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Legends of Appalachia - Page 3

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Click to view Documentary "More About The Legend".

The Ballad of Frankie Silver: (Special Edition) is now available for purchase. 

The Ballad of Frankie Silver
Special Edition

      A well known legend in North Carolina and one of the most famous female murders in early U.S. history.
In 1831 Frankie Silver was charged with the brutal murder of her husband Charlie.  But, things are not always as they appear. This is Frankie's Story... Originally released in 2000, the special edition is Re-edited and Remastered.
See additional "Notes from Theresa" below.


Trailer - The Ballad of Frankie Silver


Click "Buy Now" to purchase your own The Ballad of Frankie Silver: (Special Edition) DVD.

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The Ballad of Frankie Silver                 July 2010

Where do I begin?

Frankie Silver has been an important part of my world for so many years its almost hard to remember my pre Frankie life.

I have been fascinated with the Frankie story for over 30 years. My research began around 1992 with the first rough draft in 1994. Loads of more advanced research from Perry Dean Young and others then several more script revisions followed. The filming of Frankie began in 1997. In 2000 we premiered the original The Ballad of Frankie Silver to two nights of packed houses at Yancey Theater in Burnsville, NC. Its was wonderful!

Because of the limited financial resources for Frankie the post production wasn't as extensive as I would have liked. We were forced to use more of our Master shots rather than a more complete editing process. The situation was similar for the score for the movie. With no real budget for post we recorded the entire score in one quick recording session rather than using a variety of musical choices and styles.

Although the movie was doing well and beginning to pick up momentum, I pulled it after just a few weeks because I felt it was not quite making the statement I envisioned. I wanted to rework it again within a few months or a couple of years. I had no intention of it taking exactly 10 more years before it would be re-released!

But, life happens and you are sometimes forced to live it differently than you thought it would be. Hopefully, you learn along the way that things will go much more smoothly for you if you don't fight the events that occur, just trust and go with the flow of these events knowing that it will bring you back around to where you wish to be when its the right time for you to be there! Therefore, I'm confident this is the perfect time for our Special Edition of Frankie Silver to be released.

Footnote: My son Ryan became my partner in Legacy Films Ltd. in 2006. He is now our (DP) Director of Photography & Editor.

Having worked in Casting on Major Motion Pictures I'm aware of the wonderful talent pool (both actors & crew) in Western NC. I was so eager to showcase this talent and am thrilled with the results.

Our Frankie is Casiah Butner. At the time, she was an Actress/Dancer in the Asheville area. I had known Casiah for years because she began dancing in my Performing Arts Studio when she was 10 years old. Although we had over 300 people audition for the Frankie Movie and several for the part of "Frankie", Casiah kept coming into my mind for the role. I finally caught up with her and did her audition tape in my car in a parking lot during a rain shower. My intuition had been right~ she was our Frankie!

Our Charlie Silver is Jeremie Smith. Jeremie had been an outstanding young actor at local Mountain Heritage High School in Burnsville, NC. In 1996 Jeremie won the coveted "Best Actor in WNC" award in State competitions. I loved Jeremie's look and style from the first time I saw him. He had a young Liam Neeson quality I thought would be good for Charlie. Again, I think my intuition was right in my selection.

The Ballad of Frankie Silver is a feature length movie yet, it was shot in only 10 days! Each day of shooting we would do a quick run thru of the scene with my blocking. We would then rehearse the scene one or two times concentrating on any trouble spots I felt the Actors might be having or needed a little help with. Then, I usually let them go through it on their own. Most of the time I was quietly rolling on that rehearsal. My crew was aware of my method and knew to be quiet on the set so I could use the shot. It did make Editing a little more difficult because we very often didn't have a slate for each take. But, it turned out alright because we time coded the original footage and made our cuts from the time codes.

How I love Movie Making!! Some of the really fun and interesting things about Frankie was the filming of the hanging scene. It was actually two locations edited together. At one location our DP was on top of a ladder. We filmed the crowd looking at a ball that we dropped right beside the camera. Weeks later and several miles away at the other location we had the gallows built and filmed the actual hanging complete with dummy and no crowd. It was really fun weaving it together.

Also exciting was the creation of a jail cell for Frankie. When scouting for locations I discovered an old rock room or stone shelter in Marshall, NC. Having grown up in the country I assumed it had been used as a root cellar/ can house (a cool underground location to store canned goods and/or potatoes, meats, etc.). Also, it appeared to me to have been lived in. I later found out I was right on both counts. At the time, I was actually scouting locations for The Hermit of Bald Mountain and I was looking for a cave for Hermit Greer. I immediately knew I wanted to use a certain area for Hermit Greer's cave and that I could use the other side of the room for Frankie's jail cell, complete with an opening for a door. How fun it was to completely transform that little stone shelter for both movies. As a bonus, it was located in a parking lot so we had our base camp parking just outside the set. Over 10 years later I read an article in our local paper stating that in the late 1950's and 60's when there were too many prisoners for the jail, this same little stone shelter had been used as an "overflow jail". Hmmmm a jail cell? Sounds like a great idea to me!

Legacy Films* 895 Calvin Edney Rd.* Mars Hill* North Carolina* 28754