A Behind the Scenes Look at Tempting Fate with Actor Dan Davies

Tempting Fate is heading into its 5th week in theaters across Nigeria and Ghana and is still showing well—especially considering the stiff competition from the summer’s blockbuster movies. This week I’ve dedicated my time to giving my readers a new and exciting angle into this movie.

10881626_517764045039343_8467478603587562293_n

Still showing after 4 weeks in Nigeria and Ghana.

I’m delighted and grateful to share about Tempting Fate from an insider’s viewpoint, with co-star Dan Davies. Dan plays Scorpion, a gangster and leader of the bank robbery/drug gang, a central figure in the movie.  (Watch trailer with the music of Pedro González Arbona.)

Let me start off by saying that Dan is nothing like the evil villain he portrays in Tempting Fate. I first met Dan via Facebook shortly after Pedro signed the contract to compose for the movie. Then we met face to face at the VIP screening in Houston last year. That was a whirlwind weekend, and regrettably with no time to connect outside of all the press attention.

Days before Dan left for the Nigerian premiere of the movie last month, he granted my request for an interview. It wasn’t your typical press interview. We talked about matters of faith, his trip and the premiere in Lagos, and about the film. I hope you enjoy getting to know Dan a bit and what it was like on the set of Tempting Fate. But first…

Who is Dan Davies?

Dan Davies is a talented actor, screenwriter, and producer from Appleton, Wisconsin. His credits span a variety of different media: national TV commercials, local television and radio programs, internet video production, and print modeling. He received the prestigious Platinum (2005) and Silver (2006) Remi awards for films at the International Houston Film Festival (World Fest). Dan even spent time as a competitive body builder in the 1990s.

Dan Davies

Dan Davies

While Dan’s day to day work is in film promotions, marketing, procuring distribution and writing, his favorite work is when he can engage his creative juices in acting and screenwriting. To that end, Dan’s star is rising over Hollywood and Nollywood (the Nigerian entertainment industry).

Dan’s most recent work (before Tempting Fate) is in the movie West of Thunder. (Watch trailer.)  Dan co-wrote and stars in this film, a film selected in three 2012 film festivals: Toronto Independent FF, the American Indian FF, and the Red Nation FF. (Vote it into the top 10 American Indian Film Institute movies here.)  He also co-stars in Flim: The Movie, a 2014 British film that was nominated for the Best Film at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA). The movie was recently selected for viewing at the very prestigious NYC Film Festival in October.  (Watch trailer.)

How did Dan get the role of Scorpion in “Tempting Fate?”

Dan attributes the accolades and acclaim from West of Thunder for getting him the role of Scorpion in Tempting Fate:

Dan: “Because I didn’t really audition for this role,” Dan explained. “Kevin Nwankwor (the director/producer) gave me a call. I sent him my resume and he was familiar with some of my other work.”

“He asked me one question. He said, ‘Dan, can you do a Russian accent? Because we’d love for you to play this Russian gangster, the head of the bank robbing crew.’”

TF 01

Dan as Scorpion, in Tempting Fate. (Photo credit: Chris Willard Photography)

“I said, ‘No, I can’t, because I sound like Yakov Smirnoff, the comedian from the 1990s. I can do an Eastern European/Kazakh.’” Dan demonstrated his Kazakh accent to Kevin and the other producers listening in on the speaker phone.

“And that was it. He basically said, ‘That’s it. You’re in.’”

During the call with Kevin, Dan learned that the film had a real strong Christian message to it.

“I appreciated that,” he told me. “In Nigeria it is rated PG-15, which is their rating board. Here in the U.S., it would probably be PG-13, because of the violence in it.”

“It’s a really, really great story. It’s a story of redemption and forgiveness. It doesn’t shy away from tackling issues with a Christian perspective when things go bad, and when you have bad things in your life, and evil things happen. It relies on our faith to triumph over those. So that was important to me.”

What was it like working on the set of “Tempting Fate?”

In past interviews I had seen of Dan, he mentioned that working on the set of Tempting Fate was not like any other movie he had been a part of.

