By Eric Egan
CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) -- Sitting legs crossed, clearly relaxed, around a table in a sliver of office space on Daniel Island; Brad Jayne, Doug Coupe and Rob Gorman mull over a scene from their soon to be made movie Warrior Road.
"I want the dialogue to flow freely, we could go without this line, but let's leave it in for the time being," says Jayne, the movie's writer and director.
Jayne and co-producers Coupe and Gorman are "work-shopping" as they put it, a portion of the script for Warrior Road. They want it to be just right.
"We're making sure it's tight before we make any offers to potential actors," Jayne says.
All three have ties to the Lowcountry and the movie making experience. Coupe and Gorman have even spent time in front of the lens acting in major motion pictures and several television projects. Jayne has produced and directed commercials and music videos, as well as some short films. But this latest venture has been a longtime coming and is something on which the three partners are clearly focused.
"We created Creative Forge Productions four years ago with the goal of making films," says Gorman. "You will be hard-pressed to find other films at this budget which will have the high production value we envision for Warrior Road."
The film will be partially shot and set in Charleston and the Lowcountry. It's a coming of age story, centered on three young adult males in their late teens and early 20s. Think Easy Rider meets Stand by Me. The guys embark on a 24-hour quest that begins with them robbing a juke joint (a rural dive bar) in the marsh lands of South Carolina. They then ride up the coast in a souped-up Cutlass to Myrtle Beach, armed with a psychedelic or two, and on the hunt for the local womenfolk.
"The idea for the story has been in my mind for years. I've been polishing it over time," Jayne says. "Like any good story it comes from truth, you pull from life experiences."
Along the way, the film's main character, Joseph, experiences his fair share of challenges. The journey provides an opportunity for Joseph to shake his painful past, to make the transformation from a timid boy into a spiritual "warrior," and eventually a man.
At the moment, Warrior Road is rolling through its pre-production prep phase.
For the last four months Jayne, Coupe and Gorman have met with casting directors in California. They've scouted shooting locations in local regions and have Hootie and the Blowfish guitarist, Mark Bryan, on board as the movie's music supervisor. The soundtrack will be laced with classic rock cuts, with a mix of old blues and R&B. The songs will strive to mesh with the rural backdrop that gives the movie its rugged authenticity.
"It's important that we use Charleston's powerful landscape that emphasizes the unique feeling only this region can provide," Jayne said. "Warrior Road will have a strong connection to the land. This is our home, and we're going to take advantage of the beautiful backdrop and our connection to it."
The three say everything's been made possible thanks to Denis Gallagher and Charliewood Pictures. The production and investment company is financially backing the project. Charliewood is a platform for homegrown filmmaking and supports and promotes South Carolina-based feature films.
"Denis Gallagher is supporting the project based largely on Brad (Jayne) because of his storytelling promise and talent," Coupe said.
In upcoming weeks, Warrior Road has plans for casting calls locally, in addition to auditions with the project's Los Angeles-based casting director. By this fall, shooting will begin for 32 days in the Charleston area. It will cover spots in local marshlands and rural back roads. That will be followed by a couple of days of shooting in Myrtle Beach.
A release date hasn't been decided, though the group plans to have the project ready by spring 2013.
"We want the film to showcase some of the great talent in our area," Coupe says. "We have high expectations and lofty goals, and hope to have it screened at some of the top-tier film festivals."
For more information on Warrior Road visit RideWarriorRoad.com.