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WALKING WITH HERB

‘Walking with Herb’ DVD signing July 31

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After a national theatrical release, Las Cruces-based feature film “Walking with Herb,” starring Edward James Olmos, George Lopez and Kathleen Quinlan, is being released on DVD.

The DVD will be available at COAS Books 317 N. Main St., beginning with a signing on Saturday, July 31.

Book author and film executive producer Joe S. Bullock and film director and producer Ross Kagan Marks will be signing the DVD from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. at the bookstore.

Bullock said the movie’s screenwriter and Academy Award winning playwright Mark Medoff, who died in April 2019, loved this project so much it may have allowed him to live a little longer to see the project become a reality.

“I think he loved this project so much and had so much fun doing it,” Bullock said.

Bullock said Medoff took the book “Walking with Herb,” and made some “brilliant” changes to the story.

“Mark takes it from a deeper, darker place,” Bullock said. “It’s about the spiritual journey that Joe Amable-Amo has. And Mark had a brilliant idea that we should make the two lead characters Hispanic.  We have two of the best Hispanic actors in the world.”

The PG-rated film shot in Las Cruces and Artesia, New Mexico, is about Amable-Amo (Olmos) a bank executive and former amateur golfer struggling with his faith after an unexpected tragedy. Faced with doubts about himself, his purpose and his belief in God, Joe is stunned when God tells him that he’s been chosen to inspire the world and play in a world championship golf tournament. Guided by God’s eccentric personal messenger, Herb (Lopez), Joe learns that the seemingly impossible is possible.

“To a person, every actor I talked to said this was the most fun they had making a movie,” Bullock said. “Kathleen Quinlan walked by and hit me and said, ‘Joe, thanks for writing that book. I’m having so much fun.’”

Bullock, who is a banker and a golfer, said Marks would call him about banking and golfing technical advice, like how a golfer would play a certain kind of shot.

In the book, he said he had the main character learn an old-fashioned putting technique.

“There was this English golfer around the turn of the century who had this way to putt. He claimed he was the best putter in the world,” Bullock said. “Edward James Olmos spent two hours learning it.”

It is gratifying to Bullock that the film, mostly shot in Las Cruces, was also shot in his hometown of Artesia. He describes one of his most memorable moments as watching at dusk, from the parking lot at the Artesia County Club as a caravan of trucks drove into town.

“‘Walking with Herb’ was on the side of the semis,” he said. “It was like the circus coming to town.”