Dan: “It was neat to know that almost every single one of the cast and crew was a Believer. It was just amazing. I’ve been on movie sets where I’ve literally… been at my wits end. It sullied my outlook on films. I kept thinking if filming is going to be like this, I don’t know if I want to do this.”

“And then Tempting Fate came along. It was this brotherly love, this teamwork. It was having a bigger and better goal other than yourselves. It permeated everything we did. And the people were true, and friendly, and warm, and honest. I would literally wake up in the morning and say, ‘Is this a wonderful dream?’ It re-ignited my love for being on set on films.”

“It almost brings a tear to my eye just how amazing it was. Like when I talked with my Dad, or when I talked to my brothers or sisters, or family. Just basically saying how blown away I was by it. I had never seen anything like it. It was like we were long-lost brothers and sisters all brought together. It was someone’s force or a few people’s fervent prayer was answered. And that’s the truth. There is no way around it.”

Ardis: “Wow! God is definitely good. Even as I watched these things unfold in the year since the Houston premiere, I really sensed that His hand is all over this. I’ve seen that with Pedro’s music as well, as part of it. That is really great to hear.”

TF 01

Dan Davies (Scorpion), John J Vogel (Detective Travis), and Andrew Onochie (Edu) arrive by limousine at the Lagos premiere, July 10, 2015. (Photo credit: Chris Willard Photography)

What is Dan’s favorite type of work?

Ardis: “Dan, you have worked in a variety of different mediums and types of work in the entertainment industry. If you were working in your sweet spot, what would that be?”

Dan: “I always like the creation of the character. It’s the most energetic, the most thought-provoking, and the most passionate part of what I do. Although I love the writing, the marketing and promotion, and the producing end of it. But the more I am creating a character from the ground up…I get into completely creating the character. It is prayerful too. I want to be true to that character. I want it to be memorable too.”

Ardis: “So right now with this movie coming out, is this a major shift for you? Do you feel like you’re living your dream?”

Dan: “It’s one of those things that because I’m older and been doing this for a number of years that I’m so glad I have the success now compared to my 20s and 30s.”

Dan went on to tell about how he used to be a heavy drinker. In time that lifestyle, spending money on alcohol, being hungover, etc., took a toll on his body, his work, and his relationships.   When people ask him now if he regrets not having the success sooner, he answers, “no, because I couldn’t handle it then.”

“It’s nice to have it (the success) where I’m growing more with my spiritual life, and at this stage of my life.”

1898765_10153497739719429_466598094829640812_o

One of many press interviews on the red carpet at the Lagos premiere, July 10, 2015.

More about the Entertainment Industry

As a Christian writer myself, I was interested in how Dan balances his faith while working in an industry that relies heavily on self-promotion. Unlike his big name Hollywood counterparts, Dan serves as his own agent, at least for now. He is always on the go getting the word out through social media about his projects and hustling for his next big break.

Dan: “It’s the unseemly part of the business. It’s really difficult. I never want to fall into a place where I start bragging or I start feeling I’m anything other than who I am. I don’t want to be that person. I’d much rather be me, than that persona. Staying humble and being filled with humility is really, really difficult…you start reading things and this and that.”

“I’m being mentioned with Steven Spielberg, or George Lucas, or Quentin Tarantino, you know, with West of Thunder. Then being mentioned with these great British actors and comedic actors in Flim: The Movie and you get a little bit of an ego. And I don’t want that.”

“It’s fun. And it’s attractive. But you got to remember that’s just Dan Davies as the actor, or as the writer. You have to completely distance yourself, or as much as you can.”

“I think Fred Astaire said, ‘Don’t read your press.’ The only press clipping he ever kept was one he used for motivation, and he put it on his fireplace mantle. It was the first critical review he received early on in his career. It said: ‘This Fred Astaire cannot sing. He is balding. He is not very attractive. But he can dance a bit.’ And he used it as a way to motivate himself, to keep himself getting better, to always work on his craft.”

Dan aspires to be like Fred Astaire, and not put any positive critic reviews on his mantle. I agreed with Dan how hard it is for Christians to separate ourselves from the media attention and the message that we want to convey.

