Artists in Action: New group promoting f ilm industry in Alabama
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
May 12, 2013 | 4354 views |  0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Those of you who are fascinated by the excitement of the big screen but find yourself lacking in creative vision and technical genius, take heart. There’s a new film presence in the making in Northeast Alabama.

Yellowhammer Filmmakers of Northeast Alabama is a group of actors, directors, producers, carpenters, hairdressers and film enthusiasts of all ages and talents dedicated to promoting the film industry in this area. Anyone interested is welcome to attend the monthly meetings, held the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at The Peerless Grille in Anniston. The next meeting will be May 16 and will include “a short film showing,” said Yellowhammer founder Annie Brunson.

The featured film, “Julie on Her Way,” won the Kathryn Tucker Windham Storyteller Award at the 2012 Sidewalk Film Festival, she said.

“We’ll also be talking about projects, such as entering competitions that we might do as we grow,” said Brunson. “Once we choose a film written by one of our script writers, then we can build our crews and get started.”

Also in the works is the Yellowhammer International Film Festival, which will feature filmmakers from Northeast Alabama, the United States and the world. It is scheduled to be held in Calhoun County in April 2015, one of six film festivals scheduled around the state.

Brunson is reaching out to movie enthusiasts to help her cause. “Whatever your skill, we can put you to work,” she promises.

At an April field trip to Longleaf Film Studios in Jacksonville, Jeffrey Nichols, a film technology instructor at Jacksonville State University, talked to the group about upcoming renovations to the studio, an existing 18,000-square foot building and future screen facility. It will have high-tech equipment, editing studios and lighting. Nichols is also a guest artist-in-residence in the JSU drama department.

“As projects evolve with Yellowhammer, my students will help out,” Nichols said.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at the 2013 Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Set in Depression-era Monroeville, and told through the familiar voice of tomboy Scout, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a tale that embodies the life-long lessons of courage and fairness, no matter the cost.

When a man in town is accused of a crime, the story demonstrates the importance of treating people as individuals rather than seeing them through the labels society has placed on them — good or bad, peace-loving or violent.

Rodney Clark, originally from Anniston, portrays the character of Heck Tate, the town sheriff and a friend to lawyer Atticus Finch, in Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s upcoming production. He is one of 30 cast members, including the townspeople and choir.

The script is by Christopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee. Four performances are scheduled for May 12 at 2 p.m., May 15 at 7:30 p.m., May 17 at 7:30 p.m., and May 18 at 2 p.m.

Clark has worked at ASF for 18 seasons, appearing in roles such as Atticus Finch, Scrooge, Cymbeline, Captain Hook, Cogsworth in “Beauty and the Beast,” Joe Keller in “All My Sons” and many more. He has performed in nine theaters in the United States, and has acted in at least four soap operas and five films, and appeared in more than 75 commercials.

Ticket prices vary according to seating and date. Call the ASF box office at 1-800-841-4273.

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