Everything comes full circle eventually. Native Stocktonians Terry a O’Neal and Shelly Hollis had no idea that they were from the same hometown when Hollis joined the film crew as Director and Editor of the upcoming film Along the Dirt Road, which is currently in pre-production.
The film, which is based on the novel Sweet Lavender by author and Executive Producer Terry a O’Neal, is already getting buzz in the media and film industry. The film has been described as an “influential classic story”—a cross between August Wilson’s “Fences” and Langston Hughes’ “Not Without Laughter.”
After watching O’Neal’s recent interview on Good Day Sacramento, Hollis contacted her to express his interest in joining the team. The production executives were so impressed with Hollis’ work that they signed him immediately.
Hollis, who grew up in Stockton, graduated from Bear Creek High School in 2001. After attending Delta College for a year, he went on to pursue his dream in film production. Aside from the work that he did with Disney while living in Los Angeles, he went on to travel the world, producing, editing and directing numerous documentaries, videos, shorts and commercials.
O’Neal, who has been named one of the top 100+ Most Admired African-American Women in Literature in the book entitled Literary Divas, graduated from Franklin High School in 1991 and has been an avid volunteer in the Stockton community for over a decade.
This week the two Native Stocktonians are going their separate ways. Tomorrow O’Neal is departing for Louisiana to meet up with local film producers to scout locations for the film. Hollis will be headed to Oregon to shoot a short video. O’Neal and Hollis are expected to return to Sacramento at the end of this month to sit down and discuss the making of the classic feature film.