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About The Production

With pelting hail, whipping winds and the challenge of turning a cow pasture in the middle of nowhere into a convenience store in the Arizona desert, the producers of the hilarious new Trimark Pictures' comedy HELD UP learned that when making a film there's more to battle than the harsh twist-and-turn realities of Hollywood, there's also the unpredictability of nature. Whoever said filmmaking was all fun and games?

Considering the plot of HELD-UP, some might say it's only fitting that the producers had a taste of their own poison. The story, after all, revolves around Michael Dawson (Jamie Foxx), who has one of the worst days no one should ever have to endure. In this madcap road-movie hostage-comedy from the creators of "I Know What You Did Last Summer," Dawson loses his girlfriend, his car—and almost his mind—in the middle of the Grand Canyon state. As a hostage in a convenience store, where he's mistaken for both Mike Tyson and Puff Daddy, Dawson appears to be a brother from another planet as he's surrounded by trigger-happy redneck lawmen.

Trimark Pictures, in association with Minds Eye Pictures present a Neal H. Moritz/Trimark Pictures production. A Steve Rash film, HELD UP, starring Jamie Foxx, Nia Long, Barry Corbin as "Pembry," Eduardo Yanez, John Cullum, Sarah Paulson, Dalton James and Jake Busey. Casting by Mary Vernieu and Anne McCarthy. The director of photography is David A. Makin. Costume design by Eduardo Castro. The music supervisor is Joel C. High. Music by Robert Folk. Edited by Jonathan Chibnal. The associate producer is Lisa Donahue. Co-produced by Hay Heit, Jaime Rucker King. The executive producers are Mark Amin, Keven DeWalt. Produced by Neil H. Moritz, Jonathon Komack Martin, Stokely Chaffin. Story by Jeff Eastin and Erik Fleming. Screenplay by Jeff Eastin. Directed by Steve Rash.

So what made the team of filmmakers so intent on bringing the plight of poor Dawson to movie theaters? For producer Neil Moritz, it was simple: "I loved the comedic aspect of this film, especially after producing 'I Know What You Did Last Summer,' 'Volcano,' and 'Urban Legend', which took a more serious look at life." The producing team has nothing but praise for the film's first-time screenwriter, who deftly integrates numerous subplots into his multi-layered story. "Jeff Eastin is a brilliant writer," says Trimark Pictures' producer Jonathan Komack-Martin. "I'm just blessed we have the first opportunity to produce his work."

The man entrusted to bring Eastin's vivid words to life was director Steve Rash, who has in the past displayed able comic sensibilities in films such as "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Queens Logic." For Rash, the project was the perfect mix of great writing and a wonderful cast. "I read the script a couple of years ago and fell in love with it because it was very different from anything I had ever read or seen. It was new and funny and at the same time full of humanity and warmth." For Rash, directing Foxx through his nightmarish day allowed him the luxury of bringing home the film's message in a hilarious way. "The film is about how we sometimes easily jump to conclusions about people," he says.

The cast and crew uniformly praised the director for his confidence in knowing what he wanted to shoot and his ability to get the shot in a limited number of takes. Making the experience even more rewarding was Rash's easy nature. "He's just great," says producer Stokely Chaffin. "Everybody in this cast and crew came up to me independently and said, 'This guy is amazing.' I have never seen someone who was loved so much and understood his crew so much." Jamie Foxx had his own unique perspective on HELD-UP's director: "I always knew he was good director, it wasn't a surprise to me, because I had seen his early 'I'm Too Juicy to be a Sandwich,' which was a Lith


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