The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

July 19, 2013

MOVIE BEING SHOT IN COUNTY

HOLLYWOOD IN EDGECOMBE - Filmmaker producing horror flick on Seven Bridges Road

By CALVIN ADKINS
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

TARBORO — Lights.

Camera.

Action.

Those are the scenarios that are being played out at three Edgecombe County locations for the shooting of Tarboro's resident, Jermaine "Kameraman" Clark's horror movie, "LaLirona."

The movie is currently being filmed at the Taste of Paradise restaurant in Rocky Mount, Dickerson Convenient Store on Highway N.C. 33 and Seven Bridgers Road between Leggett and Whitakers. The production, which began in May, is expected to be completed in September.

The movie setting begins in 1948 time period and moves on through the present. The script is derived from an Hispanic folklore about a woman named LaLirona who is cursed by God because she killed her seven children. According to the folklore, she is still walking on the bottom of the Colorado River, Clark said.

LaLirona tale has gripped generation after generation of Mexican children. They are warned that if they misbehave LaLirona will snatch them, or that going out after dark will make her appear.

Clark said he chose the Seven Bridgers Road location because like LaLirona, the road has its on mystique. Mysterious deaths and other occurrences have been reported on that road for many years.

"The tragic accident that I've heard that happened on that road scares me," he said. "People who I heard of who didn't do drugs or who didn't drink were found 50 yards back in the woods. I fed off what was already there."

The 25-member cast and its six producers usually film on Sunday. At least 20 of the casts are from Edgecombe County, Clark said. Quipping about their professionalism and dedication, Clark praised his cast and producers. One of the cast is Akeena Knight, a 2012 graduate of SouthWest Edgecombe. Knight was one of the first cast members to respond to Clark's Facebook response for his need for actors.

"I can't say enough about them," he said. "Before we shoot, we cook food on the grill and then eat. After we eat, we pray and then go to work. It has been outstanding. I'm lucky to find a cast like this with the budget that we're on."

Clark may be lucky to have a cast at all with his budget.

As of Thursday he said, "We're operating with a zero budget. Everybody who is helping me are doing it free for right now. But I told them, when I get paid, I'll pay them first." Clark said he hope to sell the movie for $1.5 million.

As an appreciation to his community, Clark will give locals the opportunity to first view "LaLirona" during a red carpet affair at the Booker T. Washington Theater in Rocky Mount on Halloween. Then he hopes to sell the movie at a movie festival. One of his co-producers, Benjamin Farmer, is an ambassador to a film festival company and Clark hopes that his inside source will pay dividends.

Clark as well as his other producers are multi-tasking by shooting the movie, editing and other chores to complete the film.

"I'm so blessed that I have the people who I have working with me," he said. "I couldn't have paid for a better staff."

Clark, 43, is a 1989 graduate of Southeast Halifax High School. He has resided in Tarboro for one year.