On the fateful day four gunmen took forty-one Sacramentan's hostage at a Good Guys electronics store in 1991, filmmaker Nick Leisure was but a teenager captivated by the live event transmitting just a block away from his local hangout. Inspired by the critical events, Leisure will present his latest feature film, ‘A Clear Shot,’ with an exclusive red carpet premiere at the IMAX Theater in downtown Sacramento this Saturday.
Featuring actors Mario Van Peebles, Mandela Van Peebles, Glenn Plummer and comedian Lance Woods, amongst others, ‘A Clear Shot’ will be Leisure’s biggest feature film to date. With a career that spans more than two decades directing music videos, short films, commercials and a prestigious position as creative director for ABC’s local news station, Leisure has maintained a tributary spirit for the city that raised him.
“I definitely wanted to premiere this in Sacramento,” said Leisure over the phone this week. “It’s a movie inspired by a true event that happened in Sacramento, so I thought it was only right for us to premiere it here in Sacramento, and there’s been a lot of great support from the city when it comes to this premiere coming up.”
Unfortunately, support from the City of Sacramento and its frail movie commission was bare, which lead Leisure to a distant filming location south of the border at Baja Studios in Rosarito, Mexico. While he would have liked to shoot ‘A Clear Shot’ in the city where the events took place, Sacramento did not offer the proper incentives, whereas Rosarito facilitated the process for permits, building sets and overall accessibility.
“You need to have somebody that’s knowledgeable in film and knows how to make film,” said Leisure. “I think they’re starting to realize that now and they’re putting that in place because I heard that they were allocating money to an actual film commission as of next year, but they still have a long way to go. Sacramento has a long way to go when it comes to film.”
Considering the fact that time is money, Leisure mourns the likelihood that he may not benefit from the changes coming to Sacramento. As an independent filmmaker with a tight budget, “you just don’t have the time to teach people what to do right,” he said. Nonetheless, his heart is with the city, which drives him to ensure more events come to Sacramento, such as Saturday’s premiere. And with the event officially sold out, it is clear that public interest is not the issue.
Inspired by the hostage situation that ended in six lives being lost, ‘A Clear Shot’ will immortalize the largest hostage rescue operation in U.S. history. While the story is grim, Leisure’s determined experience in the entertainment industry will drive the story forward in ways only films can accomplish. With plans to shop the film around at this year’s American Film Market, Leisure and his company could be on the verge of taking Sacramento history into a new realm of entertainment.
“Keep an eye out for more projects,” said Leisure. “We definitely got a lot more coming out of Sacramento and I’ll try to keep as many premieres as I can in Sacramento.”
As his reputation ascends into its next chapter, ‘A Clear Shot’ is the first of four films that Leisure has signed on to direct at Baja Studios. The second film has already been shot, while the third is currently in pre-production.
In addition, Leisure and his company are currently in talks for theatrical distribution and streaming platforms for ‘A Clear Shot,’ while dates are yet to be announced.
To view the official trailer for ‘A Clear Shot,’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duFn5n8F7D0&t=9s
Published July 12, 2019
By Cesar Alexander with Sacramento Press