Dan: “It’s one of those rocks between hard places as Christians. We want them to see His heart. It’s difficult to be in a situation where you are quoted after an interview or whatever. I want them to see who is great in me, not me. But they have to see me. I have to do these interviews, these premieres, and so forth and so on. But don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy that process. And I do enjoy meeting people. It’s difficult because one of our ultimate goals is for people to see that we do have the love of Christ emanating from us.”

Another red carpet interview at the Lagos premiere, July 10, 2015. (Photo credit: Chris Willard Photography)

Another red carpet interview at the Lagos premiere, July 10, 2015. (Photo credit: Chris Willard Photography)

What’s next?

Dan went on to talk more about his current movies and projects. He was tight-lipped about some contract negotiations that were in the works with Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA). Since then he announced a major movie deal.

Dan will be co-starring in the sequel to “30 Days in Atlanta,” the No. 1 Nollywood (Nigeria) movie of all time. He returns to Nigeria in September for filming alongside American movie stars Lynn Whitfield and Vivica Fox (still in negotiations), and Nollywood movie stars Ramsey Nouah (from Tempting Fate) and AY.*

Tempting Fate also continues to be part of Dan’s future. It’s been a long road to the theaters from the filming back in September 2013. That was followed by the VIP screening in Houston in July 2014. The original release of the movie was scheduled for April 2015 in Nigeria. The premiere was delayed to July 10, due to the uncertainty surrounding the Nigerian elections and the exchange of power.

The premiere and release of the movie has been a great success in Nigeria and Ghana. There is speculation that the movie will be released in other English-speaking African countries. A normal progression for the movie would then be to go to England and Europe, Canada, building momentum, and eventually back to the U.S. When that happens, Dan and the entire cast and crew of Tempting Fate will be living their dream.

Dan: “It’s a risk when you are backing film to get your money back. KevStel can put the excess back into other projects that are uplifting with a great message. I know it is important to Kevin, Unoma, and their family, to get the ministry out, to get the mission out, in film.”

Ardis: “Amen to that! I’m excited for all of you.”

11728694_516888761793538_3860517872436090383_o

Tempting Fate cast and crew on the red carpet at the Lagos premiere, July 10, 2015. (Photo credit: Chris Willard Photography)

Dan’s Final Thoughts

Ardis: “Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share?”

Dan: “Yes, I want to encourage people to not give up if you’ve had a bad experience on something. Just keep plugging away. Literally—age isn’t a factor. There isn’t anything that holds you back from your dreams. The only thing literally is yourself.”

“You really have to conceive it, see it, believe it, and you’ll achieve it. And do that with everything in life. Even your prayer life should be that way too. The Bible literally tells us when you pray to believe that it’s already been answered (Matthew 21:22). And do that with all aspects of your life.”

Ardis: “Dan, thank you for that encouraging message. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your personal perspective on Tempting Fate. You have my continued support of this break-through Hollywood/Nollywood film project, and prayers for a safe and successful press tour in Lagos. I’m looking forward to watching it unfold on Facebook!”

Dan: “Thank you, Ardis. Take care. I’ll talk to you soon.”

Dan & Pedro at the VIP Screening in Houston, July 4, 2014.

Dan & Pedro at the VIP Screening in Houston, July 4, 2014.

Dan and I talked again earlier this week to catch up a bit since the Lagos premiere. There was an excitement in his voice and confident assurance in this new direction with his acting career. It reminded me of Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Knowing Dan’s story as I do now, I can honestly say that he has paid his dues and deserves this success.

I’ve learned a lot about the film and music industry as I’ve collaborated with Pedro González Arbona these last few years. And now I can say that I’m also learning from Dan too, not just about ‘Hollywood,’ but about living life for Christ under the scrutiny of the media. I’m proud to call him a friend, and anticipate that audiences around the world will see more of his rising star in the film industry.


Related Facebook links: Dan Davies, Tempting Fate, KevStel GroupPedro González Arbona, and West of Thunder.

Purchase Tempting Fate soundtrack at Amazon.com.


*Update 7/22/2017:  Dan Davies won the African Golden Movie Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Role for his portrayal of Tim Rice in “A Trip to Jamaica,” the sequel to “30 Days in Atlanta.” Dan was the first American to win this prestigious African award. Congratulations Dan!!

