THE MAKING OF
The Making Of Canal Street
For the highly-anticipated urban thriller, Canal Street, producer/director/co-writer Rhyan LaMarr began his journey with writing partner Jon Knitter back in 2005 during their humble beginnings at Columbia College Chicago. Over the next 13 years, the Canal Street script developed as they pitched it all across Hollywood while finding their footing in the streets.
LaMarr remembers, "I would get on the red line and take it from the Southside of Chicago all the way to end of the line on the Northside and just people watch and dream up some of the diverse characters we birthed in Canal Street. Chicago, to me, was one of those cities that had caught a bad rap and I wanted to shine a different light on it through politics and grit. Me and Jon started writing about our different experiences and that is really how the script began to take form.”
Producer Yancey Arias and Co-Writer Adam Key read the script and, as Yancey remarks, "I thought the script was a very relevant piece of writing; truthful dialogue with a heart-wrenching story and extremely colorful roles.” When Arias visited Chicago with LaMarr, he could see Chicago itself was an additional character in the story. The city had such an electrifying atmosphere; whichever way you’d point a camera, it was certain to look extraordinary.
Actor Mykelti Williamson comments, "When my agent gave me the script and I read it, I knew the story and the filmmakers who wrote this were special.”
The Canal Street production came together quickly after 13 years of knocking on the doors of Hollywood when Knitter and LaMarr got the attention of Executive Producers Kevin Mullens and Bishop Dr. Eric Garnes in 2016. Within 6 months of LaMarr meeting with Mullens and Garnes, the film found a home with investors who would ultimately finance pre-production in October of 2016, followed by production in February of 2017.
Red Guerrilla Entertainment, led by LaMarr shot the film in a remarkable 16 ½ days, proving that even with over 60 actors and a budget well under $2 million, anything is possible. “This wasn’t a film with a lot of money, but what we lacked in finances, we made up for in heart and passion”, says LaMarr.
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