INFORMATION SUBMITTED TO DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA
Garnet Valley High School graduate Jon Barden will film the sizzle reel March 31, April 1 and 2 in Delaware County for the screenplay, Molly, written by Brigette ReDavid. The film is based on the life of Molly Pitcher, who is legendary for her participation at the Battle of Monmouth during the Revolutionary War.
“We’re looking for Revolutionary Era enthusiasts to come out in costume and help out with a crowd scene,” said Barden, who is directing the film. “We also need soldiers.” After his 2011 graduation from Garnet Valley, Barden began studying at Penn State Delco before finishing at the Main Campus where he graduated last May with a dual degree in Film and Integrative Arts. A sizzle reel is a 3 4 minute teaser for the feature film, which has a tentative 2016 summer shooting date.
Barden immediately went out on the road as a second assistant camera to film The Turnout, a soon-to-bereleased feature film, shot in Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia. He has also worked on the feature film, “The Broken Ones,” (Constance Shulman, Charlie Bewley) shot in New York.
Molly was written by Brigette ReDavid, a longtime Delaware County and Philadelphia journalist who earned her MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch in 2014. ReDavid, former managing editor of the NEWS of Delaware County, and Philadelphia Inquirer entertainment correspondent, wrote the screenplay in her screenwriting thesis class at NYU. Her professor/mentor was the noted screenwriter Walter Bernstein (Oscar nominated The Front, Molly Maguires).
“It’s an amazing and inspiring story with a lot of heart and emotion that created an opportunity for me to mold and construct creatively,” Barden said.
Barden has brought on fellow Penn State grad James McShane, who attended Chadds Ford Unionville High School, to work on the sizzle reel and feature film, as well as Garnet Valley HS grad Sean Parks of Chadds Ford.
While on set for The Broken Ones, Barden met Myron Parran (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, XMen Origins: Wolverine) The two talked about Molly and Barden sent Parran the script. Parran called ReDavid a “talented writer” with a “tight script”. He quickly agreed to fly out from LA and work as Director of Photography when the filming begins.
“I’m amazed at how fast this is rolling along,” ReDavid said. “At Sundance in January, we were able to talk to Geena Davis about the script, and all these talented people are jumping on board.”
Springfield High School graduate Emily Dugan will star as Molly’s stunt double in the sizzle reel charging through the woods with her horse Koda. Dugan is currently living at Tory Hill Farm in Glen Mills where she trains bitless and bareback dressage. She studies equine bodywork under Jim Masterson.
“We found so much talent right here in Delaware County,” ReDavid said, “There’s no way we could have afforded to make this as an independent film unless we were filming in our own backyard.” Neumann University Professor and actor Al Milliner will play the part of a tax man in the sizzle reel. Neumann University student Devin Henry has taken a role as an extra.
“So far, we’ve talked to Grist Mills, the Concord Historical Society, the Bethel Township Preservation Society, members of the Colonial Plantation and so many others,” ReDavid said. “My guess is, when you go to the website once we put the reel up, you’re bound to see someone you know.”
Hannah Von Sciver of Philadelphia will play the gutsy Molly Pitcher in the reel. Barden is still auditioning for the part of William.
“With the reel, we go after investors,” ReDavid said. “We’ve already been talking to people and applying for grants. The story of Molly Pitcher sells itself. She’s such an inspiring woman. And I’m really happy we’re filming so much of it here. This area is so rich in both history and talent. ”
For information on participating in the sizzle reel, email MollyFilm2016@gmail.com.
Information submitted to Digital First Media