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MUD DOG BLUES crew returns to Clarksdale by COOP

Posted on December 12th, 2009
Posted on December 12th, 2009

Mud Dog Blues Promo image

On Saturday December 5th, Producers Jay Carl Nelson and Brett Magdovitz returned to Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale to screen the new trailer for their projected feature film “Mud Dog Blues” to the public.  “Mud Dog” co-star and 12 year-old son of Nelson, Chase Dean Nelson also accompanied the producers to promote the project. 

The film will star GregAlan Williams (“Remember the Titans,” “Boston Legal,” “Baywatch” and “The Sopranos”), country music superstar Billy Dean, and Bigg Vinny the “Mac” from the band Trailer Choir.  As the film’s promotional literature describes it:

This Project is a heartfelt family film about the “Blues” and the “Mississippi Delta”. Eleven year old Jake Bonham is the son of one of the wealthiest families in all of the South, but Jake has caught the blues bug and has no desire to follow in his fathers footsteps. He then decides to run away by sneaking onto the trailer of a washed up blues legend, Jimmy (The Mississippi Mud Dog) Thompson. At first, the Mud Dog is resistant to show Jake the blues and the failures of his past. With an out of control FBI Agent hot on their trail, this unlikely pair set out on a mission to rediscover a fifty year old man’s past and an eleven year old boy’s future. ….Oh ….. and a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top Guitar. The tagline and message for the movie is “It’s Never Too Late to Make a Change”.

Local Clarksdalians might remember seeing the film crew shooting around town in September, finishing with a rousing Tuesday night shoot at Ground Zero.  The 2 minute 51 second trailer was created in order to attract potential investors to help complete the film as an independent feature.  After shopping the trailer around at the American Film Market in Santa Moncia, California last month, the project did indeed attract a great deal of interest, especially from Memphis born-Los Angeles native Matthew Gray.  Gray immediately signed on to help co-produce and accompanied the trio to Ground Zero to help promote the film and soak in the blues-rich atmosphere of Clarksdale. 

At the screening, Jay Nelson announced the news that they plan to begin shooting the full feature film in Clarksdale in April of 2010.  He expressed to the crowd that he would like for local artists to be involved in the process.

“We encourage local musicians, actors and people with creative artistic experience to contact us.  We want you to be a part of this,” said Nelson.  

Bill Luckett, co-owner of Ground Zero and local patron of the arts, was also in attendance.  He played a small role in the trailer and was given credit by Nelson as the man who made “Mud Dog” possible. 

“Bill Luckett read the script and told me ‘I want to help you make this happen’.  I’d like to thank him for letting us use Ground Zero and helping us make this dream come true,” said Nelson. 

Clarksdale natives, Douglas and Draper Mauldin also attended the event to observe their work as guest stars and music performers in the trailer.  The twins, well known in both the Delta and in Hollywood, impressed Nelson during their first chance meeting.

“When they introduced themselves, I knew I had to get these guys involved.  They are two of the most talented people I have ever met,” confessed Nelson.

Nelson and company showed the trailer as well as two original music videos shot during the filming.  All three segments drew enthusiastic applause from the crowd, while the young co-star Chase Dean Nelson stayed busy signing autographs for adoring fans. 

Jay Carl Nelson is a recent veteran of independent film making.  His first project “Cigarette Girl,” directed by Memphis indie filmmaking maverick Mike McCarthy, has received a lot of positive buzz around the worldwide film festival circuit.  Although “Mud Dog” is a more ambitious project, Jay Nelson remains optimistic:  “There’s a lot of interest out there from a lot of different parties.  We are still looking for investors.”

“If you’re willing to sign a blank check, see him afterwards,” Bill Luckett joked to the crowd.

Nelson made no bones about one local artist he would like to cast in “Mud Dog”:  “I wrote the perfect part for Morgan Freeman.  It’s a very small part, but we would love to have him in it.  I’m going to try my best to make that happen.”

Nelson’s son Chase, another burgeoning filmmaker, also plugged his own recent film project.  His YouTube video “Army of Two,” based on a popular videogame is available to view online. 

For Delta locals interested in participating in the production of “Mud Dog Blues” in April (contributing music, performances or otherwise), contact writer/producer Jay Carl Nelson at JayCarl50@gmail.com or at +1(615)545-6999 with your resume or history of related experience.  Also visit http://www.muddogblues.com/ for more info.

The “Mud Dog Blues” trailer…

“Good Ole Me” music video…

“Blues Bug” music video…

Chase Dean Nelson’s “Army of Two” video…

-C

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