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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Boogeyman strikes!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tommy Golden applies the casting that formed the base of the mask he wore in the film "The Boogeyman."
(Photo by Kim Golden)
You don't need millions of dollars or the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to make a quality film, just ask Middle Tennessee filmmaker Tommy Golden.

Last weekend, Golden and his crew overtook Shelbyville's Lane Street Inn to film his screen adaptation of Stephen King's tale, The Boogeyman -- a twisting thriller that tells the story of Lester Billings, a father who has seen first-hand the evils of the notorious nighttime monster.

Great spot

Screenwriter and director Golden directs Don Day, who plays the role of the psychologist, Dr. Harper.
(T-G Photo by Mitchell Petty)
So why Shelbyville, and why the Lane Street Inn?

"I Googled 'bed and breakfasts' because I wanted a place where my crew and I could stay," Golden explains. "I met [Lane Street Inn owners] Eben and Emily Bryant, and they were very inviting. Because it was a horror genre film, a lot of doors were slammed in my face. But they opened up, let me look around and set a rate."

"When we walked in, it was like stepping back in time," says Golden. "I love Bedford County -- I lived in Shelbyville for two years, and it was almost like a homecoming. It was very peaceful, and it was nice to be only 20 minutes from home," said the Murfreesboro-based filmmaker.

"It was a fantastic location," says lead actor Jim O'Rear, who played the role of Lester Billings. "It was comfortable and hospitable. Eben and Emily were great and went out of their way to make us feel at home."

Stating a point

One of Golden's objectives when setting out to film The Boogeyman was to create work for Tennessee-based actors and crew members.

"I thought that all of the taxable money that I was going to spend should be kept in Tennessee," Golden says. "We bought everything locally; the equipment, talent and labor were all local. Why not employ Tennesseans when people are getting laid off every day?"

This sounds easy enough, but truthfully, filmmakers have little incentive to do their filming in Tennessee. In states like Louisiana, Georgia and California you can get a third of filming costs back.

Makeup is applied to a young actor playing one of Lester Billings' misfortunate children.
(Photo by Kim Golden)
In Tennessee, the film's budget must exceed $100,000 before filmmakers start to see any return incentives. This has led Golden and other local filmmakers to lobby at the Tennessee State Capitol.

"What we're trying to do by lobbying is to help small production companies," says Golden. "What about us that don't make $15 million films? In Tennessee alone, you've got some excellent actors and filmmaker. The proof is in the pudding when the film comes out."

Leading the way

One of these talents is lead actor O'Rear, who is a veritable independent horror genre icon, having starred in countless films. O'Rear was given a chance to shine in a complex role as the conflicted Lester Billings.

"Lester was a challenging role because he had to go through so many changes in a short time," O'Rear explains. "Is he crazy? Guilty? An innocent victim? He had to be developed internally before trying to learn the lines or the story he was trying to tell."

As for the subject of the film, Golden has always been a fan of this particular Stephen King story. He was even able to persuade his high school drama class to do a production of The Boogeyman.

"I read the story when I was young, and it scared me to death," says Golden. "It's more of a psychological thriller than a nightmarish scary, but it stayed with me through my teen years to today."

Heavy effort

Jim O'Rear, who played the tense role of Lester Billings, in a scene with a police officer.
(Photo by Kim Golden)
To acquire the rights to do the film wasn't a walk in the park, however. Golden had to spend months corresponding with Stephen King's team of people, but in the end it has proven to pay off.

"I began corresponding with [King's] administrative secretary, Margaret, and I gave them my script," Golden explains. "They were very impressed with the writing, so now we're finishing up the rights for distribution. There's a lot of paperwork and negotiation that goes into making sure that my interests as a filmmaker and King's interests as a writer are both taken care of."

When Golden wraps up the editing of The Boogeyman, he plans to enter it in the Nashville Full Moon Horror Film Festival, then the Atlanta Film Festival, and eventually Comicon in San Diego.

Stars will shine

In April, Golden and the Lane Street Inn plan on giving the film a Shelbyville premiere.

"I think if locals see it, they'll get it," says Golden. "They'll say, 'Oh my gosh, this was filmed here and it's a Tennessee filmmaker.' It shows a community that we can do things and come together. We don't need Hollywood; we have filmmakers in our own backyard."

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Awesome Job Tommy and Crew!

-- Posted by CallieH on Mon, Mar 5, 2012, at 11:24 AM

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