Produced by Chel Tassey, Rob Tassey, Kim Stryker, Christy Lee Taylor and Barbara S. Lee
Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre’s Master Acting Class and Children from BRIFT to Film Movie

The Beacon
Thursday, July 2, 2009

Link to Original Article

JUPITER -- Local actors and filmmakers are joining forces this summer to produce a family and environmentally friendly movie using Jupiter, Juno Beach and North Palm Beach locations. The film "Turkles" is about a group of kids who join forces at Camp Loggerhead to find out who is stealing turtle eggs.

Frank Eberling, a veteran educator and Palm Beach County filmmaker for over 35 years, and owner of Palm Beach Film Group, Inc. since 1981, calls the film "an environmental, mystery-comedy for 8-10 year olds and their parents." Eberling told a large group gathered for a press conference at the Burt Reynolds Museum and Institute on June18 that the film is being produced through the generosity of BRIFT, the auspices of The Motion Picture and Television Department of Palm Beach Community College (where Eberling has taught filmmaking classes for 10 years) and Loggerhead Marinelife Center. PBCC student interns will earn college credit while working on the set.

The lead role of Jenn will be played by 12-year-old Haley Sicard of Stuart, and David, her male counterpart, will be played by 13-year old Noah Centineo, of Boynton Beach. Centineo had a lead role in the Hollywood film, "Golden Retriever." As camp counselors, Jenn and David head up a group of younger kids who resolve to solve the mystery of the stolen eggs. The kids encounter a group of adult knuckleheads similar to "the gang that couldn’t shoot straight," and begin to unravel the mystery. In the end, the kids capture the poachers, the poachers go to jail and the kids win an award for a documentary they are making.

"Turkles" is a story ripped from today’s headlines and will portray the problems some are causing in violating the laws of nature - interfering with loggerhead turtle nesting, which is environmentally important in the animals natural transition through life. A large cast and crew will work on a deferred basis, sharing equity ownership in the film.

"The advantages of producing the film are that it incorporates filmmaking techniques in a classroom laboratory learning environment," Eberling said. "Student filmmakers will learn from veteran filmmakers." The movie will be shot on a micro-budget utilizing state-of-the-art HD equipment. Also, the producers will utilize vital, web-based marketing techniques ala "Blair Witch Project," "Fireproof" and other successful low-budget films. Further, three highprofile community organizations are cooperating to support the film.

Principle photography will begin July 13, and Eberling hopes to finish the shooting by the time students return to school in late August. A "G"-like rating will be sought for the film. In preparation for the shoot, Eberling has been teaching a twelve-week seminar at the BRIFT, "Real-to-Reel in Real-Time," students from this class will round out the crew. If successful, Eberling and his team hope to produce three films of similar scope per year, utilizing local actors and indigenous stores set in Palm Beach County.

"Turkles" will be shot on location at Carlin Park and near the Jetty in Jupiter, at Juno Beach and at an undisclosed location on the Intracoastal Waterway at North Palm Beach. The North Palm Beach location will serve as a backup for shooting night scenes. Because of the need for lighting at night, the crew will not be able to shoot in turtle nesting areas because light deters the nesting practice. "However," Eberling said, "the location is perfect for the night shooting because the water there resembles the ocean and there is a splendid beach."

"Turkles" will have a limited theatrical release in October, and DVDs will be available in time for holiday gifts. It will also be available online. Its story is heartwarming and filled with Florida’s natural beauty, both above and below the water. Some surprising off-beat humor and some really neat characters portray some events that are partially true and occurred in the Jupiter area.

The title of the movie is clever. It came from one of the kids. A near mute, because of a severe speech impediment, he has only one word of dialogue in the entire movie. When he tries to say "Turtles," it comes out, "Turkles."