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Mount Vernon native stars in new horror film

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By Corey Woolsey

When Mark Nation-Ellis was offered the chance to audition for a locally-shot horror film, he jumped at the chance.
“One of my best friends had been cast in the film earlier,” said Nation-Ellis. “I was told the there was an opening for the father role, so I called the director, did a screen test and landed the role.”
The director was Jed Brian, a 29-year-old graduate of Red Hill High School in Illinois and a resident of Sumner, IL.
Brian graduated from ITT Tech in Newburgh in 2010 with a major in Digital Entertainment.
Brian’s production company is Lawford County Productions, and Unlisted Owner is the company’s first feature length film.
Unlisted Owner is a found footage film, in the style of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity.
“We started production on the film in late 2011,” said Brian  “It basically started out as an idea that I had pitched to my friends and grew from there. I had written scripts in the past but never one that we had the budget to make, so I came up with a story that we could actually make into film. We finished shooting in 2012 and started editing after that.”
The film has been screening extremely well and is ninth on Amazon’s hot new horror release list. It is available to purchase on the Amazon website.
“In 2013 we did three different focus group showings, two at the fort nightly club in Vincennes, IN to a packed house of 110 people each night,” said Brian. “Then we made some changes to the film and showed it for another showing in Evansville at Showplace Cinemas East to a crowd of 99 people on a Sunday night. In 2015, we went to the American Film Market in Los Angeles. We showed the film twice at AFM and had several distribution companies interested in it. The following year we signed a distribution with Tomcat Films/Summerhill Films.”
 A few changes to the film after the Vincennes showing, opened up the role for Nation-Ellis, who plays a father of a family who moves into a house with an evil past.
“Mark played the part perfectly,” said Brian. “He was great to work with.”
Nation-Ellis said the whole process was an incredible experience.
“My favorite part of filming was having the incredibly talented makeup artist Tabitha Bashore slash and tear up my face with make-up,” said Nation-Ellis. “It was so life like it freaked out my daughter when she came to see me.”
He said that Brian was incredible to work with and that seeing himself on the big screen was up there with his daughter’s birth and his wedding in incredible experiences.
“To see this movie is in the top 10 of horror new releases is just icing on the cake,” said Nation-Ellis.
Brian said the film was shot entirely in Sumner, IL and all the actors were from the Midwest.
“We greatly appreciate all the local hometown support that is the backbone behind all of Unlisted Owners success,” said Brian. “Without everyone’s support, we wouldn’t have made it past the writing phase.”