WESTERN KENTUCKY (5/31/14) — Four friends who met at Murray State University have joined forces for the summer to create a Kentucky-inspired, independent film called, 'The Middle Ground,' that is being filmed throughout parts of western Kentucky.

When the team decided on the Civil War timeline for the movie, producer and actor Nathan Austin began making calls in and around the Madisonville and Owensboro areas for places to film.

“We wanted to do something a little different when we started talking about doing a movie together,” said director Dallas Lee Blanton. “I thought to myself, ‘Why not try an old timey movie, that utilizes locations in Kentucky, that are secluded or not big parts of towns.'”

Once the team had permission to start filming during Civil War reenactments around western Kentucky, the story began to come alive.

“When we finally got to film during the Civil War reenactment in Sacramento, that was it, we started making our movie,” said Blanton. “Everything was basically falling into place.”

The story takes place in Kentucky during the Civil War, where two brothers get caught up in certain circumstances that cause a sense of apathy in their relationships.

“The Middle Ground is actually a reference about Kentucky,” said Blanton. “That’s probably one of the most important things about the film. The film is about Kentucky and how people from Kentucky were affected by the Civil War. During that time, people were either neutral or not; there were a lot of different mind sets at the time.”

Heavily influenced by Kentucky, the team is using actors and musicians from Kentucky.

“We are also doing the soundtrack,” said Austin. “So, not only are we using actors from Kentucky, but we are using local musicians, too. We are looking for more Bluegrass and Appalachian music. We wanted this film to be as Kentucky as you could get.”

The team has been working hard from making costumes to promoting themselves.

“As far as producing and us acting the film, we are all putting everything we have into this,” said producer/actor Angela Yonts. “We currently have three sewing machines set up for making costumes, and we have been working hard to promote ourselves by interviews and making posters.”

Whether you are a history or a film fanatic, “The Middle Ground,” is a family-friendly movie, that is sure to hit an emotional chord.

“For me as an actor, I want to feel something walking away from a movie,” said Austin. “If I feel something, then I know it was a good movie, and I really feel that way about our movie. Even with me just reading the script, I have become emotionally involved with it.”

The team has had a lot of support from local communities and are still looking for donations and local talent to participate in the film. Those who donate to the film, will have the opportunity to be included in the credits, receive a movie poster, receive a copy of the DVD, updates on the film making, be able to visit the set or be an executive producer.

“We are very appreciative to everyone who has helped us,” said Yonts. “We have gotten really lucky, so far, with all the interviewing and those who have participated in the film, we are truly grateful.”

For more information about The Middle Ground or to be a part of the film, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-middle-ground#home.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News Reporter
Photo by Dallas Lee Blanton

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