Local Film Director Showcases his Latest Work on the Big-Screen

Many have longed for the opening of movie theaters, and as restrictions lift from the Covid-19 pandemic in Kern County, a sense of optimism and excitement fill the minds of locals. With "Mortal Kombat" and "Godzilla vs. Kong" as selections for some, "Paragon" was my choice of film this weekend. Bakersfield director, Michael Kumar, revealed his latest feature length movie to a room of excited friends and family this past Saturday. Dressed in formal attire and smiles on their faces, you could tell that this was a big deal for both the actors, crew and Kumar himself.


 

ABOUT THE MOVIE:

"A group of three men venture on an expedition to find a legendary crystal called the Kleodora, rumored to have other worldly properties. This journey will test the explorers both physically and mentally, failure to overcome the obstacles could mean life or death." (via Instagram:@mikethefilmmaker)


 


TLA: "How does it feel to be able to see your work on the big screen?"

Kumar: "What makes it amazing to me is everybody coming together as a community to support local artists."


TLA: What was your thought process while writing the script?

Kumar: "Just making an interesting story that was uncommon."


TLA: How do you think the audience will react to the film?

Dylan Hedemark (Matthew): "I think the audience will be really interested in the story. It's very intimate. It's mostly about the characters...it's very easy to get involved with the story [and] the characters."


TLA: What does this moment mean for Bakersfield?

Dylan Hedemark (Matthew): "I feel like it's an opening up to show that Bakersfield does have an artistic side to it, because people only really see agriculture and blue-collar work...I hope people start looking at Bakersfield as more than just what it is known for."

TLA: What are some special moments that you'll take from the filming experience?

Trent Buxton (Isaac): "The overall experience. It was a job at first...and then [I] kind of just felt sad and depressed when it was all over."


TLA: How was it to be asked to do something so physical for something that was supposed to be more of a creative outlet for you?

Trent Buxton (Isaac): "It's all work. I was in the military so it brought me back...hiking around in the rough terrain and roughing it..."


TLA: How do you feel seeing yourself on-screen?

John Michaelson (Professor): It's exciting. A little bit nerve-wracking...I've already seen promos and trailers for this film, so I already kind of got some self-approval."

TLA: How is Michael as a director?

John Michaelson (Professor): He's amazing! [A] number of times...[we] kind of marveled at an amazing director we thought he was. It was a great combination of letting us have our own freedom...and giving us just enough direction to hitting the sweet spot."