Author and playwright Gary Blackwood will have his film “The Seer,” produced by local company FLAWed Productions. The psychological thriller will be filmed in New Glasgow this May. SUBMITTED PHOTO
NEW GLASGOW – Gary Blackwood has 32 novels published, another one set to come out this fall and a number of award-winning plays to his name, but having a screenplay produced is new territory for the accomplished writer.
A local film production company, FLAWed Productions, is set to produce Blackwood’s first movie, “The Seer,” which will be filmed in New Glasgow.
“It’s a low-key thriller. There’s not a lot of action or things blowing up, it’s more psychological,” Blackwood said in a phone interview from his home in Tatamagouche. “It basically revolves around a woman whose child has been kidnapped and she’s running out of options and hears about a fellow who is a psychic and she goes to try and enlist his help and he doesn’t really want to because of some bad experiences he has had in the past.”
Blackwood is originally from the U.S., but decided to move permanently to the Northumberland shore after spending several summers vacationing in the area.
“It was kind of a push and pull thing (deciding to move to Nova Scotia). The push was I was getting fed up with the way things were in the States, when I actually made the move was when George Bush invaded the Iraq for no discernable reason. It had been a number of factors on that end,” he said. “I had been up here on vacation for extended periods for several summers, and I just really liked the area and the people and I love it here. I’ve never been sorry for a moment.”
Blackwood’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, tend to centre on themes of adventure, history and mystery. He said “The Seer” strays from his usual themes.
“My novels are almost all young-adult or middle reader and this is adult. So the themes are slightly different,” he said. “But there is a mystery in the fact that you’re trying to find out who kidnapped the kid. So there is a mystery involved.”
Although this is Blackwood’s first screenplay to go to film production, he said writing movies is not new for him.
“It’s the first one that will be produced. I have actually written screen adaptations of two of my books that were optioned and because I wanted creative control, neither one of them actually came to production,” he said.
Blackwood will also be the film’s director, a role that’s new to Blackwood.
“I’ve done quite a bit of theatrical directing but this will be my first time with film,” he said. “There’s going to be a steep learning curve, but luckily I have experienced, knowledgeable people on the crew.”
Blackwood said he liked the co-operative model of FLAWed Productions, which is why he decided to submit his script to the company.
“There’s very little government funding for the arts these days. So they were looking at another model for getting movies made and it was really intriguing to me,” he said.
FLAWed Productions started up this fall when four locals formed the co-operative film company to make movies along the Northumberland shore. The co-op consists of its four members and, for production, the company issues shares in the production to the cast and crew.
“When we make money on the film, then people will be reimbursed according to their shares,” Michelle Ferris, one of the co-founders of FLAWed Productions told The News in January, adding that the filming schedule of “The Seer,” because of the nature of the co-op, will be flexible to the crew’s schedules.
“At this point, we’re assuming we’re going to have to do shooting on evenings and weekends because we’re going to assume that some people will have commitments during the day,” she said at the time.
FLAWed Productions will hold auditions for parts in Blackwood’s thriller on April 10 at Northumberland Regional High School, with filming set to begin in May. Applications to join the FLAWed community will be available at the auditions and online at HYPERLINK "http://flawedproductions.ca/" \t "_blank" http://FLAWedproductions.ca/ .
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FLAWed Productions Casting Call
Actors for feature film “The Seer”
The following acting roles are being cast:
CAROL PETTY, homemaker, 30s-40s
DIANE McFALL, travel agent, 30s-40s
SUSAN EMBRY, reporter, 20s-30S
TRACEY STREMEL, hairdresser, 20s
MICHAEL McFALL, psychic, 30s-40s
RUSSELL GILYARD, police detective, 40s-50s
SHAWN PETTY, 7-9
LLOYD PETTY, car salesman, 30s-40s
TOMMY KELSO, thug/bartender, 30s-40s
YOUNG MICHAEL, 7-9
Either Male or Female
UTILITY CLERK, 20s-60s
SUPERINTENDANT, voice only
YOUNG BOY'S MOTHER, 30s-40s
YOUNG BOY (WITH BALL), 7-9
MICHAEL'S FATHER, 30s-50s
YOUNG BOY'S FATHER, 30s-50s
Either Male or Female
DEPOT RESTAURANT HOST/ HOSTESS, 20s-60s
GROCERY CLERK, teens-20s
X3 CHILDREN, 7-9
Submit your application to: HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com Include in your email:
phone number and email
height, weight, clothing size and measurements
Specify the role(s) you are auditioning for in the subject line of your email.