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Filming for JC Films Project "The Zombie Club" Begins in Bridgeport

By Julie Perine on July 08, 2019 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

 After weeks of anticipation – and two rounds of auditions – filming for “The Zombie Club” began over the weekend in Bridgeport.
 
Several locals star in the JC Films project which features a script bearing an anti-bullying message. In the lead role of science geek Emma Reynolds is Erica Cottrill, a 2019 graduate of Bridgeport High School, and in the lead role of gothic Rita Lands is Jordan Kennedy-Rea, a rising BHS senior. Portraying other lead characters are Franco Maicas as athletic jock Justin Hershog, Levi Wolfe as hippie student Brad Stadder, Lexi Bradley as cheerleader Madison Carter and Alec Miller as computer gamer Alex Butler.
 
In addition to actor Dean Cain, who plays Principal Campbell, supporting lead roles are held by JC Films veteran actors Michael Sigler (Coach Tanner), Gary Lee Vincent (security officer), Katherine Shaw (Alex’s mom), Jeff Moore (Justin’s dad), Kathy Sanders (Professor Parker), Becky Rosser (Emma’s mom) and JoAnn F. Peterson (Bertha). Playing Ms. Walker is Krystian Leonard, Miss Berkeley County, who has declared an antibullying platform. Locals holding supporting lead roles include 2019 BHS graduate Derek Hess (Jeremy); Bridgeport’s Donna Elsey (Brenda) and Julie Perine (Madison’s mom) and South Harrison High School’s Matthew Shuttleworth (Erik).  
 
Additional supporting leads are listed HERE, as well as dozens of featured extras, primarily teens who will portray high school students in all walks of life and with various interests. The gist of the film is that despite their differences, all individuals – including high school students – can come together, be friends and be supportive of one another. JC Films President and film co-writer and producer Jason Campbell has made many faith-based, family-friendly films; a trio of which were shot entirely or in part in Bridgeport. Included in the locally filmed projects are “Megan’s Christmas Miracle,” “A Promise to Astrid” and “A Child of the King.” Although all his movies bear a message, “The Zombie Club” holds a special place in Campbell’s heart.
 
“This is a film which I truly believe will have an impact on communities everywhere, serving as an interactive tool to teach and encourage kids to get along and embrace each other’s differences,” he said.
 
The roles are held by students who, in reality, have many differences. The filming process itself is designed to be educational and help break down barriers. Many teens who auditioned for parts were passionate about the project, sharing stories about how they have experienced bullying in their respective schools.
 
Several other adults are part of the movie cast also, portraying parents, teachers and members of law enforcement.
 
Filming started Sunday at the Bridgeport home of Heather Mudrick and continued today - including scenes with Cain AKA Principal Campbell - at Bridgeport Middle School. Most filming will take place at BMS, but several other locations will be utilized.
 
All community members will have opportunity to be extras in the movie. A basketball game scene will be filmed Wednesday, July 10, at the BMS gymnasium. All who would like to be part of the fan scene must be seated in the bleachers by 5:30 p.m.
 
Cain - well known for various movie and TV roles, including his legendary role in “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” - shared why the project hits home with him.
 
“I’m a reserve police officer and one of the things I do is serve on a task force which deals with anti-bullying and the pressures young kids face,” Cain said. “Every community has its own bullying issues. Sometimes when you’re able to shine a light on it, it helps to alleviate the problem.”
 
Cain said “The Zombie Club” is a way to deal with bullying, but in a way that should be entertaining. Hopefully, kids will watch it, have fun and learn a lot at the same time, he said.
Superintendent of Harrison County Schools Dr. Mark Manchin and BMS Principal Dave Mazza both said they endorse the film project 100 percent and agree that it will make a difference. Campbell said he couldn’t be more pleased with the support and enthusiasm the community has shown for this film, as well as others shot in the immediate area. Bridgeport's Dan and Machelle Cava, as well as James and Debbie Huber, have been avid supporters of "The Zombie Club." 
 
As it is Campbell’s intention to make the film available to all interested schools, churches and organizations across the country, financial supporters are in need. To make a donation, email jcampbell70@msn.com.
 
To provide a meal for the cast and crew, email donnaelsey2@aol.comand to volunteer behind the scenes, email heather.mudrick@yahoo.com.
 
To wrap up the week of filming, a Zombie Fun Run will be held Saturday at Bridgeport City Park. Learn more and sign up HERE.
 
Editor's Note: Photos taken Sunday, day one of the local filming. 



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