Filmmaker Determined to Kickstart "Spirits of Just Men" Franklin County Virginia in good "Spirits" with prospect of Moonshine Movie

Top Quote Filmmakers Blu de Goyler (The Road to Freedom) and Michael Givens (Coyote Ugly) are bringing Charles D. Thompson Jr.'s remarkable book, "Spirits of Just Men," to the big screen as a feature length documentary with the help of and is seeking investors to help bring to life the rich, colorful history of Franklin County, Virginia to life. End Quote
  • Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV (1888PressRelease) November 03, 2011 - The mission of filmmakers Blu de Goyler (The Road to Freedom) and R. Michael Givens (Coyote Ugly) is to bring Charles D. Thompson Jr.'s remarkable book, "Spirits of Just Men," to the big screen. The feature length documentary has turned to individual investors as well as to make this dream a reality and is seeking investors to help bring to life the rich, colorful history of Franklin County, Virginia. Film themed items like FloydFest tickets or an extravagant "Spirits Experience,", complete with a private sampling and local music are added incentives for investors, and time is of the essence since this piece of American history is slowly fading into the darkness.

    Spirits of Just Men, tells the compelling story of moonshine in 1930's America, as seen through the remarkable location of Franklin County, Virginia -- a place that many still refer to as the "moonshine capital of the world." Local characters come alive through this richly colorful chronicle of the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935, which made national news and exposed the far-reaching and pervasive tendrils of Appalachia's local moonshine economy.

    Much like crafting Virginia's famous moonshine requires distilled water, corn, malt, sugar and skill, a feature film needs ingredients like a captivating story, talented director, a creative producer and of course, funding.

    While most of the team involved in Spirits of Just Men are donating their services, the $40,000 will go towards many fixed costs like lighting equipment, original music, editing, etc. Once the fundraising goal is met, Virginia counties like Franklin, Floyd and Roanoke will be featured in the film as cornerstones of the cinematography. Through sensitive analysis of treasured archival footage and testimonials as part of as extensive oral histories from participants, relatives and Thompson, alike, the film stands to provide an immortal snapshot of an important piece of American History.
    Eager to begin filming, de Golyer says, "This not just a passion piece for a group of film and literary professionals -- it is a commemoration of a wonderful book, and an amazing setting for a rich story which deserves a broader audience."

    "Moonshine," or homemade distilled spirits was a staple of the 18th century. Initially, it was a cultural metamorphosis of early Irish and Scottish settlers, who brought their recipes and techniques with them to a fledgling country. In the wake of many hardships including famine, disease, and the Great Depression, it wasn't long before commercially manufacturing "hooch" from grain became a more viable way of sustaining families than growing the grain itself.

    Charmed by Thompson Jr.'s book, reviewers have said, "His book is a fabulous and thorough collection of stories, facts, drama, character portraits, and court proceedings, including a chronicle of the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935…It reads smoothly and cleanly, like a tightly woven novel…All flavored with the author's love for his family and his people."

    De Goyler, an established industry ghost writer and experienced producer with hits such as The Road to Freedom (The war-drama about Errol Flynn's son, who went missing during the Vietnam War, now in theatrical release through Creative Freedom) and the feature thriller, The House of Good And Evil now in development with HorrorShow Pictures. The filmmakers are emphatic about investors being able to see their creation in theaters.

    "Ultimately we want people to actually be able to see the film upon completion, so we are implementing a focused distribution strategythat caters to an audience that this film will appeal to. If our campaign is successful, we will be able to ensure release in at least 10 major U.S. cities through our distribution partner Creative Freedom," he says.

    "With moonshining as a key, Spirits of Just Men unlocks and spreads before us a simple and sane lifestyle still alive today in places like Franklin County. These are remnants of a lifestyle that needs to influence the rest of America rather than vice versa," Gardens and Gun magazine says.

    To help make this film:

    Or contact the producers at shootingcreek ( @ ) rocketmail dot com

    Media Contact: Jolson Creative PR 310 614 3214 jolsoncreativePR ( @ ) mac dot com

    About the director R. MICHAEL GIVENS -
    A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA, Michael began his career as a still photographer. Subsequently, he moved into film, becoming a Director of Photography for such noted directors as Ridley Scott, Steven Friers, Philip Borsos and Peter Smilie. After guiding his career in the camera department of numerous feature films and hundreds of commercials he moved to the field of directing. Givens' feature film credits include Coyote Ugly and The Celestine Prophecy as Cinematographer, and Director of Opposite Day, starring Ariel Winter, Pauly Shore and Dick Van Patten, as well as his latest feature, Angel Camouflaged, which stars James Brolin, Carlos Bernard and South African musical sensation, Dilana, and which recently won the award for Best Feature at the Charleston International Film Festival. Givens is the Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia at the National Reunion of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He is also a member and former Commander of the South Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, all of which fuels his passion for this project.

    About the author CHARLES D. THOMPSON JR. - A native son of Franklin County, Virginia, author and filmmaker Charles D. Thompson Jr. is the curriculum and education director at the Center for Documentary Studies and a lecturer of cultural anthropology at Duke University. His other books include German Baptist Brethren: Faith, Farming, and Change in the Virginia Blue Ridge, and his latest film is Brother Towns/Pueblos Hermanos.

    About the producer BLU DE GOLYER - The catalyst behind making this book into a film, Blu de Golyer will oversee production of Spirits of Just Men. He has lent his talents to studio and independent pictures, alike, as both writer and producer--most recently having co-produced the acclaimed film, The Road to Freedom, and having now authored over two-dozen screenplays to date. Mr. de Golyer is also a philanthropist, corporate consultant and published children's book author.

  • FB Icon Twitter Icon In-Icon
Contact Information