More and more movies these day are being made away from Hollywood and the natural state is making a mark as a place to be for filmmakers. The latest offering shot locally was released to DVD and digital download this week.
Madison County follows a group of college kids as they travel to rural Madison County where they intend to interview the author of a book that details a series of brutal murders that happened in the area. Once there, they have to deal with the truth behind the story.
This film's production value comes across as having a larger budget than it did. While the cast, from the primary five all the way down to the extras, pull off performances that are worthy of mention alongside some of the best of the genre.
I recently had the chance to meet Eric England, the writer, producer, and director of the movie along with Colley Bailey, who portrays James, one of the college students.
I've heard that this film was inspired by true events. What's the story there? "The main thing that inspired the movie was the 'we don't get our hands dirty' that goes through the movie that I was telling you about. Obviously there is no pig head wearing maniac running through Madison County, that I know of."
What's the story with Damien's mask? "Woo pig sooie...no other reason? There is a couple reasons, it didn't have to be a pig, it could have just as easily been a deer or a cow or anything else you would find on a farm. Damien in Madison County is a guy, he's a real person. He's not Mike Meyers, he's not Jason Vorhees, he's not Freddy Krueger. He's a real guy that grew up on a farm and grew up in a certain way that made him into the person he is today. Because of that I wanted to have a threat in this movie that was grounded in reality and felt real. WHen he needed to hide his disfigured face he looked to what was around him."
This bridge in Elkins was the location of one of the more physically tasking scenes for Colley. "We were starting back there, anybody who watched the movie will see there is a big scary truck that starts barreling across...we got to the end of the bridge and I was supposed to dive out of the way and there was some loose gravel that I slipped on. I had to do a tuck and roll as he barreled on past. It was almost bad."
Like many filmmakers, Eric's vision for Madison County has a wider scope than what you see in the film right now. "I've always had what I call this Madison County timeline, and Madison County 1 takes place right in the middle. There's a much bigger picture out there that I've always wanted to explore."
Madison County may be behind these guys at the moment, but they are always looking to what's ahead. "We wrapped Madison County is september 2010 and by the end of march 2011 we were shooting the next movie, it's called Roadside. Its more like a hitchcockian thriller about a man and his pregnant wife held hostage on the side of the road by a guy they can't see. I've got this movie that kind of a sci-fi political drama. It's called Worldline: The Story of Talon Evans, you can check it out at worldlinemovie.com"
You can find Madison County right now at Walmart, Hastings, and Major Video in Fayetteville along with iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, and Redbox, and tons of other places. "We've been really fortunate for how small of a movie we are to be getting the placement we are. So I'm really proud of that."