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Movie makers seeking free talent

Movie makers seeking free talent

It’s not unprecedented.

A Charles Citian had a prominent role in an independent movie released just last year. Anastasia Parsons even has a page on the IMDb website for her role as Jennifer in “Rise of the Sea Urchins.”

Charles City clothing has also made it into the movies. Katie Parker wore a Charles City Comets T-shirt in the 2011 horror movie “Absentia.” They found it at a Goodwill store in California where the movie was filmed. Parker’s character, by the way, appears to have found her demise in a tunnel, which should be a lesson to us all: If you are going to wear a Comets T-shirt stay away from California tunnels or, just stay in Charles City, which has no tunnels.

Anyway, my reflection is inspired by an email that arrived at the Press. An outfit called Prescribed Films is holding open casting calls for volunteer actors for a movie it intends to shoot this summer, mostly around Ottumwa. To clarify, it wants actors for free to make their movie “Gnats!” It plans to screen the horror flick at film festivals.

Here is the premise: “Plain Falls, Iowa, is known for its abundant corn harvest, level-headed farmers, and family recreation areas, but this summer tents will be replaced with body bags as this sleepy Midwestern town is besieged by a deadly menace. A group of somewhat motivated people must find a way to first try to see this menace, and then reluctantly draw straws on who will step up to deal with bloodthirsty rampaging GNATS!”

I’ve swallowed a few gnats in my time, so sure I can understand the insects’ frustration, especially if they are enhanced by radiation or a strange mix of chemicals, lightning and squirrel tail fur.

The flick needs at 11 women in their late teens to early 20s. Three roles will be for women in their 30s, and 40s. It needs at least 22 men. The age range is from the late teens to 50s.

Spoiler: More men will definitely be eaten or annoyed to death by swarms of gnats. We are more prone to heart attacks and high-blood pressure. Depends how realistic the movie-makers want to be.

I’m tempted to try to join the cast, but I think I’ll wait for a sequel that I suggest be filmed here in Charles City, where we also have an abundant corn harvest, level-headed farmers and annual mayfly swarms. It can be called “Gnats! vs. Mayflies!: The dawn of widow screen repair.”

If you’re really interested in the “Gnats!’ casting calls, check out the website

Stop reading if you don’t want to hear about soccer

This is the final week of the Charles City YMCA soccer season. I want to thank all the kids who played on the teams I coached this year. Thanks for your efforts and I hope you found joy in the game and will find ways to continue to play. One such way are the pickup games at the College Grounds every Sunday at 4 p.m. It’s for all ages and is simply a grassroots event not sponsored by anybody.

Thank you parents for bringing out the kids, bringing snacks and drinks and being patient. While winning is nice, my goal in coaching in this program is to get the kids as much playing time as possible in as many positions as possible and hopefully teaching them a bit about soccer (which is really all I know, a bit).

For you eighth-graders, Mason City High School will take you on their teams next spring. Or, you and your family can let the Charles City school district know you want and will join a program at CCHS. Proving there is a strong enough interest is a key step to establishing Comet soccer.

Have a fun summer!

Contact Managing Editor Chris Baldus at

Chris Baldus

Managing Editor