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K9 officers lend their expertise to movie set

Feb. 03, 2013 @ 11:06 PM

RITCHIE COUNTY, W.Va. -- Two area police officers can now add "film industry" to their list of experiences on their resumes.

K9 Officers Timmy Jarrell and Robert Flinn of the Nitro and Hurricane police departments provided their dog-handling expertise on the West Virginia set of "Hollow Creek," described as a character-driven, Stephen King-style thriller that was filmed in Ritchie and Wyoming counties.

"Hollow Creek" is a production of Newfoundland Films, under the director of Guisela Moro, who also acted one of the lead roles in the film.

Moro said in a news release that her inspiration for setting the movie in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia is the Newfoundland pup she purchased in southern West Virginia four years ago.

Newfoundland Films contracted both on-screen and behind-the-scenes personnel from the around the state. Filming began in September at the Log House at Sweet Trees in Harrisville, W.Va., owned by Barbara and Russell Rogerson. Filming wrapped on Jan. 17 at The Filling Station in Cairo, W.Va.

"Many beautiful locations throughout Ritchie and Wyoming Counties have been utilized as settings," according to the news release. "'Hollow Creek' has enjoyed the wonderful support of many West Virginia organizations and residents," including Officers Flinn and Jarrell.

"Beginning with the WV State Film Commission's Pam Haynes and Jamie Cope, the Cairo, Pineville, and Harrisville Volunteer Fire Departments, the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office, the Wyoming County Circuit Clerk's Office, the WV State Parks Office (Twin Falls Resort), and many more.

One of the executive producers, Steve Daron said, "we have created lifelong friendships with many wonderful people in WV; we feel blessed by the experience."

The story centers on best-selling author Blake Blackman who, seeking inspiration for his overdue horror novel, retreats to a remote cabin in the Appalachian Mountains accompanied by his girlfriend. Complications arise when she observes a child abduction, then goes missing herself, and he becomes the prime suspect in the mysterious case.

Playing the lead roles, Daron and Moro collaborate as actors and writers of the film. They have worked together on multiple projects together on stage and in film. Both are Master Actors at BRIFT, The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre, led by the legendary Burt Reynolds, in Jupiter Fla.

"The creative connection we have, whether acting or writing, is something we've grown to appreciate. We're both compulsive workers and dreamers," said Daron, who plays Blackman in the film. Daron and Moro agree that community support is necessary in making a film.

"Our goal is quality film making that features unique shots," said actor-director Moro, who has worked in Telemundo NBC TV and Independent Films. Daron has appeared on "Days of Our Lives," "The Glades," and multiple feature-length films.

Director of Photography Jon Schellenger, of Cinematic Motion Pictures in Port St. Lucie, Fla., said he has enjoyed filming in West Virginia.

"We will be coming back to make another movie," he said.

The film's anticipated release is in the fall of 2013.