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Independent Movie Being Filmed In Lee's...
Independent Movie Being Filmed In Lee's Summit
July 19, 2014
By Carlee Edwards
“Normandy is My Name,” a full length feature film written and directed by Jim Russell and David Throckmorton as director of photography, is currently being filmed locally in the Kansas City area. Several scenes were filmed in Lee’s Summit/Lake Lotawana area this past week. Produced by Royal House Studios in association with the Smart Angels Film Fund, this film is to be the first in a series of family friendly comedies.
The story revolves around five very different teens, from different families and backgrounds, whose parents all decided to set them on a 30 day media detox. Without internet, tv, video games, or cell phones, the teens are left to learn how to interact without electronics and soon find that their previous, superficial assumptions about each other are far from the truth.
“Think Juno meets The Breakfast Club,” Russell said. “Studies show that through all our connectivity our media disconnects us.”
“It shows a lot of relationships that you don’t usually see,” lead actress Cory Cole, an Overland Park native and a recent graduate from Sion Academy said. “There’s a lot of family love. The romantic interest isn’t the main focus.”
Cole was actually part of Russell’s inspiration for the story. He in fact wrote it with her in mind, and this is her first experience with screen acting.
Over 130 actors auditioned for the film, almost all from the Kansas City area.
“KC has a great talent pool,” Russell said. “We wanted to purposely make sure that all our actors are local. We wanted to bring new, fresh faces into the industry.”
The directors also hired a reality film crew to come in and film behind-the-scenes footage of the cast and crew as they worked on making this film. Viewers will be able to witness the off-camera lives of the cast and the all the work that goes into creating a good quality film.
Currently, both the states of Kansas and Missouri have no tax credit on films, and independent filmmakers are struggling to find capital to fund their work. This is creating a large gap in the market as the demand is growing. People have constant access to film now with the Internet, Video On Demand, Pay-Per-View and especially Smart Devices. Smart Angels Film Fund strives to help fill this gap by helping to fund independent films that have the potential to break out.
We utilize proven methods of film finance from the big studio world combined with next-generation marketing and distributing planning, Smart Angels Film Fund director Melissa Steele explained. They also provide studio-quality oversight and management.
“Our mission is to provide a risk minimized, alternative investment opportunity into an asset class that is set to grow dynamically due to new technologies and outlets in the market,” Steele said.
The mission of directors Russell and Throckmorton is to create a movie, based entirely in the Kansas City area that reflects the family- friendly values of the mid-west. They hope to really develop the film industry in this area, which might convince the states to bring back the film tax credit.
“We want to create an alternative to Hollywood right here in the mid-west,” Russell said. “The demand is here. We want to find sponsors here.”
“We have the people, the tools and the drive,” Throckmorton added. “We’d like to help and support other filmmakers in the mid-west.”
Russell wrote this story to be the start of a series of coming of age, family friendly films. Elements of their next movie are even hidden within “Normandy is My Name.” Look for the “Delbert Digby is my friend” t-shirts throughout the film!
“Our success is based on our audience,” Russell said. “People will follow us for movies and our brand.”
“If they do it, and do it right, and put their hearts and souls into it, it’ll sell,” actor Michael Derr, a Missouri native said of the film. “And if you sell a movie that gives you funds to make more.”
Derr hopes that Russell, Throckmorton and Steele are successful in their plan to grow the film industry in Kansas City and he’s excited to see what happens.
“People would flock here if the film industry was better,” Derr explained.
One of the best ways to support a film is to simply spread the word about it. The directors and the crew are still looking for sponsors and teens and college students with a large social media presence to promote
“Normandy is My Name” and more movies to come from Russell, Throckmorton and the crew.
To learn more about the film and its directors check out the movie’s website at www.normandyismyname.com.
Also, if readers would like access to updates on the movie and notices for special screenings and giveaways then make sure to “like” the ‘Normandy is My Name’ Facebook page and be on the lookout this fun, laugh-out-loud adventure coming soon!
Sunrise Rotary Presentation Ceremony-Alec Hanshaw