LIMESTONE COUNTY, TX — A little bit of Hollywood came to Limestone County today, as volunteers wrapped up a project that aims to stop the spread of bullying.
A short film, written by a Mexia man, ended with a courtroom drama in a project that exposed those involved to new skills as they worked to send a life-saving message. This courtroom drama played out in Groesbeck and aimed to look as real as possible.
It all started with an idea Freddy Greer Senior had.
"Every time you turn on the TV, there's something about bullying. And I thought, you know, what can I do? So I put my head together and came up with this script," he explained.
The character of the judge is a judge in real life, and the defense attorney character actually has a law degree.
Greer said he wanted his script to get star treatment. So he tracked down Groesbeck native and veteran Hollywood actor, Parrish Randall, who returned home to direct Greer's script.
"Film at its purest, when it works as it should, it inspires dialogue. It makes people think about subject matters they might not otherwise think about," said Randall.
Randall used his box office experience to explain to these volunteers what extras, actors and others on a film set do.
Still, this script -- which calls for the suicide of a main character -- created challenges.
”What was hard about it? It was like, I would never do something like that, and it was kinda hard like,” said Chance Mahan, who plays the young man who gets bullied.
In the end, the bully gets held to account for his misdeeds.
Hector Esqiuavido, who plays the bully, said he learned it's the job of everyone to stop bullying when they see it.
This is exactly the message the film's creator intended -- along with one other lesson.
"The choices that you make, you know, there's consequences," Greer said.
He hopes to get his film into schools and in front of other audiences to stop what he calls an "epidemic."
With his project a "wrap," Greer said he will now start editing. He aims to have his short film finished and ready for showing in about a week, the kind of short-turnaround that could make him the envy of Hollywood.
And if you think this project isn't Hollywood enough, consider this, the writer and director have already started talking about the DVD extras they want to include.