‘Believe in Me’ still months from theaters

A crew member holds a clapboard on the set of “Believe in Me.” Filming wrapped up in November, but producers don’t expect a final product until summer. (File photo)

By Leslie Radford: CNJ Staff writer

Making a feature-length film is a long, drawn-out process.
That’s according to independent film producer John Manulis, who aided in the production of the movie “Believe in Me” in Clovis last year, and is now working in post-production to get the film perfected.

“The process itself might be a bit of mystery for those in the town (Clovis),” Manulis said. “You start out at race-course speed to get it filmed and then you have to step back over the next six months and take the process to a different pace called post-production. We’re in that stage now.”

Area resident Candice Tyler was a featured extra in one scene of the movie. She said movie makers explained the production process to the extras and told them it would take some time to put together.

“I’m interested to see what comes of it, though,” she said. “I actually have a friend who is friends with someone in the movie and they told me the movie was going to festival in Canada, I think in May, and after that, (‘Believe in Me’) would be up for market.”

Manulis said there will be a test preview in New York this evening where movie makers hope to receive input on the film from a focus group selected for that purpose.

“This is where we get a group of people to watch what we have of the movie so far,” he said. “We get their blind reactions, which gives us direction to changes we still have to make.”

Officials with the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce said the independent film group will be doing some fill-in shots possibly at the end of the month in Albuquerque.

The film is expected to be completed “later this summer,” according to the producer.

Manulis said once the film is perfected after the test preview, the film will be sold to a distributor for marketing. He said it takes four to six months of planning, advertising and screenings and about nine months to a year to put the movie in theaters.

While he said he has no control over the distribution of the film, he would expect the buyer would at least release the film or have a screening of some sort in Clovis. In November, co-producer Cotty Chubb said he would like to return to Clovis with the film “in hand” for a screening.

“Believe in Me” is a period sports movie set in the mid-1960s based on the true story of a coaches dream to take a girls basketball team at a rural high school to the top.