The Making of Tempting Fate’s Score by Pedro González Arbona

Today marks the theatrical release of Tempting Fate across Nigeria. It is a day I’ve been anticipating and praying for ever since Pedro González Arbona signed the contract to compose the movie soundtrack while we were together in Madrid two summers ago.

wp_ss_20150717_0001Early last year while Pedro was in the final stages of synchronizing the music with the movie, Kevin Kwankwor, the film’s director, asked Pedro to write about the movie composing process. At that point, it was uncertain where the premiere would be held. There was talk of a Hollywood premiere and Pedro didn’t expect he could make that. The script below was to be recorded for showing at the Hollywood premiere.

Pedro and I did attend the red carpet VIP screening in Houston last year. And last week was the premiere in Lagos, Nigeria with the major U.S. cast and crew and Nollywood star Ramsey Nouah. If Tempting Fate does well in Nigeria and Ghana, there is much hope that the movie will make its way through Europe and back to America for an official nationwide release.

In the meantime, I’m sharing Pedro’s account of his work on Tempting Fate and his creative music process.

THE MAKING OF TEMPTING FATE’s SCORE
by Pedro González Arbona

Introduction

I received the call from Kevin Kwankwor—producer, director, screenwriter, and CEO of KevStel Group LLC.—in the middle of July 2013. I was finishing the score of two short films, so it was the best time to start a new project.

Kevin and I had some conversations about music in general, and the “Tempting Fate” project in particular. We connected very well from the beginning because we had the same approach to this story of a deep relationship between two brothers and how their different paths in life affect their destiny.

Pedro in his studio in Madrid, July 2013.

Pedro in his studio in Madrid, July 2013.

Kevin showed me some classical music he had in mind when writing the screenplay and some instruments he wanted to use in the project. He told me they were shooting in September and wanted some of the tracks of the score to be done by then. That was just the beginning of an amazing process.

Music in Films

In my opinion, there are four aspects that are needed in order to make a good film: a good screenplay, a good director, good acting, and a good score.

When I started focusing my composing on cinema, I started realizing how important a good score is for a film. I actually think that music creates the magical environment needed for a film. Music is another kind of narration, apart from the screenplay and the visual narration made by the director. More importantly, music helps to tell the story with the intent of immersing the audience in the movie.

What would the famous shower scene from “Psycho” be without the screeching strings by Bernard Herrmann? Or the scene from “ET” with the kids peddling their bicycles through the sky with the moon in the background, without the music by John Williams? Or the Hobbit´s Shire in “The Fellowship of the Ring” without the music by Howard Shore? I am sure you can imagine dozens of examples, and by then you will realize that those films would not be the same without that music.

Photo credit: Universal Studios

Photo credit: Universal Studios

The question now is, what do you consider a good score? Well, there is not a perfect theory, but I usually consider two kinds of scores.

On the one hand, are the composers who just use the music in the background of the film in order to create the perfect environment for the film. In these kinds of scores, the music is so well done that when the audience leaves the theater, they do not realize that they heard a score. Some examples could be amazing composers such as Thomas Newman or the Spanish composer, Alberto Iglesias.

On the other hand, are the composers who use a lot of melodic music that goes directly to the mind of the viewer. Most of the “famous” composers are from this second group. But there is a big problem with this kind of music; they have to have caution in order not to distract the viewer from the film. And that is a very difficult task. Wonderful composers such as John Williams, Hans Zimmer, or James Horner are from this second group.

TF Script with border

The script to “Tempting Fate”

The Process of Scoring

The process of scoring all starts with the reading of the screenplay. In the case of “Tempting Fate,” Kevin sent the screenplay to me after the contract was signed in late July. I read it three or four times in order to fully grasp the film´s message and get a feel for the characters. I took a lot of notes about what scenes needed music and what kind of music was needed. Then I start the composing process.

Most composers start creating the score when they get the film, but I have always preferred to start the scoring even before the shooting starts. This makes the composing more fluid for me, and because it is better if the director has the music while shooting the film. This also allows the director to plan the film with the music in mind.

I always write around two main themes, which usually are linked to the main characters.

