and featured at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Market 2014.

Montana Mischief Feature Film is

approaching pre-production.

In-Person Audition Dates to be sent in September to the chosen candidates.

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