Tom Murtagh and his Road to The Ascent

A Latino-themed film avoids the usual typecast characters

Published on LatinoLA: October 22, 2012

Tom Murtagh and his Road to The Ascent

Tom Murtagh moved to Los Angeles seven years ago from the east coast. Of Irish-American heritage, he learned to speak Spanish in New York City while managing a mostly Hispanic restaurant staff. He expressed a sincere desire to learn their first language and they rewarded him back with their respect and friendship. He developed some close friendships and found an affinity between his own upbringing and aspects of Latino culture.

He moved to Los Angeles in 2005 and was later involved with a prospective housing project in the city of Tijuana, Mexico. Tom enjoyed visiting his project partners at their Playas de Tijuana office and lunching at the different eateries along the beachfront. He also became aware of security concerns and eventually, the project collapsed along with the financial markets in tandem with the issues in a Mexican border city.

As a screenwriter of over twenty years, he'd written dozens of scripts and in 2008, after processing his experiences in Tijuana, he wrote a script about the US/Mexican border. That script is currently under option with Michael Bassett, Director of Silent Hill, Revelation 3D.

In 2010, Tom decided he wanted to direct a film, and set out to write something that could be produced for a micro-budget that was affordable, but engaging. The result was The Ascent, a supernatural thriller that features a Latino lead character and Latino cultural contexts, while avoiding the typical typecasts seen in films today. His characters are complex and layered, and the story is a surprising one.

The lead is played by Miguel Perez, who has performed Shakespeare and has appeared often on TV shows such as CSI, 24 and Desperate Housewives. Also cast in the film is the up and coming David Castaneda, who starred in the film Maddogin' and has a role in the new Jake Gyllenhall movie, End of Watch.

An experienced team has been brought together to start shooting The Ascent in early 2013 and they've started a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.com. They will need funds to get this movie made. At a time when good Hispanic roles are still rare, they are determined to make it happen.

If you would like to help, go to www.indiegogo.com/theascent and donate any amount starting at $1. Every dollar counts and your donation is tax deductible. We need your help. There's also great giveaways such as t-shirts, downloads, posters and even a walk on role in the film.

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