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Scene One… Action!

First Posted: 6:00 am - July 2nd, 2015

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Shirley Russell|The Thomaston Times Jeff Ballero of RiverArts Productions of Georgia recently used Thomaston actors in a short film about a ghost story. Ballero (front center, kneeling) was joined by young actors portraying Boys Scouts: Nicholas McDonald, Highland Roberts, Luke Morgan, Jacob Gassett, and Jack Andrews, along with fellow film makers Brett Driver and William Frierson, and RiverArts Productions of Georgia board members Jennifer Robertson, Dawn Gillespiem, and Mandie Gassett.

Shirley Russell|The Thomaston Times Film maker Brett Driver (far right) films a group of ‘Boy Scouts’ hiking down a road at the Lawhorn Scouting Base.

With more and more movies and TV series finding Thomaston and Upson County suitable for their filming needs, interest in film making is growing. Jeff Ballaro and RiverArts Productions of

Georgia recently held a week-long summer camp for young film makers.

The camp was for students in grades 8-12 and taught them the difference between acting in front of a camera and acting on a stage, and also taught them what it is like to be behind a camera and directing a film. Ballero had a cast of experienced film makers working with him at the camp, including Daniel Ransom, Brett Driver, a film maker from California who is currently working at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, and William Frierson of Indy Riot Studios.

Fourteen-year-old Jack Andrews of Thomaston was one of the students involved in the film camp and found it very educational.

“I am interested in filmmaking and acting,” Andrews said. “I also like producing short films and plan to continue with career in Hollywood, California one day!”

The camp ended with the young film makers going out on their own to make short films, and also working with Ballaro and their instructors on a short film based on a local legend. The film is called “Blue Lady,” and is a ghost tale well known to the Boy Scouts who camp out at the Lawhorn Scouting Base. The short film will have Scouts gathered around a camp fire one night, telling ghosts tales.

Ballero is hoping to be able to take the short films made by his students, along with the film he is producing, and put them together for a short film festival that could possibly be shown at The Ritz Theatre. Stay tuned for more details later.

Shirley Russell can be contacted at 706-647-5414 or at srussell@civitasmedia.com

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