News Column

Website Offers Pay-per-view Indies, Documentaries

March 11, 2013

Tim Clodfelter

A new website based in Lewisville is offering streaming pay-per-view independent films and documentaries online -- and, down the road, possibly on set-top devices such as Roku. Prices vary, but they are typically in the $3 range. A few of the movies are free.

Inspirata Films (www.inspirataboxoffice.com) is owned by John Jackman, a local filmmaker and senior pastor at Trinity Moravian Church. Many of the initial offerings are from his production company, which specializes in faith-based films.

Perhaps the highest-profile film on the site is "Wesley," a historical drama that stars local actor Burgess Jenkins ("Nashville"). The film, which told the story of 18th-century pastor John Wesley, was filmed in the Winston-Salem area with a supporting cast that included June Lockhart and Kevin McCarthy.

"We are adding pretty much a film every day over the next few months and will issue weekly announcements of new films available," Jackman said. Many of them will be documentaries and short films about spiritual issues, as well as a few older features, including a 1954 drama that is also based on the story of John Wesley.

Production has started in Wilmington on a new TV adaptation of a novel by Stephen King. "Under the Dome" is set in Maine, but a combination of our better winter weather, diverse locations and tax incentives inspired the production team to come to North Carolina, according to a report that ran last week in the Los Angeles Times. The series is being produced for CBS. The story follows a town that is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world when it is covered by a giant dome -- a premise that was used to more comedic effect a few years ago in the "Simpsons" movie.

Fans of "Downton Abbey," the British drama that has become a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, may enjoy a new documentary being released on DVD Tuesday. "Secrets of Highclere Castle," from PBS Distribution, looks at the 1,300-year history of an English estate that is featured in the show, including its prominence in social circles during Edwardian times, its use as a military hospital during World War I and more. The hour-long program is part of a British series about life in stately British homes.

Also new on DVD Tuesday: The first season of "Ripper Street," a compelling, edgy drama about police detectives in Victorian London who are still haunted by their failure to stop the rampage of Jack the Ripper; the short-lived "Mob Doctor," a fast-paced drama about a doctor who is blackmailed into working for the Mafia, which was one of the fall's first TV casualties; the final season of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"; the third season of "The Father Dowling Mysteries," with Tom Bosley as a crime-solving priest assisted by a streetwise nun; two TV reunion specials, "Return of the Beverly Hillbillies," a terrible 1981 TV-movie in which we catch up with the Clampett clan 10 years after their weekly misadventures ended, and "Return to Hooterville," a follow-up to the down-home sitcom "Petticoat Junction"; "The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange," an animated comedy that defies description; and two new special-edition storylines from the classic British sci-fi show "Doctor Who." "The Aztecs," one of the show's first storylines, has William Hartnell in the lead role, and "The Ark in Space" has Tom Baker, the fourth actor to play The Doctor. Each DVD includes plenty of behind-the-scenes extras.



Source: (c)2013 Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, N.C.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.