By Amber Topping
Arizona filmmaker Adam White didn’t initially intend to make a comedy about LDS missionaries caught in a case of mistaken identity as seen in “Inspired Guns.” Rather it was originally intended to be a drama. But “in order for it to be believable it kind of had to be a comedy,” Adam explains. What he did intend from the start, however, was to make “good quality, clean entertainment” not always readily available to an LDS audience.
“Inspired Guns” tells the story of two missionaries, Elder Fisher and Elder Johnson, who begin teaching
two members of the mafia who believe they “are messengers from the boss” with hidden messages inside the Book of Mormon about their next job. Then it gets even crazier when “the FBI thinks the elders are involved with the mafia.”
The original inspiration came eleven years ago during Adam’s mission in Argentina when he and his companion taught “people that were sitting in this park.” He “thought it would be funny if [they] interrupted some kind of mob hit.” From there, “the wheels just started turning.”
Although Adam finished the script while he was in college, he waited to pursue filmmaking because he had a family to support. The right opportunity later came in 2009 when he was able to sell one of his businesses. “Now’s the time to pursue this, like I always wanted to,” he recalls. “And that’s what I did.”
Adam “used talent agencies in Utah” to cast the film, though a few of the main characters were “hand-picked” like popular LDS actor Rick Macy as the mob boss and Dashiell Wolf (who he worked with before) for Elder Johnson. In a “funny coincidence,” David Lassetter, the actor he discovered from ComedySportz to play the lead, Elder Fisher, “actually grew up in the same neighborhood” as him in Gilbert, Arizona. Even stranger was the fact that they were also from the same ward. “I didn’t remember him ‘cause I hadn’t seen him in 15 years and he’s five or six years younger than me,” Adam clarifies.
Ultimately, Adam hopes to change “people’s first assumption,” that “Inspired Guns” is just another Mormon comedy. “This is a situational comedy that includes LDS missionaries,” Adam says. That’s the reality of it. I could have done Jehovah’s Witnesses just as well.”
And while Adam “didn’t set out to make” a movie that would change “everyone’s lives,” he does want everyone “to walk away from the movie saying, ‘that was so good and I want to watch it again!’” The film isn’t without a good message though, one being, “don’t judge people.” However, his “number one goal,” was to “give clean entertainment” that was also “entertaining.”
Since “Inspired Guns,” Adam has continued to work on various projects, but he hopes to work on a “family fantasy” for the LDS audience next that has a “Lord of the Rings” type feel to it. Adam says it’s the project “he’s most excited about doing.”
Meanwhile, “Inspired Guns” is available to buy on DVD from Deseret Boook, Seagull Books and Amazon.com. You can follow Adam at his Twitter handle @realadamwhite and find updates on future projects at www.pitchwhiteent.com.