Bryan College grad shooting film in Dayton

Bryan College grad shooting film in Dayton

August 8th, 2011 by Kimberly McMillian in News

Writer and director Bryce McGuire, center, of the Southern-short film, "The Jesus Fish," directs the crowd of extras what to do during Saturday's taping of the film, shot on location at the Spivey Memorial United Methodist Church in Dayton, Tenn. Crew members and Los Angeles-based actor Tomas Pais await further instruction. Photo by Kimberlyl McMillian

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DAYTON, Tenn. -- Jennifer Yawn says she wanted to participate as an "extra" for the Southern short film "The Jesus Fish" to share the experience with her daughter.

Bryan College graduate and film student Bryce McGuire wrote and is directing the film about a con man who persuades church members he's a repentant miracle worker. McGuire said his inspiration for the film came from the 1955 thriller, "The Night of the Hunter."

Yawn was among more than 50 people who showed up to take part in a church scene filmed at Spivey Memorial United Methodist Church on Saturday morning.

She said she saw an advertisement for film extras and knew her daughter would be eager to participate as "an interesting way of ending the summer."

Colton Davie, also a Bryan graduate, is the cinematographer for "The Jesus Fish." Crew members were recruited from Chattanooga, Nashville and Atlanta.

The lead role, con man Timothy West, originally was to be played by Matt O'Leary, who starred in the "Spy Kids" movies. After he canceled, Los Angeles-based actor Tomas Pais stepped into the part.

Before rehearsals began Saturday, Davie said O'Leary had canceled because of a scheduling conflict with another role he was offered.

Pais, between rehearsals, said he was happy to take over the role.

"The idea of being involved in something as ambitious [as McGuire and Davie's film]" was an opportunity to participate in a project full of creativity, he said. "It's a labor of love," he said.