  • First was the “Love Theme”, about the love story between Edu and Tracy. For this theme I composed very melodic music with a violin solo and a piano in order to get a romantic melody that was going to be used in the most poignant moments of the film.
  • Second was the “Brother´s Theme”, about the relationship between the two brothers, Ugo and Edu. I made different variations of this theme throughout the film, because of the different facets of their relationship. I used the guitar and clarinet in the good moments, the piano and the violin solo for the bad moments, and the woodwinds for the background scenes.
Music Composer Pedro González Arbona

Music Composer Pedro González Arbona

“Tempting Fate” was shot in September 2013, and during that time Kevin and I continued to keep in touch. He told me very important details about the filming. With Kevin’s keen directorial insights and the screenplay in hand, I had lots of inspiration to compose the score.

After the composing process was completed, and after I received the final edited version of the film, I started what I call the synchronizing process. This process consisted of comparing the music I created, with the scenes from the film, and deciding what music to use, what not to use, and how many changes were needed.

Finally the time came for the recording process. As violin and piano were the main instruments in this score, professional violin and piano players were hired for the recording. A soprano, a guitarist, and a percussionist were also hired. It was so exciting to be at the recording studio and to see my compositions come to life thanks to them.

So this is the end of this amazing project which involved so many different people from so many different countries such as Nigeria, India, Spain, and the United States.

I am very thankful:

  • to the head of the project, Kevin Kwankwor, for giving me this opportunity;
  • to Francisco Arbona, for consulting with me on the music;
  • to José Iglesias, the director of the musical academy where my music foundation was formed;
  • to Ardis Nelson, my manager, for helping me so much with my composing career and producing my first two CDs;
  • to Guillermo Servera, for introducing me to orchestration software and for sharing his expertise with me so many times;
  • to Chani Bas, for giving me my first job in the cinema;
  • and to my parents:
    • my father because he played the piano and immersed me in what is now my passion for music,
    • and my mother who expanded my musical knowledge so well and instilled my Christian beliefs.

Congratulations to Pedro and the entire cast and crew of Tempting Fate. I am proud to support the release of this faith-based movie across Africa and beyond.

Below is a slideshow of images from the press tour and the Lagos premiere on July 10.  Special thanks and credit goes to Chris Willard at willardphotographic.com and the Nigerian Press for use of many of these photos.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For up-to-date information about Tempting Fate and to view more photos, check out the movie’s Facebook page.  Stay tuned for more updates on Pedro’s musical pursuits, and an exclusive interview with co-star Dan Davies.  He is nothing like Scorpion, the evil character he so convincingly portrays in the movie.

Tempting Fate in Houston, Part 3 ~ Meet the Press

While Pedro González Arbona, a young Spanish film composer, and I attended the VIP screening of Tempting Fate (produced by KevStel Group) in Houston over the 4th of July last year, we walked the red carpet and witnessed much of the paparazzi and press attention directed at the actors and movie producers.  Pedro had his time in the spotlight as well.  It was indeed an exciting evening!

On the red carpet at the Tempting Fate premiere, July 4, 2014, Houston, TX.

On the red carpet with Pedro González Arbona at the Tempting Fate premiere, July 4, 2014, Houston, TX.

I was proud to be there for Pedro, traveling from Seattle, just to meet up for this special milestone in his life.  An avid photographer myself, I was happy to join in with the professional photographers to capture the memories for Pedro’s portfolio as well.  I expect that was only the first of many opportunities Pedro will have to participate in these types of events.

Opportunities to Meet the Press

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, Pedro had live press interviews the night of the premiere.  He was interviewed on the red carpet by two Houston stations: Sky Houston, from Majic 102.1 radio station and Usenika Usoro from Afro Centric Television Network. (Unfortunately my requests for copies of these interviews went unanswered.)

The next day, Pedro was scheduled to do a television interview for SpeaksTV, a local cable channel in Houston.  Most of the actors had arrived in Houston before the movie screening and already had their interviews.  They were on their way back to LA and other locations across the U.S. that they called home.

Watch the short video clip below for a teaser with each person in the show!

