Asbury Students Shoot TV Pilot With Hollywood Professionals

Asbury University Media students earned professional experience with Hollywood actor and director Anson Williams

WILMORE, Ky. - After two weeks of intense focus, hard work and amazing professional experience, Asbury University students have wrapped up the final scenes of Asbury’s biggest media production to date. 

More than 30 Asbury students had the opportunity to work with Hollywood actors Doug Jones and Nancy Stafford, and others on a television episode pilot called “Nazareth.” Produced by Dean Batali, Jim Shores and Jim Owens, “Nazareth” was shot on Asbury’s campus and the surrounding area. With filming complete, “Nazareth” will now go to postproduction before being shopped to various networks for financial backing with hopes it will be picked up.

“This has been quite the experience,” said Josh Bedsole ’17, working on “Nazareth” as an assistant camera operator. “It’s a legit production — working alongside film professionals has been great. I’ve learned a lot just from watching them and seeing how they interact with everyone.”

Dean Batali is best known for his role the producer or writer of television shows like "Fantasy Island", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "That 70's Show".

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.

Students act and are prepared just like professionals. They were ready to go with what they’ve learned in school.

Professionals working on the film said that one of their goals in working with Asbury students was to give back by helping to equip and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.

Throughout the production, the professionals were amazed by students’ professionalism and skill.

Don Mink, operations manager at Asbury and a producer for “Nazareth,” says the production exemplifies the kind of opportunities that Asbury seeks out for students, along with departmental films, class projects, the Highbridge Film Festival, paid internships at the Olympic Games and much more.

“This fulfills the experience we want to provide, where students can apply what they’re learning in a professional setting,” Mink said. “This is the highest-level production we’ve ever done. The film professionals the students worked with have terrific experience as well as very high expectations, and our students met them. You’re always trying to get to that next level, and that’s exactly what this has been.”

 

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

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