Starring in and producing a film in Los Angeles doesn’t really make one stand out. However, Santa Monica resident Joseph Culp, 45, did that and is undertaking self-distribution for the theatrical feature The Reflecting Pool.
Culp portrays Paul Cooper, the father of a young woman killed during the September 11th attacks, in this investigative drama questioning the government’s official version of the day’s events.
The movie is fictional and “based on established sources and verifiable facts,” according to the filmmakers.
There is also a strong local vibe to the feature, which included locations such as Santa Monica’s Le Merigot and Ocean Avenue apartments and Venice’s Electric Lodge.
Adding to its Santa Monica connection, the film premiered at the Aero Theatre Thursday, January 31st and is playing at Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex, 1332 Second St. in Santa Monica, Saturdays and Sundays through February 24th.
As for the impetus to make this film, Culp recalls a scene where Cooper says, “If we don’t try to find out what the truth is, then we might as well roll over and fall asleep.”
The filmmaker believes that it took more than six years for someone to come out with a film like this because the American population was so traumatized by the September 11th actions.
Working through that trauma, Culp and co-star/writer/director Jarek Kupsc built upon the script during one of the former’s Walking Theatre Workshops.
The workshop is for actors, writers, directors and other filmmakers and follows an intuitive approach Culp developed with roots in shamanism. The approach is used by various artists and healers, and the workshop takes place Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the Electric Lodge.
Intuition also played a role in the filmmakers’ decision to distribute The Reflecting Pool from city to city themselves.
Culp points out that, using an outside party distributor, it could take a year or so to release the film — if it got distributed at all — and they didn’t want to wait.
“We’ve got to get it out right now,” Culp says.
So the movie has been released where the actor — whose filmography also includes Apollo 13, Panther and Baadasssss! — now calls home. Santa Monica is close to this thespian’s heart after living in New York City and other parts of the Los Angeles area like Malibu.
“This is home now,” he says.
Information, www.joseph culp.com/