Maybe Erwin was jealous. It happens.
Discord often arises when one brother has a dream and the other doesn’t. And Marty’s dream was to meet Taylor Swift.
Silly? Maybe. Marty is Erwin’s little brother, the catalyst for Travis Hedges Williams’ 2011 feature film, “The Taylor Swift Stalker.” This was the story of an obsessed Marty’s quest. It also was the story of a pessimistic Erwin’s cynicism.
When your only dream is to meet a country music superstar, you don’t have much ambition, right? That was Erwin’s attitude, anyway.
But then, sometimes cynicism is a cover for jealousy, then later regret. And Erwin suffers from lots of regret in Williams’ sequel, “The Taylor Swift Stalker Returns,” which premiers Friday, Aug. 30, on Theatre Baton Rouge’s Main Stage. The film is Hedges Pictures’ 20th.
Tickets are $5 at the door, and all proceeds benefit the theater’s Young Actors program.
“I started out at Theatre Baton Rouge, and the Young Actors program is a great for the children starting out in that program,” Williams says. “We’re happy to be able to help.”
By day, Williams is the archivist in the LSU Law School Library. In is off time, he makes films through his independent company, Hedges Films. Most of his films have been shot in and around the Baton Rouge area, but the “Taylor Swift Stalker” stories are different.
In the first, main character Marty wants to go to Nashville to meet the singer. His brother Erwin thinks the idea foolish but gives in to a road trip.
The result is a journey exploring sibling relationships and pursuit of dreams. Really, how far would you go to realize a dream?
Well, Marty and Erwin drove from Baton Rouge to pursue this one in the story directed by Williams. He co-wrote it with Kurt Hauschhild and Jeffrey Johnson. He also starred in the role of Marty alongside Hauschild as Erwin.
Williams and Hauschild return in “The Return of the Taylor Swift Stalker.” Johnson plays film documentarian D.C. Mains. The cast also includes local actors Yvette Bourgeois, Coleen Leslie, Meridith Madison, Tyler Grezaffi, Jeff Runnels, Joes Howes and Kenny Mayfield.
In part two, Erwin begins feeling badly about how he treated his younger brother in the previous film.
“He’s having trouble with his job and marriage in his own life, and he wants to set things right with Marty,” Williams said. “So, he’s the one who suggests the trip this time. Taylor Swift is in Austin, and he talks Marty into driving there.”
Whereas the first story was filmed on a nine-hour trip to Nashville, the sequel was filmed in two weekends, the first in Baton Rouge and the second in Austin, Texas.
“This was more of a destination film,” Williams says. “And we didn’t want to fall into the trap of pursuing Taylor Swift. That’s not what the first film was really about, and it isn’t what this one is really about. That’s why it’s Erwin’s idea this time around.”
Williams and Hauschild have been working on the sequel since the first film’s November 2011 hometown debut at Theatre Baton Rouge. “The Taylor Swift Stalker” has since been playing on YouTube.com, where it has won fans not only nationwide but from throughout the world.
“We’re attracted the attention of Taylor Swift fans everywhere,” Williams said. “We weren’t sure if they would like it at first, because of the story line having one character who isn’t a fan. But they really like it. We’ve received a lot of favorable reviews.”
But those who tune into YouTube to watch “The Taylor Swift Stalker Returns” will see only a trailer. You also can catch it at hedgespicures.com. To see the movie, you’ll have to maker your own road trip to Theatre Baton Rouge, where Williams promises lots of comedy mixed in with his drama, along with an original soundtrack by local musicians Denton Hatcher and Luke Ash.
Both films tell the story in a mockumentary style, which cuts down production costs by allowing hand-held camera work. Both films’ content also would rate PG-13.
Now, just because it’s premiering at Theatre Baton Rouge doesn’t mean Williams won’t post “The Return of the Taylor Swift Stalker” online. But think about it. How many times is there a world movie premiere in Baton Rouge?
Especially one starring people you may know?
“And you’ll be getting two movies for $5,” Williams sayas.
Most movie theaters don’t offer that kind of deal.
So there’s only one question to be asked: will the brothers meet Taylor Swift?
“Oh, come on, I can’t tell you that,” Williams says. “You’ll have come to the premiere to find out.”
Not even a hint?
“No,” Williams says.