Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Local talent in S.C. film

Ralph Hatley, who has appeared in "Rookie Bookie," "Divine Manipulation of the Threads" and several other productions, has some family involved in a South Carolina production.

Glenn Hopper and Adam Hatley (Ralph's nephew and son) have written and are producing “The Hanged Man”, a feature film. They have raised a $75,000 budget and begin shooting in South Carolina late next week through 7/3. Adam and Ralph have principal roles in the film. It was written by Glenn (a former Memphian as well). Shooting will last four weeks. Most of the people both in front of the camera and behind the camera are “Hollywood” people, from Paramount who are on seasonal hiatus who have agreed to lend both their talents and connections to the success of this independent film.


Camera Rolls on The Hanged Man this month

Starbox Pictures begins production on their first feature The Hanged Man in Travelers Rest, South Carolina on June 19.

An edgy and haunting tale, The Hanged Man, explores the darker undercurrents of contemporary American life through the eyes of a group of social misfits, who meet online in an Internet chat room. At the urging of their mysterious leader, whom they only know by the screen name "Dwarfstar," they sign a suicide pact and meet in person for the first time on what is to be their last night on earth.

Written by Glenn Hopper, The Hanged Man features an ensemble cast helmed by director and co-writer Neil Weiss. The film is the feature debut for Weiss, who directed the short films ("You're Own Best Enemy;" "Fugue;" and "Leah;" currently in post production.) Weiss is a UCLA film school graduate, and founder of the critically acclaimed Cactus Theater in Chicago. He was a finalist in the 2002 Sundance Screenwriting competition with his screenplay "Modoc."

The film stars Shanola Hampton ("Related," "The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green," and "Electra Woman and Dyna Girl"), Cliff Weissman ("CSI: NY," "24," "The Shield," "Cold Case," and "Don Juan DeMarco"), TJ Jones, Adam Hatley, Brandon Gibson, Robbyn Leigh, and Ralph Hatley.

Patti Lee ("Bernie Mac," "Pleasantville," and "Maid of Honor") is the Director of Photography.

Starbox Pictures was formed in 2005 by Executive Producers Glenn Hopper of Simpsonville and Adam Hatley, who believe they've found a formula for success outside of the "Big Hollywood" system.

"This film is the culmination of a lifelong dream of ours," Hopper said of the project, which he is co-producing with Hatley, his cousin. "We've both been at this for a long time, and we decided last year that we weren't going to wait for Hollywood to come to us.

We were going to create the best film we could and take it to Hollywood," Hopper said.

Hopper, a former journalist, and Hatley, an actor living in Los Angeles, came up with the idea for the film shortly after 9/11, which they consider a defining moment for their generation. "The Baby Boomers had Easy Ride, The Big Chill, and countless other films that captured the zeitgeist of their generation, while we were at a loss to come up with a film that our generation (Generation X) could really identify with in the past 20 years," Hopper said, adding "The last film we could think of that fit that mold was The Breakfast Club, and that was 20 years ago now."

Hopper notes, however, that in order to reach out to his generation, he'd have to go beyond a blatant melodrama and come up with a more creative way to deliver his message. The end result is "The Hanged Man," which Hopper describes as a supernatural thriller that is part drama, part comedy.

"We're describing it as 'Breakfast Club meets The Twilight Zone,' " he said.

For More Information: www.boxofstars.com

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