MINT HILL, NC – Ready. Set. Action! Mint Hill Resident, Director and Actor Shawn Hawthorne is putting the Town of Mint Hill on the map with a new film Brandon. The movie is being filmed at two locations around Mint Hill, and citizens of the community are acting in the short film. Mint Hill has such amazing talent within its group of citizens, and Shawn Hawthorne is just one great example.
Hawthorne was born in Houston, TX, and moved to Colorado as a child. The family loved the mountains and the Western side of the country, but then his father’s job took them to Raleigh, NC. Shawn and his family fell in love with the state of North Carolina where Shawn spent the majority of his childhood and teen years. In high school, he loved being a part of the Drama Club and the theater life. As Shawn continued his education into college and a master’s program, he found himself falling away from the theater life but hoped at some point in his life that he would be able to pursue his passion again.
During Shawn’s time away at college, he met his wife, who was studying to become a veterinarian. After completing their programs they moved to Georgia but knew that they wanted to get back to North Carolina. As they researched new places to call home, Charlotte kept sticking out to them. Shawn and his wife joined the Mint Hill community about four years ago when his wife was offered a position at Fullwood Animal Hospital.
Through all these years, Shawn never lost touch with his passion for acting, directing, or being on the stage. A Civil War history buff, he is a part of the 13th NC Regiment based out of Mint Hill. Inspired by his love of history, Shawn was offered a role in the film Yankee Escape (filmed at Latta Plantations) by writer Ronald Dolphus and Director Ben Allison of Benco Productions. During this opportunity, Shawn developed connections with CLT Productions that would also land him a principal role in the soon-to-be-released feature film Skateshop The Movie.
One connection would lead to another, and before he knew it ,Shawn was right back in the theater world. His connections in the film industry are what provided him with the resources, locations, and availability to bring his new adventure to life. When he saw the script for Brandon, an emotional drama production, Shawn instantly knew it was his next project. He contacted writer Nick Jolly, and he said, “Go for it.” The next thing he knew, Shawn was bringing his local connections together, and with the support of the community he started his first film.
The film Brandon named after the feature character is about a young teenage boy that is facing life-altering challenges. His parents are going through a divorce when his father, Alex, finds out that he has a terminal illness. The short film goes through the ups and downs of the emotional journey for each family member including, Brandon’s mom, Aura. It highlights the journey of Brandon’s character and how overwhelming life is and how his new “normal” will begin.
Brandon is being filmed after hours at Fullwood Animal Hospital. Each night, the staff of Fullwood helps Shawn and his team turn one of their exam rooms into a human hospital room. Their support and help have made the film possible for Shawn to really bring the text to life. Other parts of the film will be shot at Pour 64, a location Shawn selected because of the diversity that it offered and the social scenes within the movie. They have been wonderful to work with, and they look forward to seeing their location on the “big screen.”
The film’s talent is also local to Mint Hill. Brandon is played by Eryk Nicholason, who is from North Carolina, and the rest of the cast is from right here in Mint Hill.
Eryk Nicholason, Brandon
Shawn Hawthorne, Alex
Andrea Weeks, Aura, Bradon’s mom, ex-wife
Leslie Price, Doctor
Seth Vance, Director of Photography
Izzi Gorden, Audio, Female role, jogger
Valerie Cooke, Bartender
Todd Gorden, Izzy’s Father, key grip
Once filming is finished, Shawn plans to enter the film into many film fests to get exposure. After the cycle of the film festivals has been completed, the film will be released to YouTube for all to see. Shawn along with his team looks forward to sharing the short film with some local scenes soon.