Though hailing from the same hometown, filmmakers
Jack Walker and Dalton Harpe had never actually met
until about a year and a half ago.
After crossing paths at the Macon Film Festival, a
conversation later ensued that eventually led to a
project filmed right here in Laurens County.
A week later we talked about the festival and maybe
working together, said Walker, whose short film, Tin
Man, showed at the festival and subsequently won
A recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art &
Design, Harpe said he always had the goal in the back
of his mind to shoot a film in his hometown.
I wrote it for my home, said the 2001 Trinity grad,
whose production company, StandOff Studios, is based
The script he crafted, 12 Fluid Ounces, received
funding and shooting actually began in Dexter last
August. The cast and crew shot for 13 days or so before
returning last month. The bulk of the production is now
We got the funding and we started shooting, said
The films plot, which focuses on a young girl and her
family who under extreme circumstances are forced to
reside in a cabin cellar, requires a number of specific
details both Walker and Harpe said they had to keep in
mind when pinpointing locations.
It was very specific what we were looking for, Walker
Their search took them to area farmhouses which later
led them to plantation homes, which eventually led to
an old house on Hwy 338 near Dexter. Other farmland
and different settings from throughout Laurens County
are also used in the film.
We needed to show a family that had money, but
didnt have it anymore, said Walker of the familys
transition through the course of the film.
Both he and Harpe agreed that if they could somehow
make the house work, it would be the perfect locale.
I said, thats it, its perfect, said Harpe of the location
they found along 338.
Even before he started actually writing the script, Harpe
said the movies climax all came together in his head.
The reason I started writing it was for the climax, he
Inspired by that vision, he hammered out the first draft
of the script in less than three days.
I sat down at my computer with the climax in my head,
he said, working for 52 hours on the rough draft, writing
backwards and ironing out scenes as he went along as
he so often does with scripts.
He said he typically spends between 50 and 60 hours
on a draft. A new feature, as yet untitled, came together
initially in just under 50 hours, he said.
Its a very tedious process. I usually just hammer it out
to get it done.
Harpe said his main focus in his drafts is pulling
together the general premise and key lines the rest
he said, comes together through improvisation.
The multifaceted plot for 12 Fluid Ounces focuses on
a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a rural
town following the death of the oldest son. Walker plays
a federal agent in the film knee-deep in his own
He has tragedies in his life that derail him, he said of
his character, professionally, spiritually and
After a demotion lands him on the outs of his
successful career in counterrorism, he is sent on an
undercover mission to investigate the family.
Harpe considers the movies entire cast richly talented.
L.A.-based actor Vincent Duvall, who has appeared in
major television dramas including CBS CSI and
Foxs 24 plays the father. SCAD student Cara Walters
plays daughter, 17-year-old Elizabeth. Richmond
Arquette, brother of actors Patricia, Rosanna and David,
rounds out the supporting roles.
Harpe held no casting calls for the supporting parts
he simply went with his gut instinct to round out the
I saw people and saw their actions, he said of his
method for filling the roles, an approach he admits has
not always panned out. This time, it worked out well.
He said when he originally cast Walker for the agents
role, he had not necessarily anticipated him helping out
in other aspects of the project, but it has certainly been
a benefit. He said he typically works with the same
small team of five or six people who handle sound, art
direction and other key aspects.
With him coming along as a producer, said Harpe of
Walker, it was just great teamwork.
He said he has learned a lot on the project through the
two of them working together.
We just learned each other, he said of their work
together on the film. We knew what each other would
say before we said it.
Harpe said filming the movie in his home has been a
quite different experience.
It was strange coming back home and trying to keep it
under wraps, he said of the filming, which they have
tried to keep quiet from the general public.
Filming is expected to conclude sometime in March,
and the movie is slated to show at a festival sometime
next year. Harpe said he also finished writing a new
feature a few months ago.
He said Dublin and Laurens County have given them a
lot of support. Local restaurants and businesses have
been generous in their support.
It was just great, great teamwork.