A movie filmed in Sampson County last year will return, fully edited, to the place it first started Sunday, Sept. 25, when Tarnished Notes producers premiere the film for the residents who, they said, made it all possible.
Tickets went on sale Monday to an eager group of movie followers ready to get the very first glimpse of the film based loosely on a soon-to-be-published novel by Sampson Independent Publisher and Editor Sherry Matthews, who also co-produced the movie, along with Gloria Edwards and Monty Hobbs.
“Tickets are currently available and can be purchased by calling me at 910-590-5860,” Matthews noted this week, asserting her amazement at the immediate response received when word of the premier was made public this week.
Matthews released a video announcement on the TN Facebook page and website last weekend, inviting people to the premiere, which will be held at the Agri-Exposition Center, with doors opening to the public at 5 p.m. That message alone has generated over 12,000 views since its launch.
“Talk about overwhelming … wow, the response we have had so far to the premier has been amazing,” Matthews asserted. “I cannot begin to tell you how overwhelmed and appreciative I am.”
The premiere is being dubbed a “real red carpet” event, complete with the introduction of stars as they walk the spotlighted aisle. Attendees, too, will have a chance to walk the red carpet and, if they like, have their picture taken at a 10×10 sponsor board adorned with artwork from the movie.
“Think Emmys,” Matthews pointed out. “This is going to be a black-tie optional extravaganza, complete with table seating, refreshments and souvenirs, as well as drawings for everything from a three-day, two-night vacation and Ribeyes gift certificates to signed copies of my novel, which is expected to be released later this year, and dinner with the producers to pitch an idea for a book, movie, TV or reality show. We wanted to make this a really special event that people will walk away talking about for days.”
Of course, the icing on the cake will be attendees’ opportunity to have the first look at the full-length movie.
“It runs about an hour and 38 minutes. No commercials have been inserted yet, so those who attend will see the movie uninterrupted. Although I’ve not seen the final version, I can tell you there are a lot of people that Sampson and Duplin residents will recognize.”
Sadly, she said, not everyone who took time to serve as an extra will make the final cut, something, she said, that occurs often when you cull down a 30-day shoot into a 90-minute film. “I wish everyone could have made it to the final version, but unfortunately they tell me that’s what it means to hit the cutting room floor. In fact, I filmed nearly half a day, myself, and I believe there’s less than a full minute of my two scenes in the movie. Thankfully, most of that is me being heard and not seen.”
Matthews also was quick to point out that the movie, while based on the 1984 murder of a minister of music, has many “Hollywood twists and turns.”
“In fact, the book, though fictionalized as well, sticks far closer to the original story than the movie, which has a unique twist at the end, as do most made-for-TV movies based on actual events. It’s much like you would see on Lifetime, WE or Oxygen. In fact, those are some of the networks where the movie will be pitched. By the premier, we might actually know where it’s final home will be.”
If rated, Matthews said, the movie would likely be PG-13. “Most people know the story; that isn’t G-rated, but the director and the actors did everything as tastefully as possible. In fact, there are only two curse words in the entire film. I hope everyone will come out and see for themselves.”
Among the things attendees will see during the movie are familiar faces and places, something Edwards, who served as location manager for the film, believes will be interesting on its own merit.
“It is always entertaining to see our hometown locations on the big screen as well as our local friends and neighbors in the movie. Finding those locations and seeing them become scenes in the movie made me understand the artistic process. I know everyone that sees the movie will delight in figuring out the locations,” she attested.
And once the movie is shown that Sunday night, attendees will have an opportunity to meet the stars, get their autographs and have their photos taken with them.
“And after all that, ticket holders can get 10 percent off their total bill if interested in having dinner at Ribeyes of Clinton after the movie. Trey and Kristen Cummings have agreed to keep the restaurant open later for attendees and, what’s more, they have generously agreed to the discount. I cannot thank them enough for being so supportive of this event and for offering such a nice extra to those who come out to attend the red-carpet premiere,” Matthews noted.
As organizers work to complete work on the premiere, Matthews promises there are still surprises to come for those who come out and join them for the red-carpet event.
“We have a couple of things in the works. In fact, there should be another video announcement on the Tarnished Notes Facebook page Sunday (today) about a special guest that will be joining us for the premiere. I encourage people to watch the newspaper, like us on Facebook and visit the TN website, tarnishednotes.net, to see what else we have up our sleeve. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime kind of events and I want to make it as special as possible for those who were a part of the movie and for all those who are going to be attending,” Matthews said.