Local movie with local talent premieres in PTC

Writer/director Kevin Raines and his cast of local actors gathered recently for the premiere of the short movie “Payton’s Pond” at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center. The cast from the movie, along with author, producer and director Kevin Raines (center), includes, from left, 14-year-old Caleb Peters, 13-year-old Joshua Sheppard, 11-year-old Taylor Green,, 14-year-old Cymia Telleria, 14-year-old Hope Gallegos, 17-year-old Colbie Zeno and 14-year-old Hunter Clark. Photo/Special.

Pretty much everybody in the area of Coweta and Fayette counties knows that Hollywood has come to southwest metro Atlanta. But how many know that this area is also producing movies with local talent? That was the case recently when the short movie “Payton’s Pond” shot in Heard County featuring a local cast had its premiere at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center.

Payton’s Pond is a dark, enigmatic short horror film about a group of seemingly normal children who sneak from home to spend the night at an abandoned campground, according to TwistedCentral.com

The movie is the debut film for writer, producer and director Kevin Raines and is the first in what is expected to become an anthology of five shorts.

The cast, all children ranging in ages from 11-17 years, stars Cymia Telleria, Joshua Sheppard, Taylor Green, Caleb Peters, Colbie Zeno, Hunter Clark, Hope Gallegos and Cassidy Cole. And all are local residents from Coweta, Fayette, Heard and Carroll counties and Atlanta.

Raines said he got the idea for the film from the kids who would later star in the movie. And once the idea was born, the process moved rapidly.

“Several of the kids had spoken to me about doing a scary movie. I was sitting at the hospital with my grandfather Oct. 4 and wrote the screenplay for Payton’s Pond. That week we casted and shot the film. Seven weeks later we premiered it. It was a very fast project, but I feel it went over very well,” Raines said.

But how did Payton’s Pond come to be shot in Heard County? The answer is easy, Raines explained.

“I am from Franklin (in Heard County). I operate my company out of Franklin and the surrounding counties,” said Raines, then noting how the group of local students found their way into the movie. And for Raines, the idea of using local talent was a facet of the production that fit his passion of using home-grown actors. “Some of the cast we were searching for were not even actors pursuing the industry. We pulled two of the characters out of local schools and trained them for a few weeks for the role. Nivek CO Partner Productions (Kevin’s company) felt they needed their look to best fit the role. The cast did an outstanding job. We filmed 27 scenes in less than 20 hours. That takes a good team with good consistent actors to pull off.”

As for the premiere at the Wyndham, Raines said he thought it was a success.

“Nothing but great things were said,” Raines noted, then provided a hint of things to come. “There were a few questions asked, but the main one was if we would make the second one even scarier? The answer to that question would be, there is a possibility. We will start production for the second one between the end of December and the first of the year.”

Beyond his production of Payton’s Pond, Raines is a singer, songwriter, author and the producer and director of many inspirational programs and television shows. He is the owner and lead director for Nivek CO Partner Productions, a production company that creates and promotes music videos, promos, commercials, TV shows and film.

Still a new company, Nivek is partnering with other professional companies such as Bright Night Media, Raines said.

For more information on Payton’s Pond visit www.PaytonsPond.com

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