DOUGLAS, Ga. — Moviegoers will soon have a chance to view the first commercial work of Sidney Bryant, a 22-year-old Coffee County filmmaker.
“Even Eye,” a 72-minute feature film, is Bryant’s first real work since graduating The Art Institute of Atlanta in 2011. Bryant said his passion for video and film appeared in middle school and even earlier. As a teen he found inspiration — both spiritually and technically — in the Sherwood picture “Facing the Giants.”
“Even Eye” addresses expectations that Christian leaders be above human shortcomings in the failing of a pastor (Melvin Harper) who, after the murder of his wife (Latrina Cope), is encouraged to take the life of another.
The film was written, edited and directed by Bryant on a budget of about $5,000. The actors and crew volunteered their services to help boost Bryant’s career.
“Everyone is a friend of the family or a friend of someone else’s family,” he said.
In his course of study, Bryant has produced several previous films and accumulated considerable stocks of equipment, including lights and cameras. With an austere approach to filming, the tiny budget got him through. And while he said financial success is important, it’s the message of the film Bryant is most concerned about.
“The biggest thing I’d like to see is that lives be changed by the picture,” he said.
As an emerging film artist, Bryant is not without a Plan B in the event his resources run dry. He has sufficient knowledge and experience to make it in the TV field in production, reporting or running a TV station.
“I’ll continue my career in filmmaking even if I have to work at Burger King,” Bryant said.
Renee Pope, a special education teacher at Worth County High School, doubles as producer for Bryant’s film company, SBF Studios. The two met in 2002 at their church, Glorious Deliverance Family Worship Center, in Fitzgerald, when Bryant was just 13 and working in the video department.
“I’m head of the church video department,” Pope said, “and Sidney taught me all I know.”
Bryant’s and Pope’s sons are about the same age, Pope said. The two families visited often and just “fell in love with each other.” When it was time to make a movie, Bryant asked Pope to produce it. Bryant says he’s more than happy with the results.
“He’s really taught me a lot,” she said. “I love teaching, but if the film does well I’d love to continue to do film production. We’re all just hoping and praying that everyone comes out to see the movie.”
“Even Eye” is scheduled for theatrical release at noon on Aug. 18, at Rockin’ 8 Cinemas in Douglas. For more information, call Sidney Bryant Films at (912) 383-0024 or visit www.eveneyethemovie.com.