Like the night before, we were again direction and GPS challenged on our travels in the Houston area.  This time the GPS led us in a very circuitous route over surface streets to a multi-story office building outside of downtown.  There were virtually no cars in the parking lot on this Saturday afternoon, the building was locked, and we couldn’t find a sign to confirm we were at the right place.  We used the after-hours security phone and finally reached someone who could let us in the building.

In the ‘Green Room’

When we arrived at the television studio, we were greeted by Kevin Nwankwor, Tempting Fate producer/director.  We apologized for our tardiness, but luckily there was no harm done as there were other interviews still in progress.  We sat in the green room (my comical name for the waiting room, in reference to the TV guest’s pre-interview room commonly referred to on NBC’s Tonight Show).  While waiting, we conversed with Kevin and his wife and producer Unoma Nwankwor, executive producer Emmanuel Ojeah, and Ramsey Nouah, Nigerian actor and star of Tempting Fate.  Ramsey is the winner of the 2010 African Academy Award for a lead role in the Nigerian movie, Figurine.

Nollywood, Nigeria’s version of Hollywood, is a growing film industry and the 2nd largest in the world after Bollywood in India.  The Nwankwor’s are from Nigeria, and with Ramsey’s affiliation with Tempting Fate, the Nigerian audience is a very important market for this movie.  The movie will open in theaters across Nigeria on Friday, July 17, 2015.

While waiting for Pedro’s interview, we learned a bit about Nigeria.  At the time Nigeria was in the early aftermath of the kidnapping of a group of girls by terrorist Boko Haram.  The Nigerian government’s response was a hot topic of conversation.

Kevin Nwankwor (writer/director/producer), Pedro, and Unoma Nwankwor (producer)

Kevin Nwankwor (writer/director/producer), Pedro, and Unoma Nwankwor (producer)

I asked Ramsey about Nigeria’s spiritual climate in relation to the Christian theme of Tempting Fate.  Nigeria is equally divided between Christianity and Islam.  The conversation turned to social media.  In referencing Ramsey’s Facebook page (over 100,000 likes at the time), we found out that his identity had been stolen on Facebook and that the page wasn’t his.  He doesn’t use social media at all.  I was saddened to hear it, realizing how frustrating it would be to have that sort of false promotion and unauthorized use of one’s personal name.  It was shocking!

We were the last to go in for the interview.  Before we did, I gave Unoma, who is also a successful author of several Christian fiction novels, a signed copy of my book, Journeys to Mother Love.  She graciously offered me the opportunity to guest blog on her site, unomanwankwor.com.  That post, Author Spotlight ~ Ardis A. Nelson, was published in August 2014.

We bid the Nwankwor’s farewell, thanked them for their invitation to the premiere, and pledged our continuing support for the movie.

Pedro’s Interview at SpeaksTV

Pedro and I were greeted by Voké Ogueh, producer for Talk Time Show, the SpeaksTV program that was spotlighting Tempting Fate.  Voké was at the premiere the night before, but we didn’t get a chance to meet.

Tempting Fate 007

Voké prepping Pedro for his interview segments.

Talk Time Show is not filmed as an interview dialogue between two people but is pre-recorded as separate segments. I was invited to join Pedro in the interview, but declined.  This was Pedro’s moment to shine.  I watched the filming from behind the camera man’s angle, and occasionally coached him.

Pedro at ease in front of the camera.

Pedro at ease in front of the camera.

I could tell that Pedro was very accustomed to being in front of an audience.  He was a natural on camera and spoke with clarity and command.  (He has acted in several theatrical productions in Madrid, and also starred and co-directed “Noises Off” in December 2013.)  Not having the pleasure of seeing him act in person, and certainly not in English, this was a priceless experience for me.

Voké prepped Pedro telling him what they wanted to know about the movie’s music.  In the first segment Pedro explained how he composed the music, first being inspired and touched by reading the screenplay.  When he received the film, his music was inspired more by the actors and how moving the scenes were on screen.

Pedro and me with Voké on set at the SpeaksTV studio.

Pedro and me with Voké on set at the SpeaksTV studio.

In another video segment, Pedro was asked to describe some of the music.  He spoke about the Brother’s theme music that he wrote with multiple variations throughout the film, matching the mood of the scenes.  I watched Pedro compose some of that music while in Spain the year before and was quick to recognize it in the movie: violin, cello, and guitar—a trio of beautiful strings.

