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The Find by Mike Garland

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The Find Poster.jpg

Mike Garland is directing a short film called The Find in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  No, he isn't related to Hank Garland from the same area.  I asked.  Although he does play the guitar.   Originally from Detroit, Mike moved to South Carolina after a stint in the Army because his wife is from Spartanburg.

Having been an actor for a number of years and a law enforcement officer; Mike has turned his attention to a story he wrote called The Find  while while working at the jailhouse.  Written over a period of a couple of years this is the first in a series of screenplays he is producing along with the guys at Ridge Runner  Media, Brian and Terry Miller.

 I finally sent it to a music composer in England to see about music for it. He said it made the hair on his neck stand up. This is when I knew we may have a winner.  

he movie will be filmed in Spartanburg this month with actors from the southeast  including  Rhonda Lynn Jones as Samantha Kane and George Lunsford as John Harris.  The rest pf the cast includes  Dennis Loewer, Errol Sulleyman, Andrew Dudley, and Vicki Biggs.   Alisa Jervise Locke is the script consultant and will also be an actor is the second part of the series.  Jenn White is in charge of photography.  Lindsey Starnes will be in charge of makeup. Brian and Terry Miller are the cinematographers.

The Find is is in the suspense/thriller/horror genre.  Think Twilight Zone which Mike is a fan of.  An  Indiegogo campaign has been created to help with the cost of the production.  I recently had a conversation with Mike along with  some of the cast and crew where we discussed Mike's plans for the film.  


Mike, is you involvement in film something you've been doing a long time or something you're revisiting?

Mike Garland: I've been acting for almost four years now. I've always wanted to do it so I finally took that step.


Did you have any prior acting experience? School, theatre, etc...

Mike Garland: No I haven't had any like that. I am a believer that we as people act every day. Most people are not the same at work as they are at home. If that makes any sense at all.


How did you end up in Spartanburg?

Mike Garland:  I met my wife in the Army when I visited Myrtle Beach. When I got out in 1994 we decided to move to Spartanburg because my wife was from there. I was from Detroit and we didn't want move there so we ended up here.


What brought you to writing and producing The Find?

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Mike Garland:  I wrote it while working at the jail. Never written anything like it before. I had  a fellow officer read it just to get her opinion. She said she loved it. I wrote it in about 2 years. I sent it to several actors to see what they thought. It was the same response.  I got a hold of Brian Miller from Ridge Runner Media to see what he thought. He liked it and said he would be interested in it. I finally sent it to a music composer in England to see about music for it. He said it made the hair on his neck stand up. This is when I knew we may have a winner.  

What is The Find about?

Mike Garland:  It's about a couple that has moved into a newer house. John decides to go out to fix a leaning fence post. While digging around it he mistakenly hits metal. He pulls the metal piece out and discovers its an 18th century sword in mint condition. This is the beginning of hell on earth for them!


You've got me interested.  Will it be a short or feature length?

Mike Garland:  It will be a short.  Approximately 15 minutes or so. I have at least two sequels about ready to follow this.


When does filming begin?

Mike Garland: We did a table read August 4th and film August 24th-25th here in Spartanburg.


What actors have you chosen for the film?

Mike Garland:  There is one thing to point out. I did not do a casting call for this film. I have worked with several actors and knew what and who I wanted.

When I wrote the script I had certain individuals in mind. I was just glad when they said yes to do it!


Have you done any writing other than screenplays?

Mike Garland:  Just music. I did write one other movie but couldn't get all the pieces to the puzzle put together.   I'm surrounded by quality people this time. It's like night and day!


 When do you expect to release the film?

Mike Garland:  In January of 2014.


You mentioned your love of the Twilight Zone.  Will each film in the series be a continuation of the first or something different?

Mike Garland: It's going to be a continuation of the first movie.  There's definitely one sequel to the first movie maybe two.


