New documentary being filmed on Fort Loudoun
By Melissa Kinton | Daily Times Correspondent
VONORE — Cameras are not an unusual sight at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore. Tourists often have them swinging from their necks or perched on tripods. Lately, a different kind of camera has been spotted in and around the fort — a movie camera.
Throughout the past few months, film crews with Nolichucky Pictures have been busy shooting footage for a new documentary about the 250-year-old fort. When complete, the Knoxville-based movie makers will actually produce two high-definition videos — a short one for the fort to play in its museum and a longer one that visitors will be able to purchase from the gift shop.
The longer video, or a portion of it, is expected to air on Public Broadcast Service (PBS) television sometime in 2013.
About 10 years ago, Nolichucky Director Buck Kahler worked on the 15-minute documentary that currently airs in the fort’s museum. He was part of the Air National Guard film crew that made that movie for free as its service project. According to Kahler, the new movie will feature more interviews of period experts from across the world and a much larger cast.
“This one will be a little more detailed,” he said.
The new movie will also feature the latest technology, high definition and an editing process called “compositing.” Nolichucky Pictures Producer Chris Albrecht said compositing allowed them to make six Cherokee re-enactors look like 100.
“As they say in Hollywood, ‘suspend your disbelief,’” he laughed.
Dozens of re-enactors nationwide have volunteered their time and wardrobes to make the project possible. Nolichucky is donating its time and equipment, working on evenings and weekends.
Eric Hughey, park manager, said thanks to all the generosity, the Fort Loudoun Association, the state park’s friends’ group, is expected to spend an estimated $4,000 on a project that might have cost $250,000.
“This is a real boon to us,” he said.
While Hughey has not been in the film, he has managed logistics for the project and said making a movie is not as glamorous as people think.
“It’s a lot of work,” he said.
But there are no regrets for those involved. Long hours, large casts and crews, and sometimes-questionable weather have all been worth it.
“Shooting out here is always a dream,” said Albrecht. “The people are more than accommodating.”
Kahler agreed. He reiterated the financial savings generated by all the people with a love of history.
“It’s an amazing, all-volunteer accomplishment,” he said.
Nolichucky Pictures will film one more time at Fort Loudoun’s October garrison. Re-enactors will be in the fort in period costume from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 6 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7.
For more information about Fort Loudoun, visit the web site, http://www.fortloudoun.com