July 10--A Winston-Salem-area production company will film scenes next month in coastal Southeastern North Carolina for an educational Christian film about the life of the pastor who penned the hymn "Amazing Grace."
Produced by Inspirata Films, "But Now I See" will tell the story of the life of John Newton, whose conversion from slave trader and ship captain to abolitionist and pastor helped him write one of the country's most well-known pieces of music.
The faith-based film, which shot scenes aboard the tall ship Hector in Nova Scotia this spring, will film at various coastal spots in the region Aug. 4-9, director and producer John Jackman said. Oak and Bald Head islands will stand in for Plantain Island off the coast of Sierra Leone, and Fort Macon near Atlantic Beach will be used as the Kittim fort where slaves were transferred. The group was granted permission to film scenes on Bald Head by the island's conservancy, Jackman said.
Crews also will shoot interior and English country scenes in the Triad area.
Pennsylvania-based actor Erik Nelson will play Newton, but local actors will be cast as slave traders and in other key roles, Jackman said.
"The hymn is amazing but the film is more about Newton's life," he said. "The arc of his life has incredible change and drama. It's amazing that it has never been told."
Newton led a sordid life and was a troublemaker on most of the ships he worked on. He was flogged for desertion before being traded to a slave ship. The slave ship captain hated him so much he sold him to a slave trader in Sierra Leone.
Years later, Newton wrote the song's lyrics in an attic room. It was heard for the first time on New Year's Day in 1773.
"But Now I See" is a nonprofit project funded by the Christian History Institute, Comenius Foundation and individual donors. The film is slated for release on digital video formats with limited theatrical engagements next year. Producers hope to raise money to complete the film's editing on crowd-sourcing website IndieGoGo.
Cassie Foss: 343-2365
On Twitter: @WilmOnFilm
(c)2013 the Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.)
Visit the Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) at www.starnewsonline.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
Most Popular Stories
- Chobani Counters Competition With Expanded Lineup
- Pope Francis, Huge Crowd Joyously Celebrate Easter
- Automakers Turn to China to Fuel Sales Growth
- GM Boosting China Production Capacity
- GOP Making Bold Play for Oregon Senate Seat
- Delay in Ferry Evacuation Puzzles Maritime Experts
- Report: Iran VP Says Row Over Reactor Resolved
- NASA's Space Station Robonaut Finally Getting Legs
- Confusion, Anger as Sunken Ferry's Relatives Wait
- Iran Denounces U.S. Ruling to Sell Property