Will the same actors be used for the rest of the series?  Any new characters introduced in the subsequent episodes?

Mike Garland: There will be others for sure. George, Rhonda, and Vicki will be in the next one at the beginning and near the end.Then the others will take over.

These actors are the ones I trust. I have worked with all of them . I knew George would be a strong lead male as well as Rhonda being strong as lead female. As a matter of fact, all of these actors are very, very good. I knew I could work with them and have some fun on the set as well.


Terry Miller:  I am with Ridge Runner media and will working with my son Brian.   We are going to be filming the movie.  We have known Garland since Brian was in high school. Brian and Mike became friends.


What is the focus of Ridge Runner Media?  Films, commercials, what...? 

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Terry Miller:  We (Terry and Brian Miller) are the owners and the only employees. We do use some help from others from time to time. We do concerts, weddings, web commercials mostly, although we did one TV commercial for the Boys and Girls Club of Spartanburg. We do photography as well and  have done all of the Boys and Girls Club photos for the last few years. We have had 25 or more billboards in and around Spartanburg. We also did a two day conference for Denny's this year.

We are currently working on a Web TV Reality show for Big Fan Racing. They are building a race team from fan support. Only people to ever do it. We are going to be filming several videos for Wofford College this fall. If it's film or photography we will do it.


Vicki Nolan Biggs: Dan, (creepy old lady here) let me just say that I am really excited to be along for the ride!  And I appreciate Mike for giving me this wonderful opportunity.   Let the fun begin... 

So you're a creepy old lady in the film?

Mike Garland: She's creepy and mysterious. One of the pieces of the puzzle.


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Alisa,  What drew you to working on this film?

Alisa Jervise Locke:  Well the thing that drew me into the project is the story line. The writing style of this particular piece is outstanding. The thriller, suspense, the mystery, as well the simile from the past to the present is amazing. This particular style reminds me of  Edgar Allen Poe and the Alan Hunt writings, more original and unpredictable to what we see now in theaters. Love It!


Mike, did your experience as a law enforcement officer have any influence on the script?

Mike Garland:  No not at all. I think my love of the old Twilight Zone shows had the most impact. Rod Serling was brilliant to me.


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Rhonda Lynn Jones:  I want to say I am excited about this project.  My character, Samantha, is a strong woman and loves her boyfriend but does get concerned about what he has discovered.

What do you like best about your role?

Rhonda Lynn Jones:  I like that she is strong mentally and doesn't let anything get to her



Errol L. Suleyman:  I'm playing solider one.

Errol,  tell me about your background.

Errol L.. Suleyman:   Have done a bit of theater, usual extra stuff, and  short, indie films too. Otherwise from London, I like to fly, box and kickbox. I currently work part time as a trainer at 9Round Boxing and Kickboxing.


When the first film is released, what do you have planned?  Will in be on the film festival circuit?

Mike Garland:  Yes it's definitely going to the film festivals especially Sundance.

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Brian Miller:  I can't wait to get rolling with it! We've been working on the shot list and have some great ideas.


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George Lunsford:  This is a rocking cast and script. I feel honored to be involved.  I play John . He's a good guy but when he finds the sword, evil tries to take him over.   To find out what happens you have to wait for the video.

 Mike has done a wonderful job writing the script, hunting down the right people for the roles, basically putting his heart into the project. I know a lot of the cast and they are amazing . I checked out Ridge Runner Media and I have no doubt they will be a great crew to work with everything I saw from them was great . If we get the chance we will take this film and the sequels to the top.


Tell me about the funding campaign you have going at for The Find.

Mike Garland:  All I can say is we really could use the money so that we can pay the actors, the film crew, and the composer of the music. We all have other jobs for a living and we get paid to do the jobs. Acting no different. These people that are doing this movie are very good at their craft and I want them to get paid for doing the job. Everyone put in a hundred percent and I would like to see them rewarded for it.  We've really got a special group of people working on this project.

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