Fox Theater reunion screening marks ‘Oildale’ film on DVD


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AVIS) – Sonny H. King has acted in some really good movies and others that were so bad that those movies weren’t even on his resume. King knew as soon as he saw the script for “Oildale” that it would be a production he would proudly add to his acting credits.

If you haven’t seen the movie that caught King’s attention, there will be a special screening of “Oildale” starting at 2pm on December 5th at the Fox Theater. The event – which will feature a cast meeting – is being organized to promote the availability of the film on DVD.

“Oildale” is about how homeless veterans rent rooms to an 18-year-old girl who struggles to support her 13-year-old brother while discovering her voice in American music. Tenants end up not only finding housing, but also support.

With her mother’s guitar and a unique voice, she won the first two contests making her eligible for the final contest for $ 10,000 and a recording contract. Carlie struggles to write a song and gives up until the Iraq vet encourages her to write it from his heart, which she finds out he has already done with a song of his own.

As the contest nears, their traveling father shows up with a new wife and claims the house, forcing Carlie to decide if singing her song for the contest money is more important than giving one of the veterans a voice.

The story of veterans grappling with the physical and emotional scars they suffered as a result of the war touched King deeply. Much like his character Larry, King is also a Vietnam War veteran.

“’Oildale’ had special meaning for me because it was my first time playing a Vietnam vet. Being a Vietnam vet, I had a lot of things to identify with, ”King said. “I didn’t go through the horrors that Larry had because he was so badly treated when he got home – like a lot of them.”

King knew from personal experience when he read the script for “Oildale” that Salt had a good idea of ​​what the veterans were up against.

Her work has helped directors David Mueller and Lynn Salt turn “Oildale” into a tale that deals with multigenerational themes of family, healing and sacrifice.

Mueller said in a written statement: “As longtime collaborators, Lynn and I find these themes both nostalgic and compelling, so we set out to make a film that echoes the passing of an era in a small American city.

“Located in the Central Valley of California, where Dust Bowl refugees from Oklahoma and Texas planted the seeds for a whole new form of American music – a form that would ultimately spawn singer-songwriters Merle Haggard,” Buck Owens and others from ‘Bakersfield Sound’ – ‘Oildale’ is a tribute to this music, veterans and small town dwellers around the world.

The production team traveled to Bakersfield to find locations for the start of filming in 2018. Wendy Porter, executive director of the local Wounded Heroes Fund, started working with the “Oildale” team from the start. .

“Someone recommended contacting us because the Wounded Heroes Fund has a lot of contact and works with a lot of veterans. We kind of helped them get all the contracts they needed and got them started, ”Porter said.

Porter was eager to work with the film crew as she saw the production as a way to raise awareness of the issues veterans face, from homelessness to mental health issues. She was sure the film would be a great way to raise awareness.

Bringing attention to the Wounded Heroes Fund is more important than ever. There has been a drop in donations in recent years due to the pandemic and economic issues. The drop comes as Kern County ranks third among California counties for veterans numbers.

In addition to helping with locations and local paperwork, Porter and several veterans who work in his office read the script. The production team asked them to make sure everything in the script reflected what was happening in the real world.

Another way the film stayed true to the real world was through the veterans who worked on the production. This includes King who chose to enlist in the Navy after receiving his conscription notice during the height of the Vietnam War. After serving four years, King lived in Florida for a short time before deciding to move to California. He knew the pay there was better for his work as an actor and licensed electrician.

He has made a living for decades doing both. King knew that the role in “Oildale” wouldn’t come with a big paycheck, but money was never the biggest draw to an acting job.

“Sometimes you have to sacrifice the pay for a quality project,” King says. “When ‘Oildale’ came along I really liked it and thought it would be a great role for me.

“The quality of the work was great and it’s an attractive part of the business. “

The quality King saw in “Oildale” can be seen at special events. Tickets cost $ 10 and are available at the Fox Theater box office, 1700 20e The St. DVDs of the film and the Music CD from the Heartland “Oildale” tour will be on sale. Part of the profit goes to the Wounded Heroes Fund.


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