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Movie aimed at teens wrestling with depression
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Movie filming in the Manteca High gym includes an extended boom mounted camera focusing on a cheering crowd. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A wrestling scene was filmed Wednesday in the Manteca High gym for a movie designed to help teens grappling with depression.

It was part of the Hollywood production of “Listen.”

“Listen” was settled upon for the name of the movie in reference to students who had attempted suicides or cut  themselves as well as experienced bullying more often than not told their parents and school officials that no one would listen to them.  

The scene called for the inclusion of Manteca High cheerleaders and a roaring crowd to add color and background to the wrestling matches.  Some family members and high school staffers were also in the bleacher scene as was at least one supporter of the production, Terry Pierce, general manager of the Hampton Inn at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley on the 120 Bypass.

It was a challenge for the students to remain silent except when they were signaled to cheer for the wrestlers on the two mats in the center of the gym.

Pierce is being lauded by the film crew for providing nine upstairs hotel rooms for members of the production for the entire month of the shoot.  The Manteca businessman couldn’t seem to do enough to help the Hollywood production crew working on a limited budget.

“The fact of what they are doing is what I have been doing in the community is exciting,” Pierce said, referring to the goal of the film in making a difference for troubled teens.  

He opened the Hampton four years ago and has been spiritually serving the community ever since through his church ministry.  

“We gave them some really nice accommodations, because we knew they were going to be there for a long time,” he said.  

Pierce sat in the stands with producers and clearly enjoyed the exchange of small talk together talking about the film. 

The filming location is moving to Linden later this week. The crew will work throughout the night hours until 5 a.m.  Linden is the hometown of writer/director Harem Christopher.  Christopher has also developed a motivational speaking business that provides programs for high school teens aimed at combating poor self-image and depression.  

A police car that is going to be used in the film is coming from a man in Livermore who purchased the surplus vehicle and as a hobby restored it to nearly new condition.  It will be placed alongside a roadway with its lights flashing for background color in an upcoming scene. 

A sizeable number of Manteca, Tracy and Stockton business owners as well as educators have given their support to the low budget film.

Channel 10 anchor Tim Daley is among those supporters agreeing to serve as the announcer in the film.

Producer Brooke Dooley grew up in Tracy and many of her family members visited the set on Wednesday, sitting quietly and watching intently as the action unfolded before the camera.  

The filming will return from Linden to Manteca early next week.

A website of and a Facebook page of Christopher providing more information on the film expected to be released in 2015.