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Writer, director, star of independent film "Tar" talks to 23ABC

Posted at 8:19 AM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 11:19:53-04

Just in time for Halloween, the ancient, Native American legend of the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles comes to life for the first time ever as a motion picture. 23ABC's Kristin Vartan has more about this independent thriller and how it can be a precursor for a close-by, socially-distanced excursion to the actual tar pits for locals.

The kids of Kern County may be used to discovering the wonders of the animal kingdom right in their backyard at the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. For the star, co-writer director of the upcoming film, "Tar," that childhood pilgrimage was to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, as he grew up right outside of the city.

"I loved Indiana Jones, and thought this was a real-life Indiana Jones archeological dig place," said Aaron Wolf. "I wanted to be a filmmaker, actor and archaeologist all in one."

Well in a way Wolf was able to, pun intended, "excavate" the mystery that is so alive in Los Angeles.

"It has more of that family push and pull of family coming together, all around this crazy world of the La Brea Tar Pits," explained Wolf of his movie "Tar." "And this Native American legend of a creature underneath the that when awoken by man comes up and attacks."

And it is man's decision to build a subway beneath the City of Angels that stirs the archaic being of the tar, putting characters like Zach, played by Wolf, and Carl, portrayed by oscar-nominated Graham Greene, in a very "sticky" and scary situation.

"We need things like this right now. We need to be able to escape, have fun, laugh, have a few scares, and learn about a world in a time when we're all going through something absolutely insane, and we could have never predicted."

And in the age of the pandemic, an unforeseen plot line coincides with the sign of the times: the importance of a family and a small business staying together to survive.

"I root for the person who's running against all odds to make it. We have a small production company here."

For Wolf, this is personal. "Tar" is the second film he and his production company, Wolf Productions made set on Wilshire Boulevard that follows his mantra of "telling stories about things I know."

The first being a documentary called "Restoring Tomorrow," about a Jewish temple, only blocks from the tar pits.

"My family came from Nazi Germany. My grandfather escaped, so I've always felt like I root for the underdog."

"Tar" is in theaters right now, but for those who'd prefer to catch it at home, it's available on-demand and digital starting October 20th.