Power of Few director pleased with Louisiana filmmaking

Photo provided by Steelyard PicturesDirector Leone Marucci, right, instructs Tione Johnson during shooting for The Power of Few. Johnson, of New Orleans, was a real find, Marucci said.
Photo provided by Steelyard PicturesDirector Leone Marucci, right, instructs Tione Johnson during shooting for The Power of Few. Johnson, of New Orleans, was a real find, Marucci said.

Unlike many movies shot in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, writer-director Leone Marucci’s The Power of Few, a non-chronological mystery about consequences and possibilities, is obviously made in Louisiana.

Los Angeles filmmaker Marucci first saw the New Orleans locales he picked for The Power of Few via Google Earth. Already impressed, Marucci made a location-scouting visit to the city in 2009. That trip sealed the deal.

“You come here, you start looking through the lens just to take stills and see that the texture of the city is incomparable,” the director said Tuesday during a promotional visit to Louisiana prior to his movie’s opening weekend in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Los Angeles.

Louisiana’s tax incentives for filmmakers were another enticement for Marucci’s independent feature. The Power of Few is a joint production of his company, Steelyard Pictures, and actress Q’orianka Kilcher’s iQ Films.

Louisiana’s filmmaking infrastructure was another draw.

“In L.A., there is filmmaking all around,” Marucci said. “Everybody’s there, everybody has a strong working knowledge. So when I left town and went looking in a few cities, it was a little nerve-racking wondering what infrastructure would be out there.

“But when I got here, I was shocked at how strong the infrastructure is. Everything was here. The crews were beyond competent. These people know what they’re doing, so it was easy.”

Kilcher does double-duty for The Power of Few, co-starring in the film as a motor-scooter delivery girl. The actress and her production company got involved in the project in 2006, shortly after she’d co-starred at 14 with Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in Terrence Malick’s impressionistic historical drama, The New World.

“Q’orianka saw the point of the script and was really taken by the possibilities,” Marucci recalled.

The Power of Few cast’s other better known names include Christopher Walken, Christian Slater, Anthony Anderson and New Orleans rap star Juvenile.

Tione Johnson, a New Orleans actress who plays a young girl in the film, was a real find, Marucci said. She auditioned for the movie by reading her original poetry.

“That’s all it took,” Marucci said. “There are a lot of great actors, but I was trying to not look for the actor for that role, but for the person who embodies the role.

“The stars in the cast attract people, but Tione delivers so strongly in the film,” Marucci said. “She has that thing inside. It was cool to see this girl on the set, working with the actors she worked with, giving them a lesson. I can only imagine that her star will rise.”

The nonlinear aspect of The Power of Few required detailed storyboards, precisely choreographed scenes and even a master grid.

“I had a plan for each minute of the day, for where each character stood, not only the key characters but extras, somebody walking down the street. The movie is a puzzle that, from my side, was fun to put together. I hope the audience has fun with the same puzzle.”