By Marie Gilmore
Gabriel’s Messenger Films selected Bell Shoals Baptist Academy and South Brandon Little League to shoot scenes for its full-length feature film, The Investigator, which is scheduled for nationwide DVD release at Walmart starting Tuesday, September 2.
Using a largely local cast and crew, The Investigator production spent five days at Bell Shoals and several evenings at South Brandon Little League shooting scenes for its family-friendly movie about faith and baseball. Hundreds of local residents including Tammy Holmberg, former Honorary Mayor and Charity Chicks coordinator, had a speaking part in the baseball scenes.
“I came out to be an extra,” said Holmberg. “And, I have always wanted to be in movies, so the director gave me an opportunity to have a line and we were able to film the scene in one take.” Holmberg can be seen in the baseball crowd scene toward the end of the movie. She is the baseball mom who shouts, “He’s Out, He’s Out, He’s Out”
The movie production company was thrilled to film locally in 2011 and spent time in editing and post production and also with a limited nationwide movie theatre release before the Walmart exclusive distribution was announced.
“Bell Shoals Academy is a beautiful school campus,” said movie producer Nicole Abisinio. “We are so excited to be bringing this movie to life using a local school campus.”
In addition to Bell Shoals and Brandon South Little League in Valrico, the film shot scenes at Indie Film and Photography Studio in St. Petersburg, Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa, St. Mary Our Lady of Grace church in St. Petersburg and various other locales.
“When we selected the Tampa area to shoot the movie, I knew that I wanted to use mostly local talent for both cast and crew,” said Abisinio.
The Investigator is a story inspired by true events and the life of Richard Romano, who wrote the screenplay. A veteran New York Police Department (NYPD) detective, Sgt. James Buanacore, retires from the NYPD after a bust goes bad and becomes a criminal justice teacher and high school baseball coach, leading him to the most important investigation of his life.
The DVD releases nationwide Tuesday, September 2. Pre-orders are available www.walmart.com/ip/37650950.
The Investigator is directed by Curtis Graham, best known for his work on Misconceptions and The Glass Window, and produced by Nicole Abisinio (Gutter King, Red Canyon), award winning filmmaker and experienced speaker on Faith in Film. A strong crew also includes Editor Dan O’Brien (To Save a Life, Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing, Bottle Shock), Emmy Award winning Costume Designer Dana Campbell (Dancing with the Stars and Dear John), and Camera Operator Bob Scott (Fireproof and Facing the Giants).