By Lindsay Dory
Mayberry in the Midwest Tribute Artist Show
Photo by Faith Toole
Mayberry in the Midwest organizer Christa Miller is credited with helping to get Danville noticed for the project.
“Christa’s enthusiasm and support for our vision was the deciding factor in our choice to film in Danville, said Indiana-based producer Cort Howell, who lives in Carmel and is the son of Hoke Howell, who played Dud Wash on two episodes of “The Andy GriffithShow.”
He and his brother, Stark Howell, along with other children of actors from “The Andy Griffith Show” are behind the film.
“Mayberry Man is meant to pay tribute to The Andy Griffith Show and capture the essence of what fans love about the show. We feel that Danville offers a slice of Americana consistent with the look and feel of Mayberry,” said Cort Howell. “Since moving to Indiana, I’ve been looking for ways to bring more film production to the area. I think Mayberry Man will provide excellent opportunities for local crew and actors.”
In “Mayberry Man,” an arrogant movie star is busted for speeding in a small town and is sentenced by a local judge to spend time at a week-long festival celebrating “The Andy Griffith Show.” Immersed in the modern-day version of Mayberry, the star discovers the true meaning of family and friendship.
Clint Howard (Ron Howard’s younger brother who played Leon), Ronnie Schell, and Keith Thibodeaux (13 episodes as Johnny Paul Jason, also played little Ricky on “I Love Lucy”) are already a few names on board to appear in the film.
News of the filming is spreading on social media to Danville residents who seem thrilled with the idea of putting their town festival on the movie map.
“It sounds like a super fun idea!” said Brad Born, owner of Mayberry Cafe in Danville, who chose Danville for his cafe because he always wanted to live in a town “like Mayberry.”
“Danville represents all the best Mayberry values. Looking forward to seeing the finished film,” said Born.
Producer Gregory Schell (son of Ronnie Schell) says the film is not a Hollywood funded project but will be a one-of-a-kind fan experience, including chances to appear in the movie. Details are available at http://www.mayberryman.com
The movie will also be filmed in Los Angeles and Mount Airy, North Carolina that also holds an annual Mayberry festival.