A movie premiere party complete with autographs from one of the film’s stars sounds like a setting in New York or Hollywood, but in fact its going to be right here in LaGrange when the award winning film, “Stand Your Ground” premieres at Carmike LaGrange 10 the weekend of Jan. 17-19. Actor Scott McDonald will be attending the event and signing autographs.
Stand Your Ground is based on two books written by the film’s executive producer, Jackie Carpenter. On June 27, 2008, Carpenter’s life changed forever when her son, Jason Veitch, was involved in an accidental shooting and put on trial for five charges, including felony murder.
These events inspired Carpenter to write her books “A Bridge: Between Cell Block A and a Miracle is Psalm 91” and Georgia Justice: Journey to Faith,” which tells the story of her fight for justice and the ten month ordeal her family went through.
The response to the books was something Carpenter did not see coming. Suddenly the media wanted to share her story. She was featured in magazines and newspapers, and on television.
In April 2011, three months after her second book, Triple Horse Studios approached her about turning the books into a movie.
“I never intended to write a book, I did not enjoy writing books, I did that because God told me too,” she said. However, Carpenter said she enjoyed every minute of the filming process.
Carpenter worked one on one with award winning screenwriter Michael McClendon to make the movie as close to the books as possible. Carpenter said the movie is 90 percent accurate to the real story.
Actor Scott McDonald landed the role of lead investigator, Gus Crutcher. McDonald will be attending the LaGrange premiere all three days, interacting with fans, drumming up support for the movie and signing autographs on the red carpet.
McDonald, born and raised in Morrow, Georgia, began acting in 2006 and has since been active in local and student films.
He originally read for the role of an attorney, however McClendon chose McDonald for the part of lead investigator after noticing how intently he listened to other cast-mates. McDonald said that was the trait they were looking for in Gus Crutcher.
The reception for the film and trailer has been “amazing” according to McDonald. He said if the Facebook page is any indication, the premiere should be successful.
“We’d like everyone to come out and enjoy the story,” he said.
This is not the first time LaGrange has been selected as a choice spot for the film industry. Parts of the third film in the “Hunger Games” series was filmed in LaGrange, while several films have been partially filmed in other parts of Troup County.
Laura Jennings, Tourism Director, sees the film’s LaGrange premiere as a benefit.
“Bringing an actor to town is the equivalent to reversing global warming as far as social media is concerned,” she said. “We are delighted to have [McDonald] here.”
Stand Your Ground has been lighting up the film festival circuits nation-wide. The screenplay took first place in the Alaska International Film Festival and second place at the Los Angeles Nu-Wave International Film Festival. It won feature film at the Gideon Film Festival and also won best picture at the Peachtree Village International Film Festival in Atlanta, as well as several other awards.
Stand Your Ground will premiere its limited release January 17, 18, and 19 in 15 different cities throughout the South including LaGrange and Newnan. Stand Your Ground stars Francine Locke, Drew Matthews, Scott McDonald and Cameron Arnett.