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Table Read Mississippi Gives Look Into Film Creative Process

Elise Fyke
Elise Fyke

Powerhouse hosts program Feb. 20 in conjunction with Oxford Film Festival

By Wayne Andrews, Director, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council


There are steps that most film fans never see in the filmmaking process. It is hard to involve fans in many of the early creative steps that determine the final outcome of how a film will sound and look and the what the personality of the characters will be. The Powerhouse Community Arts Center will play host to a rare opportunity on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 as the Mississippi Film Office, Mississippi Film & Video Alliance, and Oxfilm host the third Table Read Mississippi. The event is being presented in conjunction with the 10th annual Oxford Film Festival. The free program begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception followed by Table Read Mississippi at 6 p.m.

A table read is a gathering of actors around a table to read a script aloud to give filmmakers, producers, and writers an idea of how the final production will sound. It is a valuable tool in the creative process, because it can ensure that a scene actually plays well using real actors and conveys the intended message to the audience. The featured script will be Beulah, written for the screen by Gail Gilchriest (My Dog Skip) based on the novel Why Beulah Shot Her Pistol Inside the Baptist Church written by the late Clayton Sullivan, professor of religion at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The film will be produced in Mississippi by New Albany native Hudson Hickman, who is the former VP of TV production at MGM. Hickman has a long career serving as producer of popular television shows including; The Love Boat, MacGyver, and Stargate. The film will be directed by Steve Herek whose work includes Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, 101 Dalmatians, Mr. Holland’s Opus. Both will be in attendance to hear local actors read the script. The cast includes:

ELISE FYKE — Young Female – Beulah
GREG EARNEST– Mid 30s-40s Male – Ralph
BILL DABNEY — Mid 30s-40s Male – Henry
RORY LEDBETTER — Male – Sumrall
MEG BURKE — Female Young but older than Beulah – Velma
MEG BURKE — Female – Sadie/Ralph’s Mother/ (Possibly Velma)
JOHNNY MCPHAIL — Older Male – Sgt Bowie Fisher/Brother Fike/Arnold Buchanan (Beulah’s Father)
SUSAN MCPHAIL — Older Female – Jospehine (Beulah’s Mother)/Livinia/Female Voice/Woman
DETRA PAYNE — Female – Earline (Beulah’s Sister)/Aunt Carrie/Coroner/Wife
ADAM BROOKS — Young Male – Oscar (Ralph’s son)/Teenaged Boy/Guy/Patrolman/Charlie
CALEB STOKES- Male – Uncle Samuel/Jaspar/Man/Business Man/Brother Claypool



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