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Movies focus: Suicide, bullying
Listen being filmed this month in Manteca
Listen-DSC 8358-LT
Professional actress Lindsay Bushman of Los Angeles draws a stern correction about her swimming skills from her swim coach at the Manteca High pool as the camera rolls. - photo by GLENN KAHL

It was “quiet on the set!” followed by “camera, action!” at Manteca High’s swimming pool on Sunday for one scene in the powerful, thought-provoking film “Listen” focused on making a difference for today’s teens and their need to be heard.

Hollywood writer-director Erahm Christopher Machado and producer Brooke Dooley are teaming up to create the film that is taking up much of the month of July at several different Manteca locations including two Atherton Homes models.

A wrestling scene is being filmed Wednesday noon in the Manteca High School gym. Teen wrestlers will compete as other students fill the stands. On Monday Manteca High students and professional actors were filmed chatting together on the quad at the high school.

Gang violence, bullying, cutting, murder suicides and domestic violence are too often summed up with the common excuse, “Kids are crazy nowadays.” 

 “Kids are not crazy – there is more so say,” Dooley said. “We need to start opening up and find out what’s really going on with each other. We have to re-shift our focus and start listening to our youth, which is the strong message behind the film appropriately titled, Listen.”

Machado and Dooley are both from the San Joaquin Valley. Machado grew up in Linden and now resides in Montreal with his family. He has co-founded a company called “Teen Truth” – a live school assembly experience where for the past several years he had personally reached over half a million youth as a motivational speaker. Machado has been credited with influencing positive change through his program.

Dooley was born and raised in Tracy. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she directs her own production company called “Knox Avenue.” In the last five years, she has produced more than 50 productions for clients such as the U.S. Navy, Google, Pringles, Gillette, Shutterstock and Star Wars.

“We need to pay attention to how we’re communicating into society – to give youth a chance to be heard on a mainstream scale,” Dooley noted. “There’s a spark in all of us that motivates every single choice we make. We make decisions every day that affect not only our future but the lives of those around us.”

“Ultimately, this project is bigger than all of us – there is a greater purpose,” she stressed.

The filmmakers say they couldn’t have launched their film without the help of their regional partners from Manteca to Stockton and Tracy who have made it all possible. Those include: the Manteca Unified School District, City of Manteca, Manteca Police Department, Hampton Inn and Suites in Manteca, Ernie’s Food and Spirits, Doctors Hospital of Manteca, University Plaza Waterfront Hotel, Chase Chevrolet, Holiday Inn & Express, Manteca; Atherton Homes, Starbucks, Diamond Foods, Tony and Mrs. K’s Coffee Roasting, Dave Wong’s, Perko’s Café on Waterloo Road, Mikasa Sushi, Tracy; Alpine Meats, The Waterloo Club, Rinaldi’s Market, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery, Stockton; Yum Yum Donuts, Manteca Visitors’ Bureau, San Joaquin County Office of Education, Holy Cross Church, Linden; Father Silva, Linden Cemetery, Paul Lynch, Bret Lagorio, Tom Conlin, Holiday Inn Express & Suits, Tracy; Stockton Chamber of Commerce, Barbagelata Farms, M&W Dutch American Bakery in Stockton.

Movie production will continue throughout the month.

The final scene will be at Doctors Hospital of Manteca.