Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 9/17/2009 [Archive]

Martha's Big Adventure - Let's Make a Movie

Martha's Big Adventure -- Let's Make a Movie

By Martha Randolph Carr

Recently, a group of my son, Louie's friends from the North Carolina School of the Arts were in Chicago scouting movie locations for their first foray into film making. They are scheduled to graduate in 2010 and they'd like to do it with a project already in full swing.

Ambition in the young is a wonderful thing especially when it's flourishing in those who cost a bundle to send off to college. Imagine what a bonus it is when one of your offspring digs out something you've forgotten and takes it to the next level.

''Say Goodbye to Boris' is a pretty simple love story', said the 21 year old director, Tony Ziegler, and is loosely based on his father, Tom Ziegler's life. Tom has had some professional success before, most notably with a Hallmark Hall of Fame special called Grace & Glorie that also ran off-Broadway starring Estelle Parsons back in 1996.

The story of 'Say Goodbye to Boris' is set first in 1965 when the main character, Stanley is engaged to Sharon but right before the wedding he meets Vicki who changes his life. The film jumps forward 20 years to look at the consequences of what the three main characters chose to do and what happens next. I'm not going to be the one who gives it away but let's just say there are some unique twists in the engaging plot.

The whole thing also makes me wonder about how Tom Ziegler feels about how his life has turned out. It's a unique journey for Tony to bring his father's regrets and triumphs to the big screen. That also makes it the perfect project for a crew of twenty-something's who have decided to test their new skill sets and get an early look at one of life's big lessons as a bonus. Life is built on the actions we take and the consequences we'll put up with later.

'It's a movie of second chances,' said young Tony, who is making the film along with fellow students, Joe Flanders and Callie Martin, both producers and Chuckie Lewis, the director of photography. 'I've shot with Tony before and he's such a visual director,' said Chuckie. 'I really enjoyed this story and making this film will provide me with an opportunity to test myself creatively.'

The film has a budget of only $100,000 and Callie and Joe say shooting should begin in earnest in nine months. Right now they're immersed in pre-production and have made a five minute promo of the first scene in the film, that they're using to raise the rest of the funds and entice some big name actors to the project.

'We are hoping to get a few drama students and alumni of North Carolina School of the Arts involved as well,' said Callie.

When I met them they were fresh off of a cross-country trek in a mini-van driving straight from North Carolina to my son's apartment in Chicago to sleep on his floor while they scouted the three scenes to be shot on location.

All of their activity makes me very hopeful about this next generation. First of all, they're planning out everything and taking the project very seriously. There's no unnecessary hype but a lot of enthusiasm mixed with a budget that's right on the mark. Second, they're willing to start from where they are, with what they have and sleep on a few floors if it gets them to the next stage.

They're asking for what they need, taking help when it's offered and hoping for some star power to step in to their great little film. Plus, they're making room for some of their teachers to get an acting break as well. These are some great kids who could use some financial encouragement. If you've ever wanted to invest in an indie film with a few things already going for it, now's your chance. I'll get the popcorn. More adventures to follow.

Martha Randolph Carr is the author of the novel, The Sitting Sisters. Martha can be found on Twitter at MarthaRandolph or email at or visit

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