Heart of the King began as a mockumentary film, to propel two aspiring actors, Shane Stuart and Andrew Lankes, into superstardom. The two filmmakers saw an opportunity to exploit the Elvis world, by posing as Elvis tribute artists who believed Elvis faked his own death. The two traveled to Memphis portraying Elvis fanatics on a mission. What they discovered in Memphis caught them off guard. There was a subculture that didn’t deserve mockery but rather an honest, in-depth portrayal. Heart of the King is an honest look and character study into a world that few have seen.
Shane Stuart grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is the son of John Stuart, producer of Legends in Concert, the longest running celebrity impersonation show in Las Vegas. In 2003, Shane moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He attended the Lee Strasberg Institute for two years. He then produced and acted in the independent feature film Self Medicated, which won more festival awards than any other film in 2006. That production experience motivated Shane to make his own film, the documentary feature Heart of the King. The film is Shane's directorial debut, and the debut of production company Lunch Box Films. Since the film, Shane has become a nutritional mixologist, becoming a top speaker on nutrition. This has led to a Short documentary and Book, “How to Eat your Veggies... and not Know It!," which will include some of his most popular recipes and new ones, too. Stuart is currently enrolled in the prestigious Integrative Nutrition School to become a certified nutritionist and professionally counsel people on the best nutrients to put into their bodies based on their lifestyle and other factors. www.hideyourveggies.com
Andrew Lankes grew up in Austin, Texas, acting and making short films. He studied film at the University of Texas at Austin, which led to a two-year career in Los Angeles as a Production Designer. While grasping at an acting career, Andrew worked on 12 projects in L.A., including the feature film Self Medicated, on which he met Shane Stuart. As work progressed on Heart of the King, Andrew's created unique and often moving sequences for the documentary. Andrew thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as he shifted from the grueling stop-motion animation world into a world of rod-puppets.
John Stuart, known as the “Father” of what is now the impersonation empire throughout the world. His unique creativity and vision has spawned the longest running award-winning production on two coasts, “Legends In Concert.” In Las Vegas, John perfected this state-of-the-art internationally acclaimed show, in which performers look and sound like the stars they are portraying (no lip synching). “Legends” has become its own entertainment empire, with productions appearing in casinos, theme parks, cruise ships and theaters worldwide. John was taken aback when his son’s dream to be a filmmaker and actor manifested its self into documenting, not the cream-of-the-crop impersonators in the world, but the ones with endless heart and determination. Knowing he could make his son’s dreams come true, no matter how off color and unorthodox they were, John said “yes” to the project and funded the endeavor.
Las Vegas native Monty Lapica got his big break when he wrote, directed and starred in his 2007 indie film based on true events, Self Medicated. Monty’s two-year-old production company and creative agency, Thought Division, (the only one of its king in Vegas) is producing commercials for Nike and Heineken, plus doing a city wide Ultimate Sports Fan casting call with ESPN SportsCenter. Monty segued into advertising with a parter, Tim Krandall, who said “The level of creativity involved in commercial production can rival filmmaking.” www.thoughtdivision.com
Mark and Danny - Double Vision, bonded quickly over their mutual love of doing Elvis Karaoke. Under Danny's guidance, Mark is becoming a better Elvis tribute artist, despite the lack of gigs in their small home town of Beech Grove, Indiana. The real joy comes from performing for crowds at local karaoke bars. Elvis has given these two best friends something to believe in, and something to look forward to, outside of the daily grind of small town America.
Dorian Baxter, or better known as Elvis Priestly, has found a unique motif to get the message of the gospel across to his congregation. The Elvis image has helped Dorian bring many more people to Christ than would otherwise be possible. His love of Elvis and his music goes back to the age of five, when he first heard Elvis on the radio. From that day forward, Elvis has played an enormous role in his life. And, as lifeís tribulations challenged a young Dorian, he found God in a strong way, and dedicated himself to a full-time ministry - as the worldís only Anglican priest who does a tribute to Elvis.
Austin Hopkins, or Little E, has been performing as Elvis for most of his life. He loves being in the spotlight, and stunning the crowd with his moves. Born a twin, and coming from a broken home, Austin and his brother were taken in by two sisters. Robin, Little E's guardian, said he started moving and shaking the first time he saw Elvis sing. Now with about 50 handmade Elvis jumpsuits in his closet, Little E has experienced a lot because of his chosen profession. And with the continued support of his parents, Little E is sure to woo audiences for years to come.