‘Cast the heart’
Carl Cochrane, a producer, cinematographer and editor on the show and the owner of Mad Scientist Productions out of Atlanta, said their dedicated and passionate cast and crew is really what has brought to life the vision of the show.
Cochrane carefully selected each of the cast members, keeping in mind that they wanted people on the team who would truly pay homage to the residents of Oscarville and bring the story to life in a way that resonated with audiences.
“I wanted to cast the heart,” he said. “I wanted to cast people who when you tell them about the story, they go research themselves or they have such a love to share it, that it comes through the characters.”
The cast includes many metro Atlanta locals, including Drew Giles, Kenisha Johnson, Stevie Baggs, Kay Nicole, Bill Watts and Misty Ellington.
This first season also features Sean Harris and his family who play the fictional Harris family in the show. He stars alongside his wife and two kids.
Mackey said this is the family’s first time ever performing for television, but “they are amazing.” He said Sean captures the story and character perfectly, using heart and passion for sharing a part of local history.
“He has captified all of my wishes,” Mackey said. “And his son, his wife and daughter, they’ve rehearsed together time after time.”
While the rest of the crew has nearly a decade of experience in cinematography and production, Mackey said this is also his first foray into television.
After writing the script for the show, he decided to take on the roles of executive producer and co-director, beginning a large project outside of his more than 15-year career working with children.
He was able to make it on television for the first time in February earlier this year, taking his business partner with him to the set of the television series “Shark Tank” to show off their invention, the Yono Clip.
Outside of that, Mackey had never written a script or taken part in a production. He began the project entirely out of a passion for the story and people.
And he used the opportunity to try to open a space for lesser-known local talent to take part in a large project.
“If you can get the team together, it’s unlimited hearts you can inspire,” Mackey said. “I want to put people to work. I want to give people chances.”
Most of all, Mackey and the rest of the crew agree that they want to ensure the story of those who lived in Oscarville is heard and educate others on local history they may have forgotten. Together, they hope to pay respect to the history while paving the way for a better future in Forsyth and Hall counties.
“For us, it was always Oscarville,” Mackey said. “You have to start there.”
Stay tuned for the second part of this series to learn more about why the cast took on this project and what really happened in Oscarville all those years ago.
For more information, visit www.oscarvilletheseries.com.