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Parties, casting, music and a film fund

June 24, 2010
Sometimes I have to pinch myself just to make sure I am not dreaming. But even though every night that I sleep I dream about it, even when I wake up, I am still helping to make a movie.
After last weekend where Thomas L. Phillips, the director, and I, along with some of our crew, held a casting call in Nashville for two days, we drove back to Oxford to gear up for the most important week in the film. Tomorrow night we are hosting a fundraising party to obtain the last $7,500 in finishing funds for the film (we’ve already raised half of that pre-party!) and Saturday we are holding our final casting call in Oxford.
While our film is being shot in Columbia, Ky., I knew that the immense talent in North Mississippi, and particularly in Oxford, could not be ignored if I was going to be part of this project. One way we thought to bring in more of our local artists was by holding a music competition in which we had submissions of already recorded songs that musicians could submit to be considered to be the featured song for the movie. We thought it would be easy and only one or two would be great. Boy, were we wrong. We had over 25 submissions that were all amazing.
But a choice had to be made and a very clear winner soon emerged when we heard Reverend Robert Reed’s “Town.” The song captures the heart of the film and the soulful lyrics are stunning. It is one of those songs that sticks with you for life as soon as you hear it.
The Reverend wrote and recorded the song in Como along with Jimbo Mathus and Justin Showah.
Because of that, we knew we couldn’t just announce who won the competition at our party, but people needed to hear what we heard. So we instead asked Reed to play the song for us on Friday at the party. He, along with Mathus, will perform the song at 7 p.m. at the Powerhouse before Mathus heads up to North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic to headline. The performance of Reed’s winning song will be a real treat for music lovers.
As for the party at the Powerhouse on Friday, it is a suggested $5 donation at the door, but it is not required. There will be free food and Cathead Vodka with a cash bar for any other needs. The Lyric has generously volunteered their time for the event.
We are also holding a raffle with numerous prizes including a walk-on role, not to mention a dialogue competition where you can add a line of dialogue to the script. But more important than even raising funds for our indie film is that Wayne Andrews of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council will be unveiling Oxford’s new film fund which will give filmmakers a way to request a grant specifically for filming in Lafayette County — a great addition to the help that all other types of artists currently have through the arts council.
If you can’t make it but still want a way to help, the University Designated Drivers have donated their time on Friday night and will donate 50 percent of their profits to the film. So, if you end up at the bar and need a way home, they are the folks to call. Get home safe and support local filmmaking!
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