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Youmans: Catching the latest flick about 'Flicka'

'Flicka: Country Pride' comes out on DVD and Blu-ray just days after screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

May 10, 2012|By Heather Youmans

Hartman, who retired from her acting career 12 years ago, was initially opposed to her involvement, because she wanted to be there as a mother for Lilly Pearl in her first film role.

"And so, Michael had to talk Lisa into it and he said look, you've read the script, this woman is the love interest for Clint, and you're going to be there on set everyday and nobody can play this role better than you and you're going to be kicking yourself if you don't do it," Janeen Damian explained. "So she finally decided to do it."

But Black and Hartman-Black — who proved to be an irreplaceable asset — were not the only married couple working on the film.

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Working in perfect synergy, Michael Damian and his wife, Janeen, produce their films in a wholesome manner that appeals to younger audiences, as well as the older ones.

Each has something unique to bring to the table. For Michael, it's his years of experience in the music, television and film industries; Meanwhile, Janeen lends her expertise as a championship horseback rider.

"Safety is the key and we are very proud to say this is our third horse film and forth animal film that we have done, where no animals have been harmed," Janeen Damian said.

Another challenge was keeping the actors safe, while making them convincingly ride at the competitive level.

"I was lucky I didn't fall off the horse very much," said Max Lloyd-Jones, who portrayed Kelly's love interest Briggs McBride. "I remember getting my heals down was my biggest issue that led me to sometimes nearly fall off and ruin a take."

For more than a year, Michael Damian has wanted to take the audience on a ride with Flicka. And, that he did.

The 111-minute film flew by, the action seamlessly interwoven with Mark Thomas' score. And frankly, weaknesses were hard to pinpoint.

According to Damian, audience demand will determine the realization of a fourth Flicka film.

Needless to say, tears and tissue requests after the Festival screening, were a good sign.

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