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‘Doughboy’ Team Casts New Film

January 22, 2012
By LINDA COMINS , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

The creative team behind "Doughboy," the movie that was filmed in Wheeling last year, is casting a new feature film, "Random Acts," to be shot in Wheeling in March.

The movie is the second for Flyover Films and Route 40 Films. Kristin Seibert, J.W. Myers, Ty DeMartino and Hartland Entertainment are listed as the producers of the new movie. Myers also is the director of the new production, based on a screenplay written by DeMartino.

Seibert said the holiday film is expected to be released in December. The producers describe "Random Acts" as "an uplifting drama for the holidays that focuses on one family's struggle to get their life back and the lessons they learn through simple acts of kindness."

Lead roles to be cast are those of a land developer in his late 40s; his wife, a woman in her 40s who is "a sensible soccer mom"; their son, age 16-18; their daughter, age 14-16; a former pastor, age 60-75, and an "arrogant" man in his early 30s.

According to casting information, there also are roles for two men, ages 40-50; four women, age 40; two girls, ages 16-18; two boys, ages 16-19; three men in the range of age 60-80; a man of 30 and two women, age 50.

Over the next few weeks, the film team plans to audition members of the Screen Actors Guild as well as non-union actors.

Are you as besotted with the PBS Masterpiece Classic mini-series, "Downton Abbey," as my friends and I are?

Well, big-spending fans of the period drama have a chance to discover the "real" Downton Abbey, with a private day trip to Highclere Castle, the filming location for the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning series.

Last summer, my best friend and an English friend visited the grounds of Highclere Castle briefly, but security guards prevented them from touring the castle because filming for "Downton Abbey" was under way at the property.

Now, however, an organization called NoteWorthy Events has created a special package for fans to "step into the life of the real Earl and Countess of Carnarvon," owners of Highclere Castle. According to a press release, this package - designed for a maximum of four "devotees" of the series - costs 7,900 pounds sterling. At the current exchange rate, that translates into a cost of $12,218 in U.S. dollars.

For that amount, NoteWorthy Events officials said, the guests will be "greeted personally by the eighth Earl and Countess of Carnarvon," take a tour of the State Rooms with either the earl or the countess, enjoy a private lunch in the State Dining Room and, after lunch, be transported in one of the earl's private off-road vehicles to Beacon Hill to see the remains of an Iron Age fort and the burial spot of the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, "who funded and assisted Howard Carter's investigations, culminating in the discovery of Tutankhamen's fabulous tomb in 1922."

Officials said the visit to Highclere Castle will end with the serving of high tea, "at which guests have an opportunity to gain an intimate and informal insight into the working life of the countess."

Meanwhile, for those seeking a less costly way to enjoy the pleasures of "Downton Abbey," officials of Kanon Organic Vodka have concocted an Edwardian-inspired cocktail, dubbed "Keep Calm and Carry On," for fans of the PBS series.

The drink is made with vodka, Earl Grey tea, lemon juice, simple syrup, triple sec (an orange-flavored liqueur), club soda and bitters.

Alison Goggins, public relations representative for the vodka distiller, predicted that "this cocktail will have you making Maggie Smith-like quips." The incomparable Smith, of course, portrays the imperious Violet, dowager countess of Grantham, on "Downton Abbey."

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at:

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