Locals showcase Alabama through films

Published 11:17 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Last week, while attending the South Shelby County Chamber of Commerce luncheon, I heard Andy Erwin speak about his experience directing the film “October Baby.”

Erwin made the film with his brother, Jon. The two are sons of former state Sen. Hank Erwin, and, as such, part of a well-known family around these parts.

However, their fame is growing beyond Shelby County. “October Baby,” the story of a young woman who finds out she was adopted after surviving an abortion attempt, debuted at No. 8 nationally — on the same weekend smash hit film “The Hunger Games” came out — even though the Erwin brothers had to release the film themselves, since attempts to find a distributor failed after people wouldn’t touch the subject matter.

Erwin said he was initially devastated by the rejections, but he and his brother believed they had to go on.

“It was a story about forgiveness that happened to be about an abortion survivor,” he said. “We felt like this was a story we were passionate about telling.”

While Erwin spoke, I could sense how important “October Baby” was to him. He said when Jon presented him with the script, he was “scared to death” of the risk involved in making such a movie, but eventually, the two saw it was time to share the story.

Erwin also shared his love for Shelby County. He said he grew up in Montevallo, loves living here and doesn’t ever want to leave, even though it would seem his career path would take him to the bigger cities of Los Angeles or New York.

I also appreciated what he said about how he and his brother try to use their work to showcase Alabama.

“Everyone in state was so supportive” of “October Baby,” he said. “I think our state sometimes doesn’t get a fair shake in the way it’s represented nationally in the media.”

It was refreshing to hear from a local boy who’s found some fame but still wants to stay a local boy. I plan to pick up “October Baby” — after all, we could all use a little forgiveness.

Amy Jones is the associate editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at amy.jones@shelbycountyreporter.com.