Film stars not hear yet, but work underway for movie

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2005

Actress, producer and writer Tonya Holly is back in Selma, this time accompanied by a crew of Cypress Moon Productions who specialize in filmmaking.

Confessing that “this is the 11th or 12th visit since June that I have been here, just sneaking in and out,” in a recent interview the very attractive, friendly film executive is preparing to shoot in Selma scenes from her latest work “When I Find the Ocean.”

Although only three scenes will be shot in Selma, Holly says “I’ve always known I’d shoot the Edmund Pettus Bridge and it is one of my locations.”

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Other scenes will be shot at the Public Safety Building and at the barbershop on Selma Avenue. But before filming actually begins, downtown streets will be turned (temporarily) back to 1965.

Storeowners will be asked to wear dress of the period and be part of the film, with shooting done mostly on Sundays.

Scouting for locations is the duty of James Chambliss, locations manager, from Fort Deposit.

Vice president of the Student Government Association while he was enrolled at Auburn University Montgomery and an AUM Court Justice student as well, he became acquainted with Tonya Holly 15 years ago, 1989, in Montgomery where “The Long Walk Home” was being filmed.

Chambliss now lives and works on Lake Martin, where he owns a heavy equipment company and is involved as a volunteer with the Arts Council and Health and Human Resources.

He gives countless hours to get filmmakers to come to the state.

“We don’t have to build bridges or infrastructure for them, it’s already here,” he said.

Tom Rogers, of Florence, is treasurer of the company. “I raise the money for production and spend it quickly,” the retired businessman and former department store owner, says.

“I’ve been working with Tonya two years, actually did the set for “The Mirror” in my empty store.”

Larry Ricci, originally from California, now lives in Tuscumbia. His profession of 33 years is that of Interior Designer and “When I Find the Ocean” is his second film. He finds film making “intensely exciting,” he says. His responsibilities include overseeing the art department and creating the visual look of the entire film.

“I get one day off a week and I like to spend it looking around. I love Selma, it’s beautiful and very open armed to us.”

Ronnie Jaynes, Huntsville, is Stunt Coordinator for the film. He coordinates the action and safety on the set, using his experience from military service and as a rodeo clown. Jaynes also acts in features, on television commercials and industrial ads.

His specialty includes everything from horsemanship and board diving to motorcycle jumps and scuba diving. Commenting on his chosen profession, Jaynes says “All timing stunts are endangerments.”

“When I Find the Ocean ” will give him the opportunity to use his skill with water. After all, the Alabama River flows into the ocean.

Starring in the film are three actors well known in television and on the silver screen. Louis Gossett Jr. won Best Supporting Actor 1982 for his role in “An Officer and A Gentleman. His many other films include “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Roots,” and “Return to Lonesome Dove.”

Naomi Judd is probably best known for the music she made with her daughter, Wynonna.

Diagnosed in 1990 with a potentially life-threatening liver disease, she declared “the Lord as my doctor and the fans as my medicine,” and conducted a Farewell Tour across the United States.

Her autobiography “Love Can Build a Bridge” stayed on the bestseller list for months and was the basis of a mini series.

Her credits include “Touched by an Angel,” “3rd Rock from the Sun” and a number of hit albums, Country Music and Grammy awards

Kris Kristofferson, the son of an Air Force general, was a Golden Gloves boxer and a Rhodes scholar.

Joining the Army he achieved the rank of Captain and became a helicopter pilot.

In 1965 he resigned his commission to pursue songwriting. Johnny Cash recorded some of his songs; “Sunday Morning Coming Down” was vote 1970 Song of the Year.

He is a successful Country and Western music star and has also made a number of films, including teaming with Willie Nelson in “Songwriter,” and “Where the Red Fern Grows” in 2003.