The homegrown fantasy-thriller stars Dimitrius Pulido and Tina Rodriguez and introduces 12-year old Paeka Campos. The movie was directed by Cody Duckworth, who also wrote the original screenplay.
“Harbinger is a contemporary fairy tale in the classic tradition of the Brothers Grimm stories or Aesop's Fables,” announces Jonathan de la Luz, the movie’s producer. “But it’s also cautionary tale about the times we live in,” he adds.
Literature is rich with examples of tales that were not only intended for children but for adults as well. Harbinger does not owe its story line to classic folklore, however. Just as Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a message about innocent children seeing things more clearly than adults, Harbinger stresses an environmental theme that is current and socially significant for all ages. The film’s tag line reveals as much: “Water is the force of all that is natural. Until now.”
The story concerns eleven year-old Mira, who has begun having terrible dreams. As Mira’s haunting nightmares escalate, her father moves with Mira and her very pregnant mother away from the city to a secluded ranch for some much-needed family healing. But the beauty of their idyllic surroundings is marred, however, by monolithic hydraulic fracking towers nearby.
“I love the magic of storytelling,”
One of the unique features of Harbinger is its Hispanic cast. According to movie’s Casting Associate, Lupe Valdez, “We tossed a wide net for our casting calls from Texas to California. It turns out we have an incredible talent pool in our own backyard. We ended up with cast members from Austin and Dallas.”
De la Luz said, “That’s the way Cody wrote the script. And honestly, it could have been any kind of family. That’s what attracted me to the story. If there is such a thing as an ‘every man’ then there is an ‘every family’. This is a universal story. It could happen anytime, anywhere.”
Harbinger was filmed at various locations in Austin, but the filmmaker’s real find was a location in Fischer, Texas, a little over an hour outside of Austin. The hallmark of any great fairy tale, according to the filmmakers, is the enchanted landscape in which the story is set. In the case of Harbinger, that was Rancho Mirando, where a beautiful spiraling hacienda overlooks a great deal of Hill Country. “It was a perfect setting for our fairy tale to unfold…great beauty mixed with the dark sinister undertones of our characters,”
Duckworth is excited about his directorial debut, “A story-teller's greatest tool is the human experience, and that's our common denominator. We're all in this together.”
Harbinger is currently in post-production and will be released in 2015.