Commission client “Free In Deed” wrapping filming
For some three weeks, the independent film project “Free In Deed” has been shooting in Memphis. Starring British actor David Harewood (“Homeland”) and Los Angeles-based Edwina Findley (“The Wire,” “Treme”), the film is a client project of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission.
Most of the jobs in the film’s production went to local people. There are about 20 in the crew and 51 speaking roles.
Mike S. Ryan, the New York-based co-producer, convinced writer/director Jake Mahaffy to film the project in Memphis rather than the original choice of Detroit.
In a story in Sunday’s edition of The Commercial Appeal, Ryan told John Beifuss, “Memphis is a film community that I know bends over backward to help you any way they can.” Ryan said the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission “right out of the gate helped us with each hurdle that arose. It’s one of the reasons why I keep returning to Memphis.”
Read Beifuss’ story here (subscription).
Ryan has been involved in made-in-Memphis films “Forty Shades of Blue” (a project by director Ira Sachs that won the Grand Jury Prize in drama at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival) and 2011’s “Losers Take All.”
The other co-producers are Boston’s Mike Bowes and Seattle’s Brent Stiefel. Beifuss reports that “Bowes scouted some 30 churches here in December before Memphis-based associate producer Nicki Newburger found the Cathedral of God; other locations include Overton High School, the Bank of Bartlett and the University of Tennessee, Memphis.”
Memphis Film Commissioner Linn Sitler is quoted in Beifuss’ story as saying, “Some movies are about economic impact — the good wages of the people hired, the million-dollar spend at hotels. Some movies are about tourism — the beautiful shots of city landmarks which might cause the tourists to flock here. This movie’s an art film, a buzz word at future festivals — ‘ “Free In Deed,” shot in Memphis.’ ”
Pictured: Mike S. Ryan