Two of Massachusetts most prolific writers are featured on the cover of this issue as they bring their joint film project FRANCONIA NOTCH into production. Best-selling author Casey Sherman (FINEST HOURS, PATRIOTS DAY) and writer/director/producer John Stimpson have teamed up for this venture that they have adapted from Sherman’s book Bad Blood, which looks at an actual horrific crime that occurred in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. After re-investigating the situation, Casey’s summation was different than what the New Hampshire courts decreed.
Amongst Casey Sherman’s many books are Animal (also slated to be made into a motion picture), The Ice Bucket Challenge (ditto), Boston Strong (PATRIOTS DAY) 12, a very Tom Brady tale and Above and Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America’s Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission.
From Hartley’s article we learn “Wellesley, MA native John Stimpson began his creative career while an undergraduate at Harvard, where he was President of the venerable and legendary Hasty Pudding Theatricals. He then headed off to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being an actor. He found some work, but decided to move to the other side of the camera, and pursue directing.
Interestingly enough, he realized his Hollywood dream by leaving Hollywood, and coming back home to Massachusetts. He writes, directs, edits and produces motion pictures for television and theatrical release. He’s known for GHOST LIGHT, CHRISTMAS KISS, THE LEGEND OF LUCY KEYES and THE WRONG CAR.
FRANCONIA NOTCH is in development for filming later this year in Massachusetts. The team is seeking financial and production partners.
Our cover photo is by Carolyn Ross of Carolyn Ross Photography. Our cover design is by IMAGINE Design Editor Monique Walton.
On Sunday, March 3 at 2pm, Imagine Magazine will present a Live Reading performance of the upcoming Fort Point Media/H9 Films thriller Franconia Notch before a live audience at the 5-star Mandarin Oriental, Boston (Ballroom).
The script written by Casey Sherman (THE FINEST HOURS, PATRIOTS DAY) and John Stimpson (GHOST LIGHT, THE LEGEND OF LUCY KEYES) was inspired by Sherman’s 2009 #1 true crime best-seller Bad Blood: Freedom and Death in the White Mountains. Sherman, Stimpson and Dave Wedge will co-produce the film with production expected to begin in Massachusetts in late 2019 under their Fort Point Media & H9 Film banners. Many of New England’s most versatile actors have been selected by Slate Casting to read the primary roles in what is being described as a immersive experience for the audience.
About Bad Blood: Freedom & Death in the White Mountains:
the shadow of the fallen Old Man of the Mountain, on a lonely stretch
of mountain road, two men lay dead. A spasm of violence that took only a
few minutes to play out leaves a community divided and searching for
the author of newly released Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over
Tragedy, about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Bad Blood is the
riveting account of the long-standing feud between Franconia, New
Hampshire, police officer Bruce McKay, 48, and Liko Kenney, 24. In May
2007, Kenney shot and killed Officer McKay, following a dramatic chase
that began with a routine traffic stop. Kenney, cousin of ski legend
Bode Miller, was then shot and killed by a shadowy passerby.
immediately, the tragic incident revealed deep tensions within this
otherwise quiet community in the White Mountains with charges that
Kenney was a hell-raiser and mentally unstable and counter-charges that
Officer McKay was a rogue cop who dispensed justice as a way to settle
personal scores. Striving to get at the truth of the story, the author
uncovers a complicated mix of personalities and motivations. Local and
statewide interests clash while regional and national media― and even
YouTube viewers― supply ready stereotypes to fit their agendas. Amid
larger questions of the meaning of individual freedom we are,
ultimately, helpless witnesses to an inevitable clash of characters.
About Fort Point Media
Fort Point Media is owned by New York Times Bestselling Authors Casey Sherman & Dave Wedge. Casey Sherman is the author of ten books including two New York Times Bestsellers The Finest Hours & 12: The InsideStory of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption (co-authored by Dave Wedge). The Finest Hours
was adapted into a major motion picture for and distributed by Walt
Disney Studios Motion Pictures starring Chris Pine, Oscar winner Casey
Affleck and Ben Foster in 2016. Sherman and Wedge also wrote the 2015
acclaimed true crime novel Boston Strong, which inspired the 2016 CBS Films feature Patriots Day starring Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon and John Goodman.
About H9 Films
H9 Films founder John Stimpson is one of the most prolific filmmakers working in the Boston area today. Stimpson’s interest in film and television began at Harvard where he was President of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. He spent five years as a professional actor in Los Angeles before returning to the East Coast and refocusing his talent on the other side of the lens.
As a result, Stimpson approaches directing from an actor’s perspective, truly believing that motion pictures are the ultimate collaborative creative medium. His 15 years of experience as an editor inform, color, and streamline his shot choices and storytelling making his set as innovative and efficient as possible. For Stimpson the filmmaking process is about capturing the magic – on the page, within the performance and ultimately on the screen – that moves an audience. There is nothing more powerful than human emotion.
John is a member of the Mass Production Coalition and on the board of FILMA (Film it Locally in MA), actively promoting and lobbying for the Film and Television Industry in Massachusetts and Commonwealth’s Film Tax Incentive which has been vital to the recent surge of production activity.