Wednesday, June 30, 2010
GHOSTS OF TENNESSEE
ABOVE: Debbie Rochon (AMERICAN NIGHTMARE) and Sebrina Siegel (THE AUDIT) host GHOSTS OF TENNESSEE.
Production has begun on GHOSTS OF TENNESSEE, a television documentary based on my paranormal book titled TENNESSEE GHOSTS. I was originally approached by Executive Producer Don Babb about 8 months ago, after he read my book. He was interested in possibly putting together a documentary and having me direct it. But, I make features. What do I know about documentaries? Needless to say, I was a bit intimidated by the offer.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear directs Sebrina Siegel in front of Andrew Jackson’s historic home, The Hermitage.
After wrapping my head around the project and getting an idea of what I wanted to do, I called my friend and frequent co-star Debbie Rochon to see if she would be interested in hosting. Debbie has always been a fan of the paranormal but has never had the opportunity to actually be involved in it. I also felt Sebrina Siegel would be a great co-host, as she is wonderful in front of the camera and would lend a nice contrast to Debbie’s style. Luckily for me, both ladies said yes.
ABOVE: Debbie Rochon & Sebrina Siegel get serious outside an old crypt.
This project also offered me the opportunity to team up with my old friend of 20+ years, Bryan Wilson. Bryan and I produced, shot, and edited a television show together for three years (UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT) and were very comfortable with each other’s style. I knew having Bryan on board as a partner and DP would help things move along quickly and smoothly.
ABOVE: Bryan Wilson sets up a shot inside the world famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
After nailing down a script, locations, and an opening in everyone’s schedule it was time to go to work. We visited some historic sites, such as Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage home, the state Capitol Building, the Ryman Auditorium, and the world famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (just to name a few) as well as one of my favorite and most active locations, the Old South Pittsburg Hospital.
ABOVE: Executive Producer Don Babb, Debbie Rochon, Cindy Lydick, Bryan Wilson, Jim O’Rear, and Coco outside the Old South Pittsburg Hospital.
You will experience a wide variety of things in this documentary including historical accounts, ghostly stories, interviews with paranormal experts, special guest appearances by country music legend and actor Kris Kristofferson (BLADE) and Kane “Jason” Hodder (FRIDAY THE 13TH, HATCHET), and footage from a live paranormal investigation conducted by the cast and crew.
ABOVE: Sebrina Siegel preps for a scene beside Andrew Jackson’s tomb and memorial gardens.
With temperatures reaching over 100 degrees, many less-than-comfortable outdoor locations, biting and stinging insects, poison ivy, and more acts of nature fighting us at every turn, this shoot couldn’t have gone any smoother. The cast and crew never complained, never lost focus, and never gave in to anything that was thrown at them…except once, when some restless spirits terrified Sebrina so badly that she had to leave the location. However, even this was good because it provided some great footage as well as some fantastic memories for her.
Debbie Rochon studies lines in the Mt Olivet Cemetery.
I’d like to thank the entire cast and crew for their hard work and dedication to this project, as well as the property owners who allowed us to invade their land and all of our special guests. Even though the principal photography on this film was a lot of work, it didn’t feel that way thanks to everyone involved.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear sets up a scene outside a decaying crypt.
We now move into second unit production and then into post, so this one still has some time before you’ll be seeing it on your television screens… but I will keep you updated on the progress. Rumor has it that we may actually be making a series out of these, focusing on hauntings in various states. Stay tuned for more info on that, as well. Until then, here are a few more photos from the shoot.
ABOVE: Debbie Rochon, Jim O’Rear, and Sebrina Siegel outside Andrew Jackson’s historic home.
ABOVE: Debbie Rochon wanders through the haunted woods.
ABOVE: Sebrina Siegel & Debbie Rochon work on lines inside Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
ABOVE: Debbie Rochon investigates the graves of a presidential family.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear, Debbie Rochon, Sebrina Siegel, Bryan Wilson, and “Boom Mike Extraordinaire” Dakota after wrapping a crypt scene.
Thanks for reading,