By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
MADISON COUNTY —
The Red River Gorge, along with a number of local professors, musicians and amateur actors, will be be in the spotlight June 20 at the world premiere of the feature film “Red River Moon” at Lexington’s Kentucky Theater.
The movie’s writer, director and producer Bruce Barnett has been working on the film since he wrote the first draft of its screen play in 2007.
“The movie is about family, loss and coming-of-age,” Barnett said. “It’s also about the beauty and danger that co-exists with nature.”
The adventure thriller’s plot involves two sisters who get lost in the wilderness of the Red River Gorge, Barnett said. The film is 82 minutes long and cost $50,000 to create, he added.
Berea native Maizie Barrett, daughter of folk singers Carla Grover and Mitch Barrett, is one of the film’s stars. Their other daughter, Zoey, also makes a cameo appearance.
Principle filming took place in June and July 2010, Barnett said. Originally just two trips to the Red River Gorge were planned, however, a third filming trip was added after an earlier session got shut down because of a nearby bear attack.
Barnett said the attack wasn’t too close to where they were filming, but the area was closed to visitors for a few days until officials were sure the bear had moved on.
Barnett felt an essential element of his film was including a score that featured some of the region’s finest Appalachian musicians.
“(The music) would elevate the movie beyond the normal expectations of a local, low-budget film,” Barnett said.
Some of the musicians featured are Carla Gover, formerly of Berea; Tripp Bratton, currently a Berea College professor; John Rose of Lexington; Jesse Wells and Don Rogers of Bath County; Jeri Howell of Frankfort; Bret Ratliff of Whitesburg and many more.
Chad Cogdill, a Berea resident and professor of film at Eastern Kentucky University, served as director of photography for “Red River Moon.”
It was Cogdill’s suggestion that a Berea residence be used for one of the scenes, according to Barnett. The home of Andrew and Betina Gardner served as the main characters’ family home. One scene was shot on the rural property of Jennifer Sawyer.
Another EKU professor of film, John Fitch, also joined the project as a sound designer for the movie in its post-production phase.
Barnett is a native of Winchester who lives in Lexington. He also is an arts and humanities teacher at Bryan Station High School.
He graduated with a film-making degree from the University of Kentucky in the 1980s. After living 12 years in California, he moved back to Kentucky to be near his family.
He wrote, directed and produced a documentary about his mother’s family in 2008, and he produced a feature film in 2009. He is the owner of Mighty Quinn Media, which is an umbrella company for his work on movie making, photography, event videography and artwork.
For more about Barnett’s work and the film, visit www.mightyquinnmedia.com.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.
“Red River Moon” feature film premiere
7 p.m., June 20, Kentucky Theater, 214 East Main St., Lexington
Nearby Natasha’s Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade Alley, is hosting an after-party following the film that will have live music from many of the artists featured in the film. Present your ticket stub for free cover.