Voké was particularly interested in the African music in the movie.  In another segment, Pedro described how he added African instruments to some of the songs and a female African soprano was hired to add humming as well.

Pedro wrapped up his studio recording with a 15-second teaser for the show (below).  For the benefit of their Spanish speaking viewers in Houston, they also had him close the commercial teaser in Spanish.  We wrapped up our time at the studio with a few photos on the set.

Editing of the interviews and adding Pedro’s music to the final show took a few weeks.  The interview was broadcast in Houston on July 26 (video below) and posted on youtube.com for viewing online.  (Pedro’s segment starts at 9:30 into the video.)

Farewell to Houston

Pedro and I had a leisurely dinner at a very American restaurant at The Galleria and had a long overdue conversation to catch up on family and personal news.  We ended our day by reviewing, selecting, and posting a photo album on Pedro’s Facebook professional page. (Like it to show your support of his musical endeavors.)

The following day was reserved for a tour of the Johnson Space Center.  Pedro was on his way back to Madrid on Monday morning. It was a whirlwind trip—less than three days together on this once in a lifetime experience.

Click image to sample soundtrack or purchase on Amazon.

Click image to sample soundtrack or purchase on Amazon.

I’m ever so grateful that I was there to witness Pedro’s dreams come to life on the big screen.  His star is starting to rise.  For a few days it shined over Houston, soon it will shine across Nigeria as well, and hopefully over all of America too.

The Tempting Fate soundtrack will be released on February 12, 2015.  And then everyone will get to hear for themselves how great this soundtrack is.

Stay tuned for lots more exciting news about Tempting Fate and the music of Pedro González Arbona!

Tempting Fate in Houston, Part 2 ~ The Movie Screening

In Part 1 of this series on the Tempting Fate VIP movie screening in Houston on July 4th, Pedro González Arbona had performed at the pre-screening Meet and Greet, walked the red carpet and was interviewed by local media that was on site that evening.  Now it was time for the main event, the screening of Tempting Fate.

Tempting Fate VIP Screening FB Cover

Almost Show Time

We individually filed into the theater where the screening was to be held.  Our names had to be crossed off the attendee list before we were allowed to enter so there was a bit of a backup to enter the theater.  Oh my aching feet…the swelling and pain in my sprained foot were making it harder and harder to patiently wait our turn to enter the theater.

When we did we were directed to sit in one of the two rows of seats reserved in the center of the theater for actors and VIPs.  We sat sandwiched between the actors as we waited for the start of the movie.  Ramsey Nouah, winner of the 2010 African Academy Award for a lead role in Figurine, was seated to my left, and actress Trinitee Stokes on Pedro’s right.

The audience, can you spot us in the crowd?

The audience, can you spot us in the crowd?

Kevin Nwankwor, the producer/director/writer of Tempting Fate, was introduced and gave a few remarks to prepare us for the screening.

Let the Movie Begin

When the movie and the music started on the full sized theater screen, I’m sure my heart must’ve skipped a beat.  I knew Pedro’s music better than anyone there, except for Pedro, of course.  I had been captivated by these melodies and the moods they conveyed for as long as Pedro had been composing them.  They were the sounds of drama, action, brotherly love, romance, and sadness.  And now here they were larger than life for all to hear.

It was a strange feeling at first for me.  Being so personally familiar with the music, it was hard to separate my emotion and pride for Pedro’s work from watching the movie.  Initially there was a lot of chatter going on during the movie.  There were cheers at times and some laughter too.  At first it was a distraction for me.

However, as the plot began to unfold on screen and the characters’ relationships became intertwined, I got carried away in the story.  That is to say I was thoroughly engaged in the movie.  I didn’t want it to end.  And when it did, I wasn’t the only audience member with tears streaming down their face.  Pedro’s song, “Requiem,” was playing in the background of the gripping final scene, adding impact and emotion with his music.  It was simply beautiful.

As the credits began to roll up the screen, the audience was clapping and cheering for the movie.  Pedro’s name was one of the few with his name listed alone on the screen:  Music Composed by Pedro González Arbona.  Bravo Pedro!!!

