Auditions For Feature Film ‘Empire’ Set For Thursday

Area residents will have the chance to land a spot on the cast of Brown Hat Production’s next feature film, “Empire” on Thursday.

An open casting call for “Empire” will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. on Thursday at The Spire of Jamestown, 317 E. Third St. in Jamestown.

The story of the film is an original written by Matthew Swanson and Alyssa Raimondo. So far the cast includes Raimondo, Patti Culliton and Paul Schermerhorn. The tagline for “Empire” is: “In search for a lost cavern, a young historian discovers what she has sought after her entire life. Now she must learn how this discovery will shape her future.”

According to Schermerhorn, the film follows River Carrington, played by Raimondo, a recent college graduate in search of a job. Carrington is interviewed by an entrepreneur named Sarah Hindle, for the position of historical investigator. Hindle’s company is responsible for financing archaeological digs around the world. With Hindle’s resources, Carrington uncovers the truth behind a lost legendary cavern.

In addition to acting as writer for the film, Swanson is also serving as director and producer. Schermerhorn and Lewis Ecker are also serving as producers. The group consists of several of the people responsible for the feature films “Winter’s Kill” and “The Invention.” “Winter’s Kill” is a psychological thriller, slated for a 2013 release, that portrays the lives of the survivors of a nuclear electromagnetic pulse that renders electronics unusable. “The Invention” follows two friends who contest the credit for a life-altering invention. Many of the scenes from those films were shot in the Jamestown area, and the same will be done with “Empire.” Some of the Jamestown locations include: Prendergast Library, The Robert H. Jackson Center, Lakeview Cemetery, Chautauqua County Jail, Jamestown Police Department and City Hall.

“What’s great about this area is that our projects have been very well received, and everybody loves the idea of doing this stuff around here,” said Schermerhorn.

Schermerhorn hopes that the majority of the cast for “Empire” is made up of area residents, as the project will be filmed over the course of six months to a year. Principle photography starts in April.

“We won’t be filming seven days a week, and we have to work around people’s schedules,” said Schermerhorn. “There are 25 speaking roles, which is a pretty good-sized cast. We’ll also need plenty of extras, so almost everybody who applies can be in the film.”

The roles which need filling cover a wide range of ages from children to seniors. Some of the major roles that Swanson is looking to cast include: police officers, scientist and laboratory technicians, explorers, a judge and River’s father. Compensation for the actors will be discussed on an individual basis. But, those involved will get film and IMDb credit.

“‘The Great American Trailer Park’ auditions will be held at The Spire on March 27 and 28, so if anybody comes for the musical they can also come try out for a feature film too,” said Schermerhorn. “If you’ve ever thought about being in a film and you want to try it out, then here is the opportunity.”

Those interested in auditioning can visit to download a script excerpt. Schermerhorn also advises filming a read of either the character of Jesse or River from the script excerpt, and uploading it privately to YouTube. Then fill out the “Empire” audition form with the link to the YouTube video. Those who submit an audition form and YouTube video are still required to attend the casting call on Thursday.

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