On January 24, the Los Angeles premiere of independent film “Hoovey” took place; an apropos return to the region where the film kick-started its momentum by winning top honors at the 2014 Los Angeles Sunscreen Film Festival. So Cal Life Mag was there to share the thrill. And deservedly so, as the inspiring film is based on the real-life story of star high school basketball player, Eric “Hoovey” Elliott, who, upon being incapacitated by a brain tumor, rebuilds his life through hope and the loving support of his family.
The inspiration extended to the red carpet celebration as well—because of where it took place, and because of the insights provided by the participants behind the film. Certainly, it was very much unlike the usually vapid Hollywood fare.
The setting—the Bel Air Presbyterian Church on Mulholland Drive—was literally a breath of fresh air. And the reasons had nothing to do with religion, but rather the architectural, dream-like quality of the church, in addition to the picturesque views imbibed from the church’s terrace. The latter offers an elevated panorama of practically the entire San Fernando Valley, framed fabulously for the eye’s pleasure, so much so that one would think the sight is an optical illusion. Yet the feeling that it confers—of being King or Queen of seemingly all of Southern California—is as humbling as it is unbelievable.
Amid the beauty that they oversaw, the cast and personnel at the premiere had beautiful words of their own to share. The fact that triumph sometimes comes when one least expects it, even while the clock seems to be winding down—also the film’s main theme—was exemplified by Cody Linley, who plays “Hoovey” in the film. Linley, only 25, thought his career might have been over until he earned the lead, which “came at a time when [he] didn’t have work in a long while.”
Another who offered words to remember was Patrick Warburton, who portrays Eric Elliott’s father, Jeff. For the former supporting star of Seinfeld, the role has added a new, humble dimension in the way he observes himself such that, while he has “never been dealt cards of that magnitude as a father of four,” he feels great empathy for those who are burdened with the responsibility of a potentially life-altering fate.
Appropriately, the insights that were most compelling at the premiere were by those who actually lived through the unimaginable adversity as depicted in the movie—Eric and Jeff Elliott themselves. They had an infectious exuberance in their eyes, and were at peace with the ultimately happy outcome of their ordeal.
As nightfall befell the Bel Air Church, Eric “Hoovey” Elliott’s inspiration for making a full recovery became clear. Truthfully, even a muse like Elliott has his source of encouragement—an unwavering belief in himself.
Find showtimes for “Hoovey” at www.TheHooveyMovie.com
Bel Air Presbyterian Church Address: 16221 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Cover: View of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California from the Bel Air Presbyterian Church.
Top: (left to right) Jeff Elliott, Cody Linley, EchoLight Cinema Promo, Director Sean McNamara & friend
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