MT. OLIVE — Gardendale resident Carey Rayburn has high hopes for his television pilot project, “Meridian.”
When Rayburn and his friends, Kenneth Hurd and Maria Montz, heard of the New York Television Festival’s Independent Pilot Competition to create one’s own television pilot, they immediately began working on their own project.
The group then came up with the idea for “Meridian,” a story which, according to Rayburn, has a “Hotel California” type of twist.
The story follows five people who are on the road. Through their travels, they come across the town of Meridian. Soon they find themselves stuck in this town where there is no escaping.
Due to political disagreements, the town is separated into two groups, those who live in the main city and those who live in the tent city away from the main residents.
Rayburn, who also directed the pilot, filmed these tent city scenes in the Mt. Olive area. He says that as many as 40 different local actors participated in the film. Some of the local stars include the lead actor for the pilot, Sanford Hardy, as well as other local supporting actors such as Kevin Wayne (with appearances in Sundance’s “Rectify”) and Sonny Backus.
As production goes on, Rayburn still has his hopes high for the pilot and for the festival’s competition. He is hoping for many more actors to join the project, but has still kept a local connection to the program with many of the actors and sets that have been used to date.
The winner of the competition will be announced this fall at the New York Television Festival.