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Reaching for the Brass Ring


Photo by Eugenia Jones McCreary County native and resident Michele Wilson Jones is pictured in front of the historic coal mining tipple at Blue Heron with playwright, Diana Amsterdam from New York. The two visited various locations throughout the county when Amsterdam recently visited the county to discuss a possible movie production based loosely on the life of Wilson Jones’ brother, Mark, and his family.

McCreary County resident Michele Wilson-Jones is simply “blown away” about the screenplay, “Three-Minute Man,” written by New York writer Diana Amsterdam.  The screenplay is based loosely on the lives of Wilson-Jones and her family as they, throughout the years, have dealt with Michele’s brother Mark’s cerebral palsy which occurred as a result of a three minute delay during his birth.

“The story is based on a rural prosecutor who has the responsibility of her handicapped brother after the death of their father,” Wilson-Jones laughed.  “The brother wants acceptance, and the sister wants a life!”

The screenplay came about after Mark, who currently resides in Florida, visited his sister in McCreary County at Christmastime.  After a wonderful visit, Michele felt an overwhelming desire to see her brother get recognition for who he is.

“Mark’s life deserves to be validated,” Wilson-Jones commented.  “Those three minutes of his brain being deprived of oxygen during birth altered his life.  Mark has overcome so much.””

After their Christmas visit, the brother and sister traveled to New York to meet with playwright, Diana Amsterdam.  After three days of interviewing and taking copious notes, Amsterdam liked the story line behind Mark’s lifelong effort to be fully independent.  In fact, Amsterdam liked it so much she recently traveled to Stearns for a visit.

“Michele was open to writing a book, screenplay, or anything else to validate her brother’s accomplishments,” Amsterdam commented.  “A screenplay has the best chance of success so we went with that.  After coming here to Stearns and visiting, I find the area is so filmic. It’s beautiful here.”

According to Amsterdam, a budget in excess of three million dollars is expected, and Hollywood producers are already on board.  The script is being sent out selectively with some interest already shown by one Hollywood actor.  Amsterdam and Wilson-Jones are also eager to involve local talent as much as possible.  Local filming is anticipated.

Additionally, Amsterdam and Wilson-Jones are busy working on the establishment of a locally based production company, Brass Ring Pictures LLC, with coordination between Kentucky and New York.  McCreary County’s Karen Hughes, known for her work with local performing arts, has been designated as Director of Development for Brass Ring Pictures.

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