Award winning Director and Producer Eric "Doc" Benson is currently considering locations for his next feature film. On the short list of towns under consideration: Glenville, West Virginia.
The movie, titled The Publication would tell the story of a woman returning home to her home town, only to find herself caught in a family crisis and community-wide drama.
"This family-friendly and faith-based movie will include several recognized actors, and will feature the community in a positive light. In a sense, Glenville could even be considered a major character in the film."
Benson was the producer and director of the multi-award winning faith-based docudrama Seven Deadly Words (SDW). That movie received the Dove Foundation Seal and will be released this coming April both nationally and internationally.
"We shot SDW in Connersville, Indiana," said Benson. "The folks there were so supportive of the story and project that they gave us permission to use the actual city name, police vehicles, and businesses in the movie. Many local residents even invested in the film project."
By working with Connersville leadership and churches, the production company was able to save money and the city was able to gain positive national attention. "It's a real win-win," Benson said.
Benson would like to film his next project in West Virginia and see a local community benefit from a film partnership.
A West Virginia resident, Benson is no stranger to Gilmer County. His wife, Chef Annette Benson, is the Culinary Arts instructor at the Calhoun Gilmer Career Center. In addition, his son Noble has been the bagpiper at commencement for Glenville State College for the past two years.
He was drawn to Glenville as a filming location for several reasons. "Glenville has a great look to it. The Main Street is perfect for our story, and there are key support structures in place such as lodging. " Benson also said there will be a need to seek out local residents for both on and off camera roles.
Benson and his team at Culdee Productions are busy working on budgets and assembling potential cast and crew members for this project. Plans are to hold principal photography in July of 2014, but this will be contingent upon finding the right location and securing investment. He plans on visiting Glenville in the next month to scout locations, meet with local officials and college leadership, and introduce the project to area churches.
"We want to see if Glenville is interested in this opportunity," said Benson.