Tatamagouche writer finishes rough cut of 20-year-old screenplay

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‘People will be very surprised when they see the finished product’

TATAMAGOUCHE – Perseverance during the past two decades has paid off for local screenwriter and director Gary Blackwood.

Amanda Jefferson-Gillis, who plays Carol in Gary Blackwood’s ‘The Seer,’ posts a photo of her missing son during filming of the production. Submitted photo

The Tatamagouche man just finished the rough cut of ‘The Seer,’ a screenplay he started 20 years ago.

“I wrote it a long time ago,” Blackwood said. “I can’t remember exactly the genesis of the idea, but I just believed it in. I made a few changes to it over the years to bring it up to date.”

The film has been sent to a sound editor and composer before the final cut is ready to roll.

“It will be a couple more months before it is ready and then we’ll be ready to submit it to film festivals. We’re hoping to have a private showing for those involved – from the actors to the community,” he said.

‘The Seer’ was filmed in various locations in Pictou County this past summer and features a number of local actors. All the actors, said Blackwood, volunteered their time.

“People in the community volunteered their spaces, and the police even let us use their squad cars and cells,” he said. “The community was so helpful and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

Blackwood said it’s hard to name the main character in ‘The Seer.’ It could be Carol, played by Amanda Jefferson-Gillis, the mother of an eight-year-old boy who gets kidnapped. But it could also be  a psychic Carol turns to after getting no leads from the police.

“The psychic tried to help police with other cases before, but the police didn’t interpret things correctly and things ended badly,” explained Blackwood. “So he’s bitter and doesn’t want anything to do with the police, but he identifies with the kid by something in his own past and gets brought in to help.”

Blackwood said there are a number of false leads and dead ends before coming to a conclusion.

When the film is finished, Blackwood said it will be submitted to a number of film festivals. It has to go through the festival circuit before any public showings.

“But we’re hoping to be able to show it by the end of the year,” he said.

Without much of a budget for the film, Blackwood relied heavily on the community and said Tony DeCoste was “irreplaceable.”

DeCoste, he said, has 10 years experience in videography and had almost all the equipment needed for the project.

“People will be very surprised when they see the finished product,” Blackwood said. “With no money, the actors did a really good job and the filming is just fantastic. We were able to show some of it to a few of the actors and they were blown away.”

‘The Seer’ is one of three projects Blackwood has had on the go for 20 years that finally had some interest.

He wrote a book - ‘The Imposter’ - 20 years ago that finally had a “taker,” and an opera he worked on 20 years ago is also in the works.

For more on the film, visit www.facebook.com/theseerthemovie.

 

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

Geographic location: Pictou County

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