"Savage County" brings homicidal hillbillies to beautiful downtown Memphis

Alums Harris and Wolske inflict killer rednecks on the birthplace of the King


Posted on Jul 15th, 2009 in Press

Alumni David Harris MFA ’08, writer-director, and Justin Wolske MFA ’08, producer, are whipping up a batch of grits ‘n’ gore in their new online horror production for MTV. “It’s a web series,” Harris says, “fifteen episodes that, viewed end-to-end, equal a feature. So this is basically a first feature for me, and I’m pretty excited.”

Bruins involved in Harris’s “Savage County” include producer Corey Wish ’05, co-writer (with Harris) Daniel Alvarado, cinematographer Paul de Lumens and editor Gabriel Noguez ’08.

According to the website GoMemphis:

“the 15-webisode program will employ many of the local crew members who worked on Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer’s similarly Web-based “$5 Cover” [co-produced by Harris], which made its debut online and on MTV in April after being shot there last summer."

"A horror series without the “reality drama” component of “$5 Cover” (in which local musicians played fictionalized versions of themselves), “Savage County” takes place over a single weekend in a small Texas town where a group of high school kids “unleash the ire of a killer hillbilly clan” after a ring-and-run doorbell prank turns deadly, Harris said."

"Shooting is scheduled to begin Aug. 4 and conclude Aug. 23, on a tight production budget of $250,000 (about $50,000 less than “$5 Cover”), with Memphis-area locations filling in for Texas."

"The pilot for “Savage County” was shot in California, and Harris originally intended to shoot the series in Texas. But his “$5 Cover” experience convinced him to return to Memphis."

"'The thing for me was seeing the amount of talent that Craig mobilized,' said Harris, a Texas native who now lives in West Hollywood. 'The community seems like it is underutilized. You’ve got a town with a bunch of talent and fantastic locations.'"

"'Unlike ‘$5 Cover,’ we’ve got the production demands of dismembering people,' Harris said."

Photo of David Harris © 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co., Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group