Thursday, August 1, 2013

There Will Be Nothing Obtuse About This Shawshank Documentary

To get a sense of how a grassroots project like The Shawshank Reflection comes together these days, one need look no further than the comments on the film's Facebook page.

For example, on the right hand side of the photo shown below, there are several dozen comments at the Facebook end. The remarks range from extras who worked on the beloved Morgan Freeman-Tim Robbins drama, to people who provided props like the warden's safe, to Central Ohio residents who took care of Freeman's horse or hosted his granddaughter at their swimming pool while the actor filmed each day. There's even one message from an inmate incarcerated in the 1980s at the prison that was used on film.

Director Ryan Niemiec has been busy making contact with many of these folks in support of his feature-length project. He will also be front and center at Labor Day Weekend events in Mansfield, Upper Sandusky and Ashland, Ohio celebrating the 20th anniversary of the movie's production.

Niemiec - an electrician by day - made the related short The Shawshank Trail for the local tourism board and will be there August 30 through September 1 to get footage. Among those expected to attend an opening night screening of the original film is Bob Gunton, the actor who played the warden.

And of course, since Niemiec authored an ongoing promo for it, his documentary will also shine a light on that aforementioned Shawshank trail. It's a self-guided tour of 14 filming locations created by the Richland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Niemiec hopes to have his film ready by January of next year, which would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the drama's release. In the meantime, that upcoming Labor Weekend celebration should be a heck of time for those lucky enough to attend.

[The Shawshank Reflection]

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