Burgess Jenkins, famous for playing Ray Budds in Disney's 2000 film "Remember the Titans," is one of many crew members involved with "Find a Way," a Cornelius Muller Productions feature that is filming on various parts of Elon's campus.
The movie is inspired by the life of Harry Cohen, a student and quarterback at Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington who passed away in August, right before his senior season began.
A number of Elon students are becoming part of the production as well.
Among those students is sophomore cinema major Andrew Riley, who is serving as the line producer. He is responsible for the equipment on set and making sure everything runs smoothly.
“I’m kind of the supervisor for the set,” Riley said. “I am the mechanic for the film machine, and my job is to make sure that everything is working well and operating smoothly for the driver, (also known as) the director.”
Jenkins, who is directing the film, said he has been impressed with the caliber of work Elon students are contributing to the film’s production.
“The level of work and dedication is terrific,” Jenkins said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, worked with crews of all sizes and budget levels. There’s a great sense of dedication, but these are people that want to make movies.”
Not only is the production using Elon students as crew members, but it is also utilizing some of the university’s resources. Filming took place in Whitley Auditorium Feb. 19, and will continue with a football scene in Rhodes Stadium Feb. 25.
Writer-actor-executive producer Cornelius Muller, an Elon graduate from the Class of '93, said he is particularly excited about coming back to campus to shoot scenes.
“The production quality — it’s a beautiful place to shoot,” Muller said. “The equipment — state-of-the-art. It’s a no-brainer. Them giving back to me and me giving back to them, them allowing me at this point to still represent the university. That’s been one of the best blessings about the whole deal, me being back on campus and getting back in the Elon culture.”
Riley, who shot a behind-the-scenes documentary last year about “Brother’s Keeper,” Cornelius Muller Productions’ last film, said he is enjoying the experience.
“It’s invaluable to be able to get experience on set with people who have learned from the real guys, and here I am learning from them,” Riley said. “It’s a golden opportunity for me to really understand how a set works in and out and see how those people run the sets. It’s excellent.”
Senior cinema major Sam Chambers got involved in the project when Riley asked her to do something she had never done for a film before.
“They were hurting for a costuming director,” Chambers said. “I’m now doing costuming and makeup. He called me the day before shooting actually and said, ‘Hey, we need a costume director. Would you be interested?’ I said, ‘Sure, when do I start?’ He said, ‘Tomorrow.’”
Chambers said she is really enjoying the small-budget aspect of “Find a Way.”
“I like the fact that it’s a professional film crew, but it’s still a small enough production that I feel like I can go up and talk to the (director of photography) and he and I can talk about my costuming choices versus his cinematography choices,” she said. “It’s nice because it’s small and we can still all work together. I feel like on a bigger set, that wouldn’t happen. I wouldn’t have all those direct lines of communication. Working on the set has been good.”
Riley noted the importance of making contacts in the film industry, where he said he hopes to make his career.
“It’s pretty exciting because I never thought I’d be working on a feature film on campus or even around Burlington,” Riley said. “I always thought that I’d be doing personal small projects on my own. This opportunity came along and it’s just completely opened the door to everything because now I have the first job. And that means I can go out and get the second job with recommendations and credentials. It’s all about getting your foot in the door"
ELON, NC (WBTV) -North Carolina continues to gain popularity as a location for filming motion pictures.
Find A Way: Don't Eat the Devil's Dog Food is being directed by esteemed actor Burgess Jenkins (Remember the Titans), and is starring multiple members of his Carolina Actors Group, including writer, executive producer and star Cornelius Muller.
Casting began in January and Friday night hundreds of extras filled Rhodes Stadium at Elon University for the football game opening scene of the movie.
The film is based on a fictional character inspired by the life of Harry Cohen. The Williams High School star quarterback died in September 2011 after taking a pain medicine prescribed to his grandmother. Cohen's teammates and those that knew him say they remember the light that shined through his smile. And he didn't limit himself to hanging out with just the cool kids.
Find A Way is set to premier in the spring. For more information you can visit http://www.corneliusmullerproductions.com
Copyright 2012 - WBTV All Rights Reserved
BURLINGTON, N.C. — A film production company is looking for hundreds of extras to fill space in a feature movie inspired by the life of Harry Cohen, a Williams High School quarterback and football captain who died last August.
The faith-based movie, entitled ‘Find A Way,’ is currently being filmed in Alamance County. Production officials said in a news release that several hundred extras will be needed for various scenes set to be shot on three different days.
The film is being directed by actor Burgess Jenkins, who is best-known for his role opposite Denzel Washington in ‘Remember the Titans.’ The production marks Jenkins’ first role as a director.
The film also stars several members of the Carolina Actors Group, including executive producer Cornelius Muller.
The scenes needing extras include a worship and funeral service at Riverside Baptist Church in Graham, an “student” scene in Whitley Auditorium at Elon University, an outdoor and indoor locker room scene, and a football game scene at Elon’s Rhodes Stadium, which will open the movie.
300 or more extras will be needed for the funeral and football game scenes, while about 20 will be needed for the locker room scenes.
The funeral scene will be shot on Saturday, Feb. 18; the auditorium and locker room scenes on Sunday, Feb. 19; and the football game scene on Friday, Feb. 24.
Anyone who is interested in filling in as an extra can show up at the respective date and location dressed in proper attire.
Those who attend the worship and funeral service scenes will need to bring two outfits — one appropriate for each scene. The auditorium scene requires “students” dressed appropriate for a Christian school, while the extras for the locker room scenes will be portraying football players.
For the football game scene, extras are needed to fill two football teams, a cheerleading squad, and the crowd in the stands.
Any other questions about filling in as extras or production details can be asked through the production company’s Facebook page or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harry Cohen was pronounced dead on Monday, Aug. 29 after being taken to the Children’s Hospital at UNC. His death was ruled accidental due to methadone toxicity and cardiopulmonary arrest.