PARKERSBURG - About 40 actors chasing their dream to be on the silver screen auditioned for the new horror movie "Hollow Creek" to be filmed throughout West Virginia.
"Auditions are exciting," said screenwriter/director Guisela Moro of Newfoundland Films. "Doing casting already seems like a dream because I've been working on this film for so long - I'm excited we are almost to filming."
Moro, who lives in Palm Beach, Fla., has been an actress for 18 years and decided several years ago to branch to write and direct her own films.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Guisela Moro, screenwriter, director and an actress in “Hollow Creek,” a film soon to be made in West Virginia, speaks with actor Rick Montgomery Jr. of Akron during auditions at the Smoot Theatre on Friday afternoon.
"I worked for (Spanish language television) Telemundo and just wasn't happy, so I decided to change," she said. "I'm so happy I did because we are about to begin filming my first movie."
The Argentina-born Moro has been working on "Hollow Creek" for about three years after she first fell in love with the scenery of West Virginia.
"I was driving through from Virginia to get a Newfoundland puppy and just fell in love with everything I saw (here) and decided I would write a movie to take place in the state," she said. "There are so many treasures in West Virginia and not even Hollywood could come up with such beautiful and amazing locations."
Friday's casting at the Smoot Theatre was to fill more than 10 character spots, which included principal, supporting and extra positions. At least two more casting calls are scheduled for Pineville, W.Va., and in Wyoming County in the next few days.
"We have done some casting in Florida, but are looking for actors from West Virginia and surrounding states for the main characters because we want the authentic look and accent from West Virginia that can't be faked," Moro said.
"Honestly, we can't make a film that celebrates the local community without members of the community in it," said production manager Eric "Doc Benson. "We wouldn't have felt right making this film without including people who live here."
Moro and Benson, a Cairo native, said they became more excited about the local auditions after speaking to film and television star Burt Reynolds, who created the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theater, of which Moro is among the Master Actors.
"Mr. Reynolds told me the talent in this tri-state area is excellent and unmatched," Moro said. "He knows the area and he knows the quality of actors who come from here and that is exciting."
Benson joined in the praise.
"When someone of Burt Reynolds' caliber gives the talent in an area such high praise, it makes you, as a film maker, feel good about making a movie here," Benson said. "West Virginia is one of the best kept secrets in film making and I'm glad to be a part of something so special."
"Hollow Creek" will be shot extensively throughout West Virginia with the primary locations being in the cities of Mullens and Pineville and in Wyoming County.
Principal photography will begin later this month and continue into October before production breaks for the holidays. The cast and crew will return to West Virginia in January to finish filming, Moro said.
"We had originally planned to film it all at once and be finished by the end of the year, but when we sat down and discussed it, it was agreed the storyline deserves a winter shoot and I'm very happy with that decision," Moro said.