William David Glenn IV walks around the backyard of a house on South Ashland Avenue. Dressed casually in shorts and a white “Jaws” T-shirt, he grabs a water bottle from the cooler, takes a seat in the lower level of the garage and puts on a set of headphones.
“Quiet on set!” an assistant director yells.
“Action!” Glenn yells, eyes glued to a monitor.
Glenn, a University of Kentucky graduate and a screenwriting graduate student from Asbury University, is the director of “Ghost in the Family,” an independent comedy currently filming in Lexington. “Ghost in the Family” was selected as the winner of the screenplay competition hosted last year by Creative Lexington, a company that hosts projects that tell the stories of creative people in Lexington.
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Glenn, a Lexington native, said directing movies is “what I’ve always wanted to do.”
He didn’t realize the extent of Lexington’s involvement in the movie industry until he started working on “Ghost in the Family.”
“We have a lot of talented folks here,” he said. “I didn’t realize how much of an independent scene we have in Lexington.”
Glenn has worked on several short films and TV shows. Last year, he was a director of the pilot episode of “Remnant 13,” a zombie show that was filmed in Bowling Green.
It was just a funny script. It made you feel good.
Bryan Mullins, founder of Creative Lexington
Bryan Mullins, founder of Creative Lexington and a producer on the movie, said “Ghost in the Family” was selected from 400 entries in the screenplay competition. Mullins said Glenn’s script stuck out from the rest because it was a comedy-drama and was family-friendly.
“It’s kind of a redemption tale about a ghost helping out a family,” first assistant director Ian LaBarge said.
The movie stars Jacob Keohane as Tom, who becomes a ghost after falling over the second-story bannister in his house. When Tom enters the afterlife, he discovers that he will have to stay in his house as a ghost until his “ghost trial,” where it will be determined whether he will go to heaven or hell. Until then, Tom needs to redeem himself and earn good marks to go to heaven.
When a new family moves into his house, Tom discovers that their daughter, Sara Beth (played by Lexington native Katie Hubbard) can see and talk to him because of a previous near-death experience. Tom realizes that he can help the family work through some of their problems, and he begins to form a relationship with them. While he tries to help them believe in ghosts, hijinks ensue. There is a priest who is really a con man, and there’s the invention of “ghost-seeing goggles.”
“It was just a funny script,” Mullins said. “It made you feel good.”
Glenn said he’d had the idea for the film for a while, and he’s excited to see it come to life.
“Ghost in the Family,” which has a $100,000 budget, will shoot through Tuesday and then go into post-production, which should be completed in December. Mullins says the plan is to show it at several film festivals next year, and then they will look at “all avenues” of distribution, including television and theaters.
Most of the cast and crew are from Kentucky, and the movie is based in Kentucky. That was important in the Creative Lexington competition.
Jessica York, another Lexington native, plays Karen, the stay-at-home mom of the family. York said the experience has been “amazing,” but it was difficult to act while wearing the large “ghost goggles.”
“And I have to wear them most of the time,” she said.
York said she heard about the screenplay competition last year, and she knew she wanted to be involved.
“It’s been an amazing cast and crew to get to know,” she said.
It was blaringly clear to me, ... if I didn’t do this, 10 years from now I would regret that I never did it.
Bryan Mullins, founder of Creative Lexington
Mullins said this is the first movie he’s worked on. He has a degree in engineering, but he has always loved movies. He decided to take a “baby step” by hosting the screenplay competition, with no intent to produce the winning screenplay. But then he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to produce “Ghost in the Family.”
“It was blaringly clear to me, ... if I didn’t do this, 10 years from now, I would regret that I never did it.”.
In the competition, “Ghost in the Family” emerged as the clear frontrunner. The script met all the criteria, and Glenn was easy to work with, Mullins said.
“We could tell it was going to be a great project,” he said. “We could tell it was going to be a great movie.”
Monica Kast: 859-231-1320, @monicakastwku