Overwhelming Response, DTV Delay? 

Freeze Frame

Overwhelming Response

The combined casting call held over the weekend for indie films, a theater production, and a theater ensemble drew more than 100 people from three states, says JC Conway, screenwriter and artistic director of Theatre RE/verv/. He's "very, very happy" when a casting call attracts 30 people.

"We're excited, but to be honest, we're a little overwhelmed," Conway says.

Actors from Wilmington, Charlotte, Savannah, Raleigh, and the Upstate traveled to the South of Broadway Theatre on Saturday and Sunday for a five-minute audition for three independent films, a full-length stage production, and a theater troupe set to produce four comedies during the 2009-2010 season. Conway believes the response came from the nature of the films — stories about vampires, werewolves, and zombies. "Everybody wants the opportunity to play the bad guy," Conway says.

So many teenagers have expressed interest that Conway has written parts into his screenplay for Holy City, a horror-noir set in a Charleston inhabited by vampires, werewolves, and such. Two other film projects, Conway says, have asked if they can sit in on the audition in the hopes of finding talent. About a third of the participants are likely to audition for the theater project, Conway says. Already, he's been surprised by the level of talent from actors recently relocated from Chicago and New York City.

DTV Delay?

President Barack Obama wants to delay the conversion from analog to digital TV, because the federal agency in charge of distributing coupons for digital convertors has run out of money. Back in 2005, Congress OK'd the switch to happen on Feb. 17 of this year. But inadequate funding and other technological problems have nearly derailed the effort. No one knows how long the delay might last, but some in Congress oppose the idea, citing that more changes will over-complicate the transition. TV networks are behind the proposal, because they could lose viewers, and ratings, if their TVs go dark.

Rick Lipps, general manager of WCBD, the Charleston area's NBC affiliate, says a lot of resources have gone into preparing for the transition. People who haven't redeemed their $50 coupons for converters are likely not going to redeem them until the switch is made, he says. When their TVs go dark, then they'll make the switch. "It's unsettling that there's been talk of delaying the transition," he says. "Waiting longer really isn't going to make a difference." —John Stoehr

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