Barnesville native to direct movie

A BARNESVILLE native, who has been interested in making movies since he was 7, plans to film a movie in Barnesville Feb. 27 through March 3, but financial help is needed.

Gage Hanlon, son of Ted and Kelley Hanlon, will be director of the movie which is his final Senior Film before his graduation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Starring in the film will be James Madio from “Band of Brothers” and “Basketball Diaries.” Hanlon said, “It was interesting getting him (Madio) scheduled in to play the lead since he’s been busy, just getting off his recent film directed by Clint Eastwood.”

Hanlon, whose paternal grandparents are Sue Hanlon and the late Lodge Hanlon and maternal grandmother is Nancy (Mrs. Steve) Wilson, has had some film experience and is well aware that the cost of making films can be very expensive so help is being sought from the general public.

And rewards also are planned for varied donations.

He pointed out that “just transportation of cast, crew and equipment, renting locations and food can drive up a budget quickly. After a lot of planning with my producers Kayla Adams and Ohio native Nick Reichard, we decided to online crowdsourcing to fund the movie. What this means is we are looking to the open public to help fund the movie. For every bit you donate, you receive rewards in return. The public makes the film possible. I need Barnesville to make the film possible.”

The script for the film, “The Pinewood Man,” was written by Ryan Dyson, a Columbus resident and Hanlon’s friend.

Hanlon explained it’s about a man who finds his wife has left him for someone else while he was on Scout camping trip with their son.

“He goes a little crazy and uses his son’s upcoming Pinewood Derby Race to prove to his wife and son that he’s a winner,” said Hanlon. “It’s a dark and funny story, but I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to shoot it until I naturally started thinking about Barnesville. I thought Barnesville would be a great backdrop for the story.”

To raise funds for the film, the website, “,” will be used, and the film project will be added to that website around mid-January. When the film information is set up on that website, it can be reached by checking and searching for “The Pinewood Man” or “Gage Hanlon.”

The kickstarter website also is used to fund other projects such as new inventions and artwork.

Explaining donors would be part of the team, they can check the site after set-up whenever they wish to see the progress toward the goal.

“Without the public, ‘The Pinewood Man’ will never get made,” he said. “We’re looking to Barnesville, movie fans, James Madio’s fans and anybody to help make the film a reality. The more money you pledge, the greater your reward.”

For example, $5 will let the donor see the finished product online when it’s completed, $25 will get the donor’s name in the credits, behind the scenes, a digital download of the film as well as a digital picture of the cast and crew. There are 10 reward tiers from $1 to $1,000.

“For whatever tier you donate, you receive those rewards (and rewards of previous tiers) upon completion of the movie,” Hanlon noted. “Here’s the ‘kicker.’ If we don’t reach our goal of $8,500, no one gets charged, they don’t get the rewards, and we don’t get to make the movie.”

Hanlon said it made sense to select Barnesville as the site for the movie. He started his career in his parents’ back yard so he figured he might as well film his Senior Film around there, also.

Knowing at age 7 that he wanted to make movies, Hanlon said his biggest problem then was talking his parents into letting him borrow their Panasonic VHS camcorder. Sometimes he would sneak it out of the house, and his sisters and neighbors were his first actors with the back yard as his first set.

He commented as he grew up, he thinks what kept him making films were the people around him, such as teachers, his family and friends. Mentioned, in particular, were Mitch Bartels, his middle school teacher, and Luke Johnson, art teacher and football coach when Hanlon was at Barnesville High.

Hanlon remembers the first time he received money for a film was when his entry into the Belmont County Art Show won “Best of Show,” and he received $75. “I couldn’t believe I got paid for something I was doing for fun,” he added.

That film went on to win in the Ohio Governor’s Art Show where it was seen by a woman from the Savannah College of Art and Design. As a result, he received a scholarship to that college in Georgia.

While in college, he has worked on a dozen films, many of which he produced and a couple that he directed. He was a production assistant on a feature film called CBGB starring Alan Rickman (from Harry Potter and “Die Hard” fame).

He said these were learning experiences for the final Senior Film.

“This is just another step in my career, and it’s a big one,” Hanlon added. “I believe in this film and the people working on it. I also believe in Barnesville. Bringing those two ideas together will give us a wonderful film that everyone can enjoy.”

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