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Behind the Scenes of FLICKA 2: An Interview with Director Michael Damien
Freshly released on DVD is FLICKA 2, a sequel to the recent adaptation of the well-loved novel. Throughout the years, the 1941 book by Mary O’Hara has been the subject of a number of movies and even a TV series.
FLICKA 2 picks up the story of the high-spirited horse named Flicka who meets up with an equally high-spirited teenage girl named Carrie.
Movieguide® had a chance to chat with the director of FLICKA 2, Michael Damien.
No stranger to movies and horses, Michael directed MOONDANCE ALEXANDER about a girl and her horse and was tapped by Fox to helm the important sequel. In addition to directing, Michael has starred in front of the camera in films and TV series, most notably on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS for close to 18 years.
“I think we need films like FLICKA 2 that aren’t cynical, dysfunctional or crude,” Michael says. “Yes, you need to have conflict and you need to have comedy but there’s a lot of other ways to do it without the quick laugh. [In FLICKA 2] we walked the fine line between action, drama, conflict, and emotion, but you can make a movie the whole family can enjoy and don’t have to cringe with the kids watching.”
Michael’s passion to make family movies comes, in part, from his own childhood of being a part of a large family.
“I’m a big fan of movies,” he explained. “We always had a movie night and there were nine of us in our family.
“I’d love to see millions of families sitting down together in the same room to watch good movies together,” he adds.
FLICKA 2 had its share of tough challenges. They received permission to film on a spectacular 100,000 acre Indian reservation which had never been filmed before in history. The centerpiece of the movie is a large action sequence that takes in this beautiful wilderness with quite a number of four legged “extras.”
Michael explains that the stampede action sequence used 110 wild mustangs that were not trained show horses, along with a pack of wolves. Since it was a “must get it the first time” kind of shot, Michael’s crew had eight cameras rolling at once.
Michael recalls, “We had the helicopter, stars in the middle of this stampede, all these wild horses. We couldn’t rehearse it, we just had to do it. I was praying a lot on that one!”
The sequence turned out great and really shows the horsemanship of the actors as well as the dramatic tension that Michael created.
The heart of the movie comes from the performances of the cast. Veteran comedy actor Patrick Warbuton plays the rancher dad who is at a loss as to how to raise the teenaged daughter who has suddenly shown up in his life.
“This was a departure for Patrick, who is often plays comedic roles,” Michael said.
Tammin Sursok, best known for the TV series THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and HOME AND AWAY, holds the movie together emotionally as the teenage girl.
Michael recalls, “Tammin had a large arc to her character and she really gave it her all.”
Rounding out the cast is well-known country music star Clint Black, who takes a turn as the humorous ranch manager.
“Clint had a great rapport with everyone both on and off the camera,” Michael says. “He would bring his guitar and sing while the crew was setting up.”
Michael is pleased with FLICKA 2. MOVIEGUIDE® thinks viewers will be as well. FLICKA 2 is a movie for the whole family.