The husband and wife duo responsible for the soon-to-be released feature film "The Pardon" open up about the film, filmmaking and what makes the Shreveport-Bossier area such a great place to make a movie. It opens in select Louisiana theaters, including Shreveport, next month.
From the lead character meeting the love of her life at a boxing match to seeing the crime that led to her very public trial and eventually landing her on death row, "The Pardon" becomes the latest Louisiana film to make it to the silver screen. And it was all shot in the Shreveport area, thanks to the husband and wife team of Tom and Sandi Anton.
Producer Sandi Anton also co-wrote the film and said making the film in Shreveport was, in a word, easy. "I thought everybody was so accommodating and so friendly and wonderful. I mean this is a town, they love film, they love the actors and they're giving people."
"The Pardon" chronicles the real-life story of Toni Jo Henry, a woman who overcame a rough start to her life only to be charged, convicted and then executed for murder, becoming the last woman to be executed in Louisiana history. But perhaps the biggest challenge for the filmmakers was keeping true to the time period, from 1938 to 1942.
Producer Tom Anton also directed the movie and revealed, "We had over a hundred picture cars from the 30s and 40s and I was a real stickler that every scene you don't see the same car twice. And half the cars didn't run so we had to tow them. So, those were parked cars, you know, into the streets (laugh)."
It was no accident that we picked this location to talk with the filmmakers. That's because Jacqueline's Cafe on Louisiana Avenue in Shreveport is where three of the scenes took place in the movie "The Pardon."
But, when we asked Tom and Sandi Anton to elaborate more on the title of their film, and its meaning, that's when the interview took an interesting turn:
SANDI ANTON: "Maybe we shouldn't tell you? TOM ANTON: "I wouldn't tell, like I said..." SANDI: "I guess that is a good. Well..." TOM: "It's good then." SANDI: "It's a good thing, right? (looking at tom) TOM: "You'll have to see." (looking at reporter) SANDI: "You'll know when you see it." TOM: "You'll see at the end of the movie. I think it's a great question. like I said, I don't want to give that part away. It's a nice little..." SANDI: "Twist." TOM: "It's a nice little twist at the end of the movie."
And to borrow a line from a different movie: That's all (they) want to say about that. "The Pardon" premieres in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and Lake Charles, Louisiana on March 22nd. We'll keep you posted on exact times and locations when they become available.