Hollywood Director, Actors Come to Asbury to Shoot TV Pilot – Asbury University
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May 17, 2016

Actors and film crew shooting a scene
Nancy Stafford and Garrett Patton shoot a scene for “Nazareth.”

WILMORE, Ky. — While 50-plus Asbury University Communication Arts students are preparing for their trips to Brazil to work as paid broadcasters at the Olympics this summer, another group of Asbury students are preparing to begin a different type of unbelievable, “only at Asbury” opportunity.

Starting this week, more than 30 students from Asbury will have the opportunity to work with a Hollywood director and professional crew members who will mentor the students, including actors Doug Jones and Nancy Stafford on a pilot episode of a television show. Being filmed over a two-week period on the Asbury campus and surrounding area, the pilot of the show “Nazareth” will then be shopped to various networks for financial backing with hopes it will be picked up.

“This project gives Asbury students an unprecedented opportunity to work with acclaimed professionals who have worked decades in the television and film industry,” said Jim Owens, dean of Asbury’s School of Communication Arts. “The professional filmmakers bring incredible experience of acting, directing and editing to Asbury to give students an opportunity to work in a professional level production.”

Jones has acted in more than 25 films and has more than 100 Hollywood credits, but may be best known for his role of Abe Sapien in “Hellboy” or the Silver Surfer in the movie “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” Jones recently visited Asbury as a judge for the annual Highbridge Film Festival held on the Asbury campus.

Stafford has also starred in many TV shows — “Remington Steele,” “Who’s the Boss,” “Magnum, P.I.” just to name a few — but is probably best known for her roles with Andy Griffith on “Matlock.” She was Ben Matlock’s law partner, Michelle, on that show.

Working 10-plus-hour days for two weeks, students will be getting the hands-on experience (everything from running sound to working cameras) they expect from Asbury. It’s that experience that has helped Asbury students and alums win numerous national student production and National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awards.

Tate Webb, an Asbury media graduate who has had two films screened at the Sundance Film Festival will be mentoring the two editors through the postproduction process.

Three Asbury faculty worked on the script with veteren screenwriter Dean Batali (“That 70s Show” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). Other Asbury faculty will be leading production teams and several Asbury students will be filling roles, as the show’s storyline is structured around a small-town college in Nazareth, N.C. The Wilmore community will be involved, as well, as the need for “extras” arises.


To learn more about Asbury’s Media Communication program, visit: asbury.edu/mediacomm

To view media coverage of “Nazareth,” click here