Oscar Jarnicki had no real aspirations to be in the movie business. He's always been in health care, with a master's degree from Xavier University in hospital administration. And as co-owner of Eastgate Village, with 153 senior-living apartments, he no longer travels long miles between facilities as he once did.

But those roads traveled in the early '90s led him to Hollywood and the 2008 movie "Flying By" starring Billy Ray Cyrus, Heather Locklear and the late Patricia Neal in her last movie
 
Heather Locklear, Jim Amatulli & Olesya Rulin on
the set of "Flying By"
role. It's the story of a musician-turned-successful businessman who reconnects with his music dream.

"I never was a writer. I was more interested in music. But I used to travel about 200 miles a day for business, and I'd pull off the side of the road to write things down," the 57-year-old Jarnicki says. "Pretty soon I had a pretty descriptive outline of a story and would gradually add pieces to it, thinking that it might be a
movie."

In March 2007 "” about 10 years after the story first came to Jarnicki "” he ran into Jim Amatulli, owner of Arte Films, an independent film company in Cincinnati. He had filmed "Artworks" in 2004 with Virginia Madsen and was a participant in the 2004 Sundance Independent Producers' Conference.

Amatulli liked the story and wrote a full-blown script. "Then he said, "¢I think we need to go to Hollywood,'" in June to gauge interest, Jarnicki says. A casting director there liked it and suggested Billy Ray Cyrus for the lead. At the time, Cyrus' daughter Miley's popularity as Hannah Montana was exploding.

"Next thing I know, we are back in L.A. meeting Cyrus for what I thought would be 10 to 15 minutes. It turned into a 3½-hour meeting because he really identified with the story," Jarnicki says.

 
Heather Locklear & Billy Ray Cyrus in a scene
from "Flying By."
Cyrus suggested Heather Locklear as the wife, and Oscar-winner Patricia Neal signed on to play his mother.

Filming started in November 2007, produced by Arte's Encore Partners LLC, in San Diego and it was finished by Christmas. Cyrus plays a real estate developer who reconnects with
his high school band at a 25_year reunion ... to his wife's displeasure. A last-minute booking to open for a reunion tour leads to conflicts within the band and the family.

The film premiered at the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival in 2008 to coincide with a lifetime
achievement award for Neal. It then went straight to Lifetime Movie Network.

As executive producer, Jarnicki's primary business was "to make sure we had the funds to do everything and make sure it all fell into place."

The chemistry on the set was great, he says. Cyrus was "so involved and brought so many great ideas to the table." Neal was a "joy to be around, a real Hollywood legend."
 
The late Patricia Neal


"Filming was awe-inspiring. It brought me to tears actually to see something that was an idea of mine interpreted in such a perfect way," he says.

"It was a dream come true, from pulling off the side of the road in rural Ohio writing down ideas to working with top actors performing these roles."
 
Information: www.artefilms.com