Field of Stones: The Westinghouse High School Story

by Brett Allen

PA

The Film Synopsis:  www.fieldofstonesmovie.com

The Field of Stones,story revolves around the success of legendary coach, Pete DImperio and his outstanding, renowned Westinghouse High Schoolfootball team, the Bulldogs. This is a true story about an impoverished inner-city high school with limited financial resources for equipment, uniforms, and more importantly, a suitable playing field of grass or turf on which to practice and to compete. Academically, the Westinghouse students struggled daily with their classroom demands. These issues, coupled with tragic and sometimes triumphant circumstances happening nationally, they would soon face and encounter an impactful event closer to this tight-knit community. On Saturday, November 9, 1963, the Homewood community and Westinghouse students are jubilantly celebrating the Bulldogs 18th City League football championship victory when they learned of the senseless murder of their charismatic, intelligent and dynamic football captain, Billy Vassar. 

Field of Stones is based on actual events, centered around Vassar’s death. It is a coming of age narrative that documents the students overwhelming grief, anger, confusion and despair, highlighting the resilience and determination of these teens to subsequently conquer their negative environment and mindset. With an astounding fate exemplifying academic and professional achievement and athletic accolades, the Westinghouse High School students created their place in history -- locally, nationally and globally.

The film Project:

This will be a full length feature film shot in Pittsburgh, Pa., in the very school and neighborhood where these events occurred.  Support for school and field sets are being made available by Pittsburgh Public schools. This is a coming of age, sports, drama with historical significance, based on true events. This will require cinematography, set design, cast, crew, and period wardrobe. Period wardrobe is being provided by Danielle Volker, Any-Kind-of-Wear. Steeltown Entertainment Project lists/ supports with professional crew, cast, and equipment.

Director and Editor:

Demetrius Wren, attended Florida State University (FSU) to study film. While at FSU, he completed over 12 short films. He graduated from Florida State University's film school as the recipient of the, Pathfinder's Scholarship and started working immediately as a director on his award winning film, Streetball, about a group of homeless soccer players in South Africa. Wren went on to direct the indie feature, Saudade, as well as the first season of live interstitials on the hit children's show, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. His first film as writer/director was Moon and Sun followed by the short film Fathers Day. In 2018, husband-and-wife filmmakers Christina and Demetrius Wren earn the Indie award for their feature film, The Rehabilitation of the Hill. This full feature film was a Steeltown film lab production in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh.

Funding Will Be Used For: Our minimum goal will fund our preproduction costs. All other funds will go towards production and post production

1. Pre Production: Casting, location selecting, set design/ development, rehearals, period wardrobe.

2. Production: six weeks, Rehearsals, synch/sound shooting, simultaneous conversion for editing

2. Post production: seven weeks, editing, backgound music,sound design, etc will be sven weeks. We are currently in preproduction and seeking funds for production, post production, and marketing. 

Why Field of Stones

An American High school sports drama like, Friday Night Lights, ours is a compelling, uplifting drama of how a legendary coach and hisgridiron players built a small inner city high school into a football power house!

Like the American teen drama movie, Boyz n the Hood, our teen cast is confronted with tragedy and struggles with decisions that will affect the outcomes of their lives forever.

In the vein of, The Great Debaters, based on a true story, our teens are faced with the inequities and horrors of the sixties civil rights era to excel against all odds.

This is a truly hearfelt project that needs your help to complete.

Every gift matters, no matter how small or large. We are grateful for every gift. Please help us reach our goal for preproduction, production and post production.

All gifts made to our Hatchfund campaign are tax deductible for US citizens EIN: 47-0749200.

 LESLIE PARR SCREENWRITER/ACTRESS / FILMMAKER

Leslie Parr began her acting training and career at the age of six at the Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1950s. At the age of twelve, she moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and performed at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Stephen Foster Memorial and Theater. In 1963, she had the lead role in the Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta, The HMS Pinafore. While attending Westinghouse High School, she had the starring role during the senior class play, Cheaper By the Dozen.

