New film puts spotlight on Shelby County

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, July 16, 2013

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Managing Editor

I’ve followed the careers of Jon and Andy Erwin with interest over the years.

I heard about them soon after joining the staff of Shelby County Newspapers in 2011. I got a chance to interview them within a year, when they were promoting “October Baby,” their first feature-length film.

The drama, about a young woman who survived after her mother tried to abort her, debuted at No. 8 nationally. It had opened with a limited release, but thanks to strong ticket sales, it played at close to 400 screens across the country.

Now, the Erwins are back with a new film, “Mom’s Night Out.” The family friendly comedy features a young couple who switch roles for the night — the husband watches the kids, while the wife goes out for a night with friends.

I didn’t get a chance to interview the brother myself this time around. Instead, I assigned a freelancer to write a story about the film for the September issue of Shelby Living.

The story has already been submitted, and after reading it, I can easily say I think the Erwins have another hit movie on their hands.

Andy Erwin said he and his brother, who both are fathers of young children, found the story “really relatable and hysterical.”

I was also excited to see they chose to film parts of the movie in Alabama again. They even filmed in Shelby County, and movie goers may be able to recognize Pelham’s First Baptist Church, the Pelham Police Department and Oak Mountain Lanes in the movie.

“The city of Pelham jumped on board in a big way,” Andy said. “We’re delighted to see the city represented well in this film.”

The movie features some pretty big names — Patricia Heaton of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Sarah Drew of “Grey’s Anatomy” and Sean Astin of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

It’s clear the Erwins are talented filmmakers and wonderful representatives for our area. I’m glad they’ve found success in the filmmaking industry — and that they’re bringing Shelby County and Alabama along for the ride.

Katie McDowell is the managing editor for Shelby County Newspapers. She can be reached at