Xeitgeist ~ the spirit of the event
by Melinda Darlington-Bach

Go Big or Go Home ~ Touching Home

Ed Harris and Melinda Darlington-BachThere are a few defining moments in our lives when you must just jump off the ledge with both feet and hope for the best. Identical twins, former hunky Abercrombie & Fitch models, recruited for professional baseball, Marin natives Logan and Noah Miller made a clever and bold move to get their first film, Touching Home, brilliantly cast.

These Fairfax residents had only read a book on screenwriting and decided they wanted to make a feature film based on their life focusing on the difficult relationship they had with their father. Logan and Noah or "the bros" as they are known, promised their father when they shot the film, his part would be cast with Ed Harris. The problem was the impossibly handsome and talented Ed Harris was not attached to the project and the twins found it very difficult to gain access to him through the normal channels of agents, managers and the conventional Hollywood machine.

When Logan and Noah heard that Ed Harris was coming to the Castro Theater in to receive an award by the prestigious San Francisco Film Festival, they both decided to just ambush and plead with him if they got the opportunity. Trying in vain to get some time during the Q&A, they decided to literally stalk Mr. Harris backstage and go for broke. Encouraged by the face time, the twins proceeded into the alley, talking at the same time, finishing each other's sentences, to show the pitch trailer to Mr. Harris while their laptop was perched on top of a garbage can. This could have gone terribly wrong, but the piercing blued-eyed Academy Award nominee agreed to jump on board. One catch they had to work around his jam-packed shooting and acting schedule.

Originally called "Winston” the film is the story of their real life alcoholic Dad who was homeless for most of their adult life. Daniel Arthur Miller died sadly, in a Marin County jail. There is a strong back-story around the twins’ relationship to baseball and their love of the game, thus the new title Touching Home emerged. Incredibly ambitious and quite brave, Logan and Noah wrote, directed and have major roles in their film playing themselves. Finding a Sacramento investor named Brian Vail willing to finance 93% of the film and a grant from Lorette Bayle of the Kodak Film Company to cover the huge cost of the beautiful 35 mm film all contributed to making this a major studio feature. The glorious widescreen lensing of Richard Gale also lends itself to the top-notch look of the film.

Now, once in the can, the task for distribution of any film can be incredibly challenging, especially in the current financial climate. As Mark Fishkin and his team at the California Film Institute were launching a new program for theatrical distribution for independent films, they felt that "Touching Home" would be the perfect choice for the inaugural foray into distribution. This new arm of the California Film Institute (CFI) will be a welcome and needed addition to an already thriving, community-based organization in Marin County.

CFI hosted a gala premiere event of "Touching Home", with Ed Harris and the Miller twins in attendance to an over-sold out house that loved the film and it's wholesome message. Executive Director, Mark Fishkin, is committed to celebrating film and promoting it as an art form and an educational tool.

According to the studio system, this should have never been made this way, but do not tell this to Noah and Logan Miller. They are deciding who to ambush for their next film project.

~ Marin Arts Council Magazine, April 2010