News Column

Civil War story to be filmed at Stagville

May 23, 2014

By Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.



May 23--DURHAM -- Historic Stagville will be the setting for a Civil War era film that a Raleigh production company plans to release next spring to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the ending of the war.

Uptone Pictures will begin filming "Union Bound" on Thursday at Stagville, and production will continue on-site through June 20. The script is based on the unpublished diary of Joseph Hoover, a Union soldier who escaped prison with the help of slaves.

Stagville, a state historic site, survives as an example of one of the largest pre-Civil War plantations. Its homes, barns, and enslaved houses are original and built on original foundations, said Stephanie Hardy, site manager of Stagville.

The filmmakers have been working with Stagville since late March, scouting the site and looking at places to film, Hardy said. "They'll be shooting in the interiors of some of the structure as well as around them," she said. A lot of the escape scenes will be filmed in the wooded areas around the site, said Uptone Pictures spokesman Gary Balser.

Public tours and access to the site will continue during the filming, Hardy said. While filming is not open to the public, Stagville is planning an event that will allow visitors to see a film set of a Civil War hospital. The production company will leave the set up for one day after the scene is filmed, Hardy said. Re-enactors will be at the event, to be held June 7, to discuss and answer questions about the making of the film.

Uptone has been working with a professional re-enactment company, but will welcome (unpaid) extras who have their own Civil War era clothing, Balser said. People interested in being an extra may contact Kara Williamson at k.williamsonnc@gmail.com.

Michael Davis of Uptone Pictures is producing "Union Bound." He has chosen Harvey Lowry to direct the film. Lowry's film credits include makeup effects on "The Passion of the Christ" and "A Beautiful Mind," and supervision of operations on "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." John Errington wrote the screenplay and will handle the cinematography.

Among the actors in the film are Sean Stone (son of director Oliver Stone), who played the young Jim Morrison in his father's film "The Doors." He also appeared in "JFK" and "Natural Born Killers." Other actors are Isaac C. Singleton Jr., whose credits include "The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," "Planet of the Apes" and "Anger Management"; and Dave Blamy, who was in Uptone's most recent film "A Long Way Off," a retelling of the prodigal son parable.

Uptone also has produced the films "Destiny Road," "A Box for Rob" and "Don't Pass Me By." Television productions include "Christmas on Highway 101" and "Christmas Memories."

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(c)2014 The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.)

Visit The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.) at www.heraldsun.com

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Source: Herald-Sun (Durham, NC)


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