Writers work to step into Hollywood spotlight

Published 12:43 pm Thursday, January 15, 2009

How did two young men from Alabama capture the attention of Hollywood and find their script, The Baytown Disco, presented to the likes of Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) and Lawrence Bender (Good Will Hunting)?

Barry Battles, vice-president of BearHood Productions LLC, said creative passion and perhaps a smidgen of good fortune along the way, began the journey that will take him and writing partner Griffin Hood to the West Coast next month to confer with studios and producers.

The pair has produced three films and spent this past October and November writing from a sofa in the back of Big Mountain Coffee, each equipped with their usual — a chai latte, a hot chocolate and a shared laptop.

“I have always loved films,” avers Battles, “and some that have influenced me are Life As a House starring Kevin Kline as a dying man desperate to atone for wasted years and The Empire Strikes Back.”

“One of the first movies I can remember seeing was The Karate Kid. I watch this movie when I’m sad, sick, happy, bored. I watch this film at least once a month. It’s the perfect tale of friendship as a lost boy finds a father figure,” Battles said.

While working as a freelance film editor, Battles was able to bring a clip of the duo’s work to the attention of actor and Clay County native, Clayne Crawford. Crawford has had a variety of television roles since 2001, as well as the movie, A Walk to Remember. He has been instrumental in opening doors for BearHood Productions.

Both Battles and Hood say theirs is a true collaboration, united by their similar goals. They have found, perhaps, a touch of magic playing off one another and each cites in the other the necessary willingness to take an idea to the next level and to “always be a student of that process.”

Their first short film Mr. Extion was produced as a resume film on a budget of $300. Most of that amount, they note, was spent for beards and hats! This light comedy toured the 2007 film festival circuit showing in about 40 cities and winning multiple accolades.

Both Battles and Hood, a theater major and graduate of University of Montevallo, say that nothing is more engrossing and satisfying than creating new worlds and the characters that inhabit them.

“These are worlds unknown before we type them into existence,” Battles said.

Keep up-to-date with the careers of this promising duo at: http://bearhoodproductions.com/