News Column

Starks, library partner for film school

July 21, 2014

By Stephanie Salmons, Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.

July 21--Learn the tricks of the trade when Verite Cinema and the Daviess County Public Library again partner for Unscripted Film School.

Local filmmakers will direct five short films over the coming months. The short films will be compiled into an anthology titled "Volumes of Blood," which will premiere next spring.

As part of the program, aspiring filmmakers or interested community members can sign up and attend a filming to learn about the different facets of independent film making.

P.J. Starks, a local filmmaker and founder of Verite Cinema, said the first Unscripted film school, held earlier this year, was "far more successful than we thought it was going to be."

One of the two films made during that series, "LUCKY," has "really taken on a life of its own," he said. "LUCKY" has received numerous favorable reviews and is currently screening around the country on a festival tour.

The idea for "Volumes of Blood" came after that experience. Starks said the library expressed interest in expanding the film school.

Rather than shooting two films at the same time, Starks came up with the idea of filming a series of movies over the course of several months, all culminating in an anthology.

While the films won't be shot together, they're "pieces of one puzzle." After pitching the idea, "it kind of took off from there," he said.

"It went from this little idea to it's a pretty big project now," said Starks.

There are around 10 local bands doing original music and, according to Starks, there will be close to 30 regional artists, actors and directors coming in for the project.

According to Starks, who co-wrote the scripts, the premise of the overall story focuses on a sociology student trying to write his thesis on urban legends.

He gets his friends to create and perpetuate urban legends, and each piece tells a different one.

They'll bring in around 50 participants over the course of Unscripted, with 10 different participants chosen each time.

Jim Blanton, director of the Daviess County Public Library, said one of the library's goals is to "celebrate the artistic endeavors of this city."

By bringing in community members to make these films, Starks is "turning his talent to teaching others how to do it," Blanton said, which also ties into the library's educational focus.

The program "really gives people a taste of what the process is like," he said.

"Here, people can get their foot wet," Blanton said. "(You) can learn to do things on your own because tools are available in ways they haven't been before."

The film can also serve as a type of time capsule, to chronicle who was here and the creative forces at work, he said.

The installments will be shot on Aug. 16, Sept. 20, Sept. 27 and Oct. 18, with the fifth film tentatively scheduled for Nov. 8.

Stephanie Salmons, 270-691-7302,

Twitter: @StephReports


Register for the first session now by visiting or calling the library at (270) 684-0211. Participants must be 18 and older.

For more information about the event, visit or

A Kickstarter campaign is underway to help offset costs of production. While "everybody's volunteering their time, there are some things we need to try to do to take things to the next level," P.J. Starks said.

They're looking to raise $3,750 for items such as special effects.

For more information about donation opportunities, visit


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Source: Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY)

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