The Union Recorder

July 29, 2013

Milledgeville short film nabs several awards

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — A short film conceptualized, produced and shot in Milledgeville garnered several awards last week. Glass Door Entertainment’s 48 Hour Film Atlanta Project called ‘Strain’ earned Best Film runner-up, Best Directing and Best Use Of Character out of 72 teams.

Lead actress Kat Slatery was one of three best actress nominees as well. 

Director B.J. Golnick said finalizing an award-winning, fully-produced, edited, mixed and color corrected film in two days was a unique accomplishment.

“The fact that we won runner-up is amazing, and it was cool to see everyone we worked with and the town of Milledgeville pay off. That 48-hour project is something not a lot of people can do, let alone do well. I think we accomplished something great,” Golnick said.

Golnick has been on location in Milledgeville directing TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” reality series. Along with the show’s Athens-born associate producer Jeremiah Bennett, he spends off days working on other independent ventures through Glass Door Entertainment.

The crew shot OK Go video scenes here and liked the available locations so much Milledgeville became a simple choice for the 48 Hour Film Project’s Atlanta industry challenge.

Starting Friday, June 14 around 7:30 p.m., the team received its required character, prop and dialogue.

A wildcard chance landed Golnick the zombie genre to direct in a fast-paced weekend.

The Glass Door team used several Atlanta actors for the piece. The cast literally came to Milledgeville with a few hours notice.

One actor in particular required some convincing to make the two-hour drive.

Though she wanted to work with Bennett for years, Slatery almost walked away from the Linda Oakley-Brown character until a conversation with Golnick.

“I had to get her on the phone and convince her to do it because she wasn’t going to at first. It was funny how it worked out. She delivered exactly what we needed to make the film as powerful as it could have been,” he said.

The lead female played a mother and a scientist in ‘Strain.’ Slatery’s character develops a formula that creates monstrous zombies.

She must race against the clock to fix it, while keeping her daughter safe.

Slatery is a professional actress and dancer mentored by the late Tony and Oscar Award winning Southern actress Patricia Neal. She has appeared on screen in many short film, TV and feature film productions.

The actress was happy the Glass Door guys talked her into the trip. Slatery said on-point production and direction made for a smooth day. 

“Normally, I try to steer clear of the festivals and things like that because I’ve been going out for bigger roles in an effort to move forward in my career. Sometimes these don’t really turn out like you’d like them to because you are under such a time constraint. When I found out who was involved, I had great confidence in all of them,” Slatery said. “It was probably one of my best experiences on set. Everything was completely organized to the T. They nailed it.”

‘Strain’ was shot at locations including Treanor Drive and a brickyard warehouse off North Jefferson Street. Local residents, businesses and college students made everything possible.

Glass Door Entertainment used Georgia College students on set.

The 35-person, 48-hour film crew felt comfortable and welcome. Golnick said actors from feature films and commercials had a blast.

Creative support means a lot to independent guys self-funding these projects. In addition the 48 Hour Film Project basically required everyone to work for free.

“We had incredible support from Milledgeville,” Golnick said. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

Slatery grew up in a small Tennessee town, so the Milledgeville drive was refreshing. She called everyone encountered “incredibly sweet.”

“All the local people assisting with the production were so helpful and not hindering in anyway. You don’t get that hometown feel in the city where they will just do anything to help and make sure you accomplish your goal. It was nice to have that southern hospitality out there,” Slatery said.

Glass Door Entertainment just kicked off Milledgeville Film Festival planning last week. ‘Strain’ will definitely be screened during the events next spring, according to Golnick.

Also, the film team has short film and TV series pilots on the upcoming Milledgeville docket. Slatery said Glass Door Entertainment is looking forward to bringing more business to the area.

The untouched filmmaking landscape appeals to a booming state industry.

“You guys have everything out there already. The locations aren’t overused,” Slatery said. “The film industry is flourishing here. The opportunity for these smaller towns is huge.”

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