Next week, The Showroom will screen the film Taken In by SC filmmaker Chris White, starring Tim Brosnan and Spartanburg’s Madelaine Hoptry. And Madelaine just happens to be HubCulture family, as she works at the Hub City Bookshop. She’s a senior at USC Upstate and a rising writer and actress. This guest post is by her, and we can’t wait to hear what more she has to say about the movie at the screening.
In late January I got an email from Chris White asking if I wanted to audition for a part in a film that he was looking to shoot in late March. Having already made several hundred commitments, I was hesitant to accept, but I agreed to meet with him and talk about it before actually saying “no.” I’ll be honest, it was a little weird. I hadn’t really seen Chris since he’d guest directed The Visit at my high school in 2007 and I had literally just sworn off acting for the rest of my life. I was determined to say no. But after meeting with him and Tim Brosnan, I couldn’t say no. Everything he told me about Brooklyn, the character he wanted me to play in TAKEN IN, hit so close to home. It was like he was telling me about myself at 17 and I was at a point in my life where I desperately wanted to be that age again. Now I realize how stupid that sounds seeing as everyone is miserable and full of angst at 17. Or at least I was. Plus, how many people can say that they’ve been in a movie? A lot actually, but not many can say they’ve acted in a GOOD movie.
Luckily, I can.
And it was hands down the best week of my life. Somehow, in only a few months Chris managed to raise about $8000 through Kickstarter, gather together a group of the most awesome people on the planet, and shoot a film in less than a week at the gaudiest, tackiest and more than slightly racist location in South Carolina – South of the Border.
I’ve been acting in plays since I was 8 and (of course) have always dreamed of being in a film. Never in a million years would I have guessed that this dream would come true… at a theme park where the mascot is a fat Mexican with sleepy eyes named Pedro. It wasn’t until I arrived on location that I was told that the Bronwen Hughes 1999 hit movie Forces of Nature (and I say that with the utmost sarcasm) starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock was also shot at SOTB and we would be sleeping in the same rooms that they did – which had since been renamed after the stars that occupied them.
After the last night of shooting, I was lying in bed in the Ben Affleck Suite next to a sleeping Jennifer Baxley (who played the parts of assistant director, nurse, bodyguard, and mom on set) and going over everything that had happened in my head. How the hell was I going to go back to real life? The people I had been surrounded by in the past four days had become more than even just friends, they were my family now and I didn’t want to let them go. I didn’t want to go home at all, just stay there forever.
I’ve always loved film, it’s what I’m studying at school, but that week I fell in love with film. With all of the things that you can’t learn from books or in a classroom, with the actual making of it.
Chris has always told me that a lot of people dream about making films, but not a lot of people actually do it.
Well, we did it.
And I am immensely proud of it.
And can’t wait to share this thing that I love with everyone I meet.
And hopefully you’ll love it too.