Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Film shooting in Owensboro, Henderson

By Beth Wilberding, Messenger-Inquirer
Published: Saturday, September 11, 2010 12:01 AM CDT

Planning a film shoot is difficult, and it can be even more challenging when the director is hundreds of miles away.

"For me, the anal retentive control freak who writes 'Monk,' it's been (hard)," said Lee Goldberg, a veteran television writer and producer who lives in California.

Goldberg is in Owensboro shooting "Remaindered," a short movie based on his short story of the same name. The author and screenwriter's credits include episodes of the television show "Monk," "Diagnosis Murder" and "The Glades." He also writes a book series based on "Monk."

He and local residents involved in the film have held conference calls and exchanged hundreds of e-mails in preparation for the "Remaindered" shoot, which began Friday and will last through the weekend.

Audition tapes were sent to Goldberg, and he cast the film with local and regional actors. Most of the production crew -- including producer Rodney Newton and director of photography P.J. Starks -- are Daviess County residents.

"I've done literally thousands of hours of television," Goldberg said. "I'm really excited (and) not just because this is my first time directing."

Though it's been hard to be away from the pre-production activities, Goldberg said it was better for the local filmmakers because they've been able to learn more about the profession.

The movie will premiere at Bouchercon on Oct. 16 in San Francisco. Bouchercon is an internationally known mystery convention that attracts mystery writers, fans and others in the mystery world.

"I think it's going to be kind of cool that this movie is going to be shown in front of a lot of industry people," Newton said.

Goldberg hopes to finish a rough edit of the movie while he is in Owensboro.

"I couldn't ask for a better audience," Goldberg said of Bouchercon. "It's going to be fantastic."

"Remaindered" is about a once famous and successful author who is on a downward spiral in his career. He is in the midst of a self-funded book tour, which is humbling for the author.

The author then meets a fan, and the encounter turns murderous in the comedy/mystery film.

"Remaindered" takes its name from the term for a book being relegated to a store's bargain bin.

The film will be about 20 minutes long. Matt Branham, an English professor at Owensboro Community & Technical College, wrote the music for the movie.

Todd Reynolds, a local actor, is playing a detective in the movie. He also played a police officer in "Murder in Kentucky," a short film shot during the 2009 International Mystery Writers Festival.

"The movie is terrific," Reynolds said of "Remaindered." "Lee writes with a lot of humor. ... It's almost kind of a Walter Mitty-esque look (through) the eyes of an unintentional killer. It's a lot of fun."

Scenes will be shot around Owensboro and Henderson, including at the home of Roxi Witt, general manager of the RiverPark Center; Danhauer Drugs; and Sureway Food Store in Henderson.

Goldberg first came to Owensboro for the 2008 Mystery Writers Festival.

The film's funding is coming from several entities, including the RiverPark Center, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Brescia University and Owensboro Community & Technical College.

The movie shoot is an educational opportunity for students at the three schools. Goldberg is leading one workshop at each school during his visit to Owensboro.

Students are also invited to watch the film shoot, where Goldberg will explain the filmmaking process.

Goldberg said one reason he works with students is because he learned a lot from visiting professionals while a student at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"I also feel the need to give back. ... What I get out of it (is) it absolutely reinvigorates my love for what I'm doing," he said.