After a year of waiting patiently and letting anticipation sink in, we’ll finally get to see what will happen between Travis and Marie. Will they kindle a flame, or is his mind just too wrapped up in Pearl?
Last year, Devon Bray, director, and Micah Dennis, screenwriter, shocked Wichita with a large-scale movement in the film industry; this year they’re doing it again. Their first movie “Pearl” was released last year at the AMC Theater, and is available for viewing on Amazon Prime; its continuation, “Pearl 2,” hits theaters red-carpet style on Dec. 11 at Wichita’s Regal Warren Old Town.
Its first showing at 6 p.m. quickly sold out, shortly after being announced, and over 200 waiting fans eagerly bought up tickets. Satisfying the city’s demand to be a part of the movement, the filmmakers scheduled a second screening at 9 p.m. – tickets are still available for this show.
Tickets cost $25, and purchases to either premiere afford entrance to the meet-and-greet of the film crew, located at Club Fever, 116 N. Mead, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on the same night.
Fans will have another opportunity to celebrate with the cast before the year ends, on Dec. 22 at the movie’s soundtrack album release party, also at Club Fever.
To be a part of next week’s red carpet event, you can purchase tickets through CashApp ($Bray9) and Paypal (www.paypal.me/DevonBray). After its premiere next week, “Pearl 2” will be available to stream on Amazon Prime and blu-ray disc; there is no official release date yet.
There’s been much anticipation about how the story, actors and sets have developed in this new flick, but here’s a little background for those who’ll be just tuning in: “Pearl” is the story of Travis, a young man addicted to drugs and sex trying to find his way to redemption. On his way back – he meets Pearl. He then returns to making some bad decisions that alter his actions and perception of reality, which flips his life – and the lives of his loved ones – upside down.
While “Pearl” is in fact a thriller – at times you’ll find yourself rolling with laughter.
The quality of the opening montage, consisting of multiple Wichita views, made you feel proud of this hometown production. Wichitans will find most of the set locations in the film familiar. Both “Pearl” and “Pearl 2” were locally filmed and the cast members were all locals.
Along with the leading characters, who are a real-life married couple, Kendall and DeAge’a Davis, the original cast returns in “Pearl 2,” with a few new faces. Kendall Davis, who is back again as Travis, the leading man, says working with Bray and Dennis was “God ordained.”
“It was His divine will; I would never have thought I’d be staring in a movie,” said Davis.
Bray and Dennis have worked together since 2016 on two web series: “Loose Ends” and “Mind Games.” The latter won the 2017 City Arts competition for best short film, and led to them working together on “Pearl.”
The two, who attend the same church, are longtime friends. Bray, who had been producing rap videos, was ready for his next move. Dennis, a lone writer, had the story he knew his friend could film.
The two agreed, they received nothing but love from the city. They didn’t have a Hollywood budget, but with support from the community, it all came together.
People literally opened the doors of their homes for set locations. Crew members and members of the community often donated meals for the cast.
Outside of film festivals and private viewings, it is tough for independent films to score screenings in professional movie theaters. The duo was able to premiere “Pearl” at a Wichita AMC Theater. This time, they’re stepping their game up another notch, with “Pearl 2” premiering downtown at the Regal Warren Old Town. This required an upgrade in the film equipment, editing software and production budget to match the theater’s format standards.
After years of grinding at his craft, Bray has proven ready for the next level. They’re confident the city is ready for more. With so many creatives at work in different industries, from film to music, and other artistry – Bray sees Wichita as a happening place with lots of potential for expansion.