After marrying in 1972, she continued to perform in Greensboro, North Carolina. By this time, she hired an agent and began the crossover of performing in commercials and movies. She appeared in many episodes of the Matlock television series. Leslie gained valuable on-the-set movie experience as Phylicia Rashad's stand-in for the movie, Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored. After fifteen years, she completed her acting run in North Carolina, playing the housekeeper in the critically acclaimed movie, To Kill A Mockingbird. In 2006, she began a career in screenwriting. Parr and co-writer Jim Goodman collaborated on a project about the tragic murder of Billy Vassar, the captain of Westinghouse High School's football team, in 1963. Today, she and a great movie team are working hard to bring this great story, Field of Stones, to the silver screen. This will be Parr's first feature film debut. 

JAMES L. GOODMAN   PRODUCER/PRODUCTION MANAGER/DIRECTOR

James L. Goodman is assistant professor of media production in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication at High Point University, High Point, North Carolina.  Goodman is responsible for teaching various communication courses in media production. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from High Point University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Fine Arts in film production from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Goodman produced and directed the short film, The One Per Cent, and received the, Award of Excellence in 2016 from the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts, an international academic association for educators, students and professionals. In 2013, he also received the BEA, Award of Excellence for his original narrative short script, The Ghosts We Know.

He is a producer, production manager, and director of TV commercials. He has additional experience as a first assistant director, working on motion pictures which appeared on cable networks -- USA, Lifetime and the Sci-Fi Channel. Jim’s key interests are in the realm of filmmaking and writing for the screen.  He partnered with Leslie Parr on the screenplay, Field of Stones, an inspired true story about the untimely death of Billy Vassar, the Westinghouse High School football team captain, which occurred in 1963. 

DEMETRIUS WREN  SCREENWRITER/DIRECTOR

Demetrius Wren was born in Phoenix, AZ and grew up in Augusta, GA. He made his first film at age 8 and started studying filmmaking while in high school. He attended Florida State University (FSU) to study film. While at FSU, he completed over 12 short films and studied classical saxophone under one of the greatest players and the perfect mentor: Professor Patrick Meighan. He graduated from Florida State University's film school as the recipient of the, Pathfinder's Scholarship and started working immediately as a director on his award winning film, Streetball, about a group of homeless soccer players in South Africa.

Following FSU, He moved to NY for his "unofficial grad school" which led him from learning art via the work of a genius, Robert Wilson, to studying writing while assisting Steven Sater on the Broadway hit, Spring Awakening. Wren went on to direct the indie feature, Saudade, as well as the first season of live interstitials on the hit children's show, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. His first film as writer/director, Moon and Sun follows the story of a young psychic in Astoria who is on the hunt for her mother's killer. He also wrote and directed, the short film, Fathers Day.

He co-owns the production company, Two Kids with a Camera, along with his wife, actress Christina Wren. Together they make indie films, commercials and web content for major commercial clients and networks.

In 2018, husband-and-wife filmmakers Christina and Demetrius Wren earn the Indie award for their feature film, The Rehabilitation of the Hill. This full feature film was a Steeltown film lab production in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh.  

“Today I feel as if I'm living a childhood dream. Thank you everyone who has believed in me and helped me on this journey.”

- Dee 

BRETT ALLEN       PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/EDITOR

Brett Allen is a University of Pittsburgh graduate, Brett interned in the marketing department at Sheridan Broadcasting and on the magazine show, On Q at WQED, where he produced packages. After interning, he stayed on with Sheridan broadcasting where he produced for national talk radio programs with AURN including the White House Report, Hollywood Live, and The Bev Smith Show. Transitioning into television and film he has worked with the Pittsburgh Cable Network and KDKA before starting a production company where he has found himself directing and producing stand-up comedy films, live concerts, entertainment news shows, commercials and various other productions. His film experience spans from Production Assistant, Assistant Director, and Executive Producer of projects such as The Kill PointMysteries of Pittsburgh Con, Per-Sep-ShuhnShepard and more. Expanding his production knowledge, he became a certified Line Producer at the New York Film Academy demonstrating 10 years of production experience.

LYVONNE PARKER  EXECUTIVE PRODUCER  

DIANE HUGHLEY  EXECUTIVE PRODUCER  

  

CHERYLL CHAKRABARTI  ASSOCIATE PRODUCER 

CAROL LOCKETT  MEDIA ASSISTANT

DANIELLE VOLKAR  WARDROBE & RESEARCH        

JUSTIN PARR  MEDIA ASSISTANT