He wrote Gimme Shelter to inspire people and give hope that no matter how bad people think things are at times, there are others going through the same thing. He is the creator of this realistic movie and he hopes to inspire the society to reach out and help each other.
“Gimme Shelter” is based on a true story. It’s the story about Apple, (Vanessa Hudgens), a 16 year old teen who has never had an easy life. This character is played impressively by the actress how you haven’t seen her before. Apple is the daughter of a verbally and physically abusive, drug addicted prostitute June (Rosario Dawson). She is grooming her daughter to follow in her footsteps. Apple runs away from home to look for a new life and to seek out her biological father who is a Wall Street banker named Tom (Brendan Fraser). He tries to help out his daughter, but later she discovers that she is pregnant and that her father and his wife aren’t happy when she decides to keep the baby. She ends up running away again, but gets in an unfortunate car accident. After the accident she finds support from “Father McCarty” (James Earl Jones) who is the chaplain of the local hospital. He offers her refuge in a shelter for young pregnant women that is run by a spiritual woman Kathy (Ann Dowd). Apple finally finds the love, hope and support she always wanted to achieve in her life for the first time at the shelter.
Ronald Krauss is a storyteller who alternates between narrative and documentary filmmaking. He wants to deliver a message to the audience and raise awareness about specific issues.
1. What inspired you to make the movie of "Gimme Shelter"?
"I was a volunteer at the shelter and one day met Darlisha Dozier who showed up at the shelter and needed help. I realized that there were many young woman out there just like her who needed places like this shelter but didn't know they exist and that a feature film could bring this awareness to many."
2. What was it like to be working with the former Disney Star Vanessa Hudges ? I know she gained 15 pounds for the character, chopped her hair, and wore lip rings for her role as "Agnes 'Apple' Bailey". Was it hard for her to make all these transformations for her character?
"It was not easy for either of us but we were both willing and made a great team. She was a dream to work with. Perfect in every way for this role."
3. Tell me about how Rosario Dawson was psychologically prepared for her role as "June Bailey"?
"Rosario really understood this character, she grew up in a challenged environment that was not to unsimiliar from this world . She really wanted to bring this to the screen and did an incredible job. When I see her on screen I can't believe it's her. The transformation is incredible just like Vanessa's. Such a powerful and honest performance."
4. I know you weren't expecting to have big actors in this film. How were you able to get the attention of Brendan Fraser? How did you manage to have big actors in your indie film? What were the pros and cons of having big actors?
"Well they all really responded to the integrity of the script and the fact that it was based on real people and a real place that was making a difference in the lives of others and I think as actors that was annex citing opportunity to be part of."
5. As a Director and producer what were your biggest challenges about making Gimme Shelter?
"Everything! Shooting in the real locations, with the real mothers acting for the first time in a film. Working with 23 babies from the shelter. Having big actors taking chances on huge transformations and most importantly, honoring the struggles that these woman go through and getting it all right so it is all done with dignity."
6. What is the main message of the film "Gimme Shelter" since it has controversial topics such a religion, racism and politics?
"This film covers so many topics that effect us all so deeply today but the main message is that no matter what you are facing in life, never give up hope for a better life."
7.Where can we buy or find the movie "Gimme Shelter?
8. What keeps you motivated as a Director despite the critics?
"I make films for the people, not critics. It is amazing how much audiences differ from critics in opinions of what they want to see. There are very few real film critics even left. Most people writing things online are just bloggers and have no real qualifications. I am very proud to say that several of the legendary and most notable film critics like Richard Roeper, Rex Reed , and the village voice in NY (where I am from) really liked the film. But more importantly, I was touched so deeply by the audiences I saw first hand that were so moved by it. That is what makes it all worthwhile!"
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