Davenport native Mark Stephens has lived in Los Angeles, California for over 20 years, but when it came time to film his pet project he could think of no better place to do so than home. This September Mark and his writing/producing partner Jillian Boyd will be filming a TV pilot/webseries in Davenport, Winter Haven, and Lakeland.
“Welcome to Our Mansion” is the story of Paul Jones, a 35-year-old, New York City behavior therapist who is forced to return to the craziness of his Southern, country roots in Central Florida to be the executor of his recently deceased father’s will, while living with his dysfunctional family on their mobile home “estate.”
So far, this project has cast Central Florida natives for five of the main character roles with more casting announcements on the way. As well as employing numerous local talent for the production, they are also in talks with a local film crew about heading up cinematography, lighting, and sound. Mark is utilizing the locale, the talent, and the characters inspired by his beloved Polk County.
Though the film shoot is a definite “Go,” the producers have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to help offset expenses. They’d like to move from a “thin thread budget to a fat shoelace budget.” In four short weeks the campaign has raised almost $15,000 of the $30,000 they had hoped for. They have secured the support of one local business and hope to add a few more. These businesses will get product placement in the pilot shoot. To donate go to: igg.me/at/mansion
Mark and Jillian’s ultimate goal is to market this pilot to major studios as well as Netflix and Amazon. That aside, the pilot will be edited into mini-episodes that will air as a free webseries on the internet. “The dream is to film an entire season of WELCOME TO OUR MANSION here in Polk County,” says Mark, “But the first step is securing all of the funds for post production and marketing. With Polk County’s help, this dream could happen!”
Collectively, this producing team of Mark and Jillian has worked both in front of and behind the camera with major Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers. They are eager to bring the excitement of Hollywood to Polk County with WELCOME TO OUR MANSION.
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