Director Commentary

After the credits rolled off the screen and the lights came on, Kevin Nwankwor, the producer and director came to the front of the theater to address the audience.  Kevin shared his passion for the project and how difficult it was to make the movie.  His desire was to make it as much like a multi-million dollar movie as possible, but with the low budget that he had.  And he accomplished it all in two weeks!

Kevin Nwankwor addresses the audience.

Director Kevin Nwankwor addresses the audience.

He finished his commentary by sharing the message he wanted people to take away from the movie, and what he learned as a result of the project:

First, you don’t have a second chance in this life.  Like the brothers in the movie, you don’t know what will happen in the future.  You can’t do it by yourself.  It is God.  Do your best, work hard. But do the right thing.

Whatever it is you believe that you want to achieve, I want you to know that you can always achieve it.  The Tempting Fate movie has made me to understand that in this life nothing is impossible.

Applause filled the theater as the audience showed their appreciation and agreement with Kevin’s comments.

Q & A and More Photos

Next on the scheduled events was an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the cast and crew.  Several of the actors were asked about how they got into character for their roles.

I patiently waited and wondered if someone would ask Pedro a question; and they did.  He was asked about the composing process.  Pedro stood up, and was acknowledged by the audience for his music.  He shared how he started by reading the script and making notes in the margin to identify scenes to add music too.  Then he begins composing the music.

Pedro fields a question from the audience.

Pedro fields a question from the audience.

At the end of the Q & A session, the night was not over yet.  Photographers and the press were still at the event, so the red carpet media frenzy continued longer into the night.  Pedro mingled more with the actors and crew.  I followed along with my camera and met people as well.

An End to the Fairy Tale

An after-party was planned at Zanzibar Lounge, in downtown Houston, into the early morning hours.  We graciously declined the invitation.  Pedro was still dealing with jetlag and sleep-deprivation from his 2-day travel ordeal.  As much as I didn’t want this night to end, I knew my feet (sprained foot) wouldn’t be able to tolerate any dancing anyway.

At the end of Cinderella’s night at the ball, her carriage turned back into a pumpkin.  In much the same way, our fairy tale evening didn’t have such a smooth ending either.  Although the hotel was only two miles from the theater, we got lost and spent almost an hour aimlessly driving around Sugar Land, TX.   Dead cell phones, no GPS, and closed services on the 4th of July all contributed to our sense of frustration and exhaustion.  Thankfully we met someone in a parking lot who could direct us back to our hotel.

Tempting Fate 150

When we pulled into the hotel parking lot, the limousine was parked outside waiting to take the cast and crew to the party.  Next time, I suspect that’ll be Pedro’s carriage.

When the clock struck midnight on July 4th, 2014, our day to remember was emblazoned forever in our minds, not as a fairy tale, but as a dream come true—with more on the way for the cast and crew of Tempting Fate.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Post Screening Update:  Exciting things are definitely ahead for this movie.  In the two months since the Tempting Fate screening, KevStel Group has been working on the release of the soundtrack with Pedro’s original compositions, a new music video was shot in LA for the theme song, and they announced that the movie will be widely released in Nigeria on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015. 

(Many photos for this post are courtesy of KevStel Group. You can view other photos on the Tempting Fate Facebook page.)

Updated 2/12/2015: The Tempting Fate soundtrack with Pedro’s music released today and is available on Amazon and iTunes. The movie release has been rescheduled to July 17, 2015 across Nigeria.

  • WELCOME to my site!

    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

    I am thankful to God for Making Me Bold in the process. Now I use my writing and speaking voice to help others on their journey to turn healing into hope.

  • Returning to Spain

    Arrival on Spanish SoilApril 29th, 2018
    Vamos a España!
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 371 other followers

  • Recent Posts

  • Ardis A Nelson ~ Writer ~ Speaker

  • Most Popular Topics

  • Journeys to Mother Love

  • What I Write About

  • Songs Composed by Pedro Gonzalez Arbona

  • Copyright Notice

    © Ardis A. Nelson and MakingMeBold, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ardis A. Nelson and MakingMeBold with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: