By Ethan Van Sice
Sixty-two scenes in a dozen locations…
They’d have 3 months to film all of them, while still maintaining day jobs, raising children, planning engagements, and enduring every shameful, derogatory glare from mother-in-laws whenever they’re asked, “just what the heck are you guys doing out there?”
Well, the short answer is simple: This quirky bunch of Birminghamians wanna film a movie.
A noble dream, filmmaking. It’s not so hard to understand, not for anyone familiar to cinema, and very few people aren’t.
Everyone has a favorite movie. We’ve all fantasied a life on the silver screen. Heck, some of us even DREAM from a viewpoint that is, naturally, cinematic in it’s own narrative.
Film reels are like valuable relics to some people. They are the medium upon which we store our most precious memories, through home videos. Film has the ability to tell stories the way nothing else can. Video can tell any fabled story, document an actual event, and even deceive millions with downright lies. And these stories will nary be seen on paper. Instead they are projected through our own eyes, allowing our synapses to take over, and create something very real. Many filmmakers pour their hearts into a project, they hold a story so near and dear to them. So intently. After some time, filmmaking is no longer just a hobby… it’s how many filmmakers are able to locate, decipher, and express the true essence of THEIR own being…
But not these guys! They’re makin’ a scary movie about bigfoot! It’s gonna have lots of blood, gore, cursing, and a peculiar abundance of totally unrealistic, yet particularly female takes on the human anatomy!
Why? Because hey, we’re all a bunch of weirdo’s, alright? You see, people are like stars; there’s literally millions of us, yet it only takes 3 to form a constellation.
And these weirdos just so happen to have a “particular set of skills”, each individualy owned, yet neither one can work without the other.
Hmm… Well, it’s a good thing Justin Steeley, Director and Writer for Hunting the Legend: Part II, chose Camden AL as his first location to shoot scenes for the movie. As an equally giftable person, who’s dreams (like ours) cannot be obtained without a little help from our friends, Justin must’ve known he’d be in good company here. A few week’s back, it was easy to see hesitance in the rookie director’s eyes. Steeley asked me some precautionary questions, including “how are the people of Wilcox going to react to this? What will they think abouto a bunch of strangers roaming around with bulky equipment, imaginary creatures, and obscure lingo that’s sounds so oddly numeric and technical– if not “extra-terrestrial” in it’s origin– to tell a make-believe story based in an actual town…their town.
The actual reaction was far from horrific:
Some of you let these weirdo’s sleep in your beds. You gave them food. You gave them transportation. You gave them your weekend. I mean, some of you even gave them your children.
Why? Because movies are cool, man. And it’s always super cool when a movie is filmed in your own backyard.
It’s also cool when people come together with a common goal in mind and, despite their differences, culminate a lasting, perceivable by-product of hardwork, determination, and unity. There’s no denying it. Camden’s hospitality made an impact on these guys. Brandon Jones, co-producer and lead camera operator, says they’d “never dealt with so many people willing to help out before.”
A total of 7 local actors and actresses were used, or scheduled to be used, in the short 3 days that Red Arctic Films gathered footage here. Though another trip back to Camden was not originally scheduled, Director Justin Steeley says “We’d like to come back for at least a few more scenes sometime in early January.”
And so with a bunch of Birmingham Bo-Zo’s merging into a Camden constellation, we were able to join in on their cinematic cluster. We’re not just a cluster of stars lighting up the thickened, pine-pitches of the Blackbelt, by God. We are all a bunch of movie stars.
(Justin Steeley and Red Arctic Films are filming a sequel to the 2014 Bigfoot horror flick entitled “Hunting the Legend” The trailer for the original can be seen below:)