Fort Oglethorpe native Jude S. Walko is trading in his small-town roots for a life among the stars.
Walko is the writer and director of the film "The Incantation," starring Dean Cain. The film was recently screened at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, held February 21 through March 2 in Los Angeles, where it was up for a People's Choice Award in the Feature Film category.
After two decades spent honing his skills in the industry, Walko decided it was time to prove himself as a director and writer. It took three years and a maxed out credit card, but Walko was finally able to see his dream realized on the big screen.
"I was that small-town Fort O. guy with a big dream," Walko said. "The reality is, though, that I followed my dreams and pursued them relentlessly. I put in two decades learning my craft, making contacts and getting to a point where people could trust in me with their money and their ideas."
Walko met Cain, best known for the role of Superman in the TV series "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," while working on a film called "Circle of Pain" in Austin, Texas. A decade later Walko was sure Cain had forgotten about him, but to his surprise and elation Cain cleared his schedule to work on "The Incantation."
The film is a paranormal thriller shot in the south of France. Lucy Bellerose, a young American played by Sam Valentine, goes to France to visit her ancestor's ominous castle and realizes her family is harboring dark secrets about the past. Cain plays the role of Abel Baddon, a character unlike his usual "pretty-boy" roles, according to Walko's press statement.
Walko has had many opportunities to travel the world for his career, and is currently living in Bangkok, Thailand, with his wife and children. Though he is much more worldly now, he still remembers his roots, Walko said.
"Someday, if I'm lucky enough to get an Oscar, I'll still be that small-town Georgia boy who spent summers riding bikes, shooting off bottle rockets, playing 'Centipede' at the arcade, going to Lake Winnie, and dodging Ol' Green Eyes at the Battlefield," Walko said.
"The Incantation" is scheduled to be released this summer. To see the trailer visit youtube/_EARmKIxjxQ.
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