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JimNasium
05-10-2007, 08:10 AM
For those of you familiar with the urban legend....

http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070509/COLUMNISTS17/705090309/1007/RSS

Published May 9, 2007


SARAH OVERSTREET

Movie on albinism has town buzzing

Plans for a new movie entitled "The Albino Farm" prompts mother to protest, but a local student is looking forward to the show.

Springfield native Sean McEwen is gearing up for an end-of-May start date for filming his new low-budget horror movie, "Albino Farm," which takes its title from the Springfield urban legend.

The legend takes its name from the supposed sightings or incidents involving people with albinism those who inherited a condition giving them little or no pigment in their eyes, skin or hair. The folk tale has survived in several versions, but all revolve around a large farm north of Springfield where a person or persons with albinism may have done scary things, were hidden away in an isolated colony there or had roles in other myths.

The late Springfield historian and attorney John K. Hulston said the closest he could come to any truth to the story was that perhaps one time a person with albinism was a caretaker at the farm.

Whatever the story McEwen, who now lives in Southern California, writes based on the legend, tall tale or myth Chantel Alberhasky never wants to see the movie, never wants to see its name on a marquee. Alberhasky, a Springfield attorney whose son has albinism, is waging a campaign against the movie. She is joined by other people with albinism and their families to a.) try to teach everyone associated with the movie that the word "albino" is an outdated and offensive term; and b.) combat what they see as a stereotype in the arts where people with albinism have consistently been portrayed as freaks, scary characters, subterranean creatures, space aliens or others who didn't even come out in daylight.

"If the urban legend had been about people of color or people with another medical disorder such as down syndrome, would (the state film commission) still support the making of the film?" Alberhasky asks. "Would a film entitled 'Evil Spastic,' based upon an urban legend with people with cerebral palsy, be acceptable? ... People with albinism especially children have to endure the term 'albino' being hurled at them as a form of taunt and as a slur. Children with albinism are often teased, tormented, stared at and ostracized by their peers (and sometimes by adults) simply because of the way they look."

Jason Lillard, however, can't wait to see the movie. "It's about time," says the Springfield university student and salesperson, who doesn't bother with the more politically correct term to describe himself "I'm an albino." He says the version of the legend he heard was when he was volunteering at the Missouri School for the Blind in St. Louis:

"We heard there were two sons who were albinos and the other kids in town were making fun of the boys, so the boys fought back and whupped on them real good," Lillard remembers. "Since the other kids didn't want to admit why they were coming home all beat up, they told their parents that the boys had supernatural powers and were demon-possessed."

Lillard can list horror flicks where characters were perhaps albinos and were also horror-inspiring figures, among them "The Matrix-Reloaded," "The DaVinci Code," "Cold Mountain" and "The Time Machine." But they don't bother him. "If you're going to take that kind of attitude, in any movie where a villain has dark hair or a goatee, does that make everyone with dark hair or a goatee a villain?"

Jerry Jones, director of the Missouri Film Commission and recipient of several angry e-mails from those unhappy with the idea of an "Albino Farm" film, is trying to wrap his mind around a controversy he says he didn't even know existed.

"We've mentioned this project numerous times to numerous people," Jones says. "It's been mentioned several times in our e-mail newsletters that go to over 2,300 recipients, including every state representative and senator. No one had remotely hinted that there was a problem with the film or its title. Not until we received e-mails just last week from three people ... who had albinism or were related to someone with albinism, did I realize that this title could very well be construed to reflect insensitivity and a lack of respect."

Alberhasky at first contacted McEwen on his Web site but received no response. McEwen has not returned phone calls from the News-Leader, but the producer of the low-budget film, Jason Stewart, says he is responding in McEwen's behalf.

Stewart, calling from his Santa Monica, Calif., home, says that the reason the filmmakers wanted to use the title "The Albino Farm" is to draw attention to the movie not to exploit people with albinism. "The only reference we had is from the legend. The legend is all over the place: Everyone knows the albino farm. Everyone in the Springfield area hears the name and gets excited about it."

While not wanting to give away the plot, Stewart says, "I just want to assure you there's no one who's an albino who's portrayed negatively in the film."

The use of the legend's name is similar to what filmmakers did in making 1999's "The Blair Witch Project," which is said to be based on the legends of accused witches persecuted in New England, Stewart says. The title was something people could identify with as perhaps associated with the actual folk tale handed down from a real event somewhere in history. Whatever the filmmakers' plan, it worked. The movie became the most profitable film of all time in terms of the ratio of production cost to box office sales, grossing over $248 million worldwide.

Regardless of protests against "Albino Farm," the film is on schedule to be shot in Warrensburg, Springfield and in Fantastic Caverns here. The Fantastic Caverns shoot is tentatively slated to be in mid- or late-June, Stewart says.

One issue the Missouri Film Commission has to consider is censorship, Jones says. " ... In our job of recruiting motion picture and television production to the state, we are required to make judgments on many things that might be considered objectionable by some, not so by others. We do not take our job lightly, and we are not perfect."

"I understand (Jones') concern for free speech," Alberhasky responds. "McEwen, of course, is free to make any film he would like. However, we also have the right to speak out against this film and ask our state government and our local businesses to reconsider their support of this ill-conceived project. We hope that the media's stereotype of 'evil albinos' will go the way side of 'black face,' which was once so prevalent in the entertainment industry."

And Lillard? He's ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille.

"Tell (the producers) I'll be more than happy to do a cameo for them," Lillard says.

Alas, Stewart says, there's no role for any character such as that. But Lillard would still like the film to succeed.

"I'll be happy to debate the other side if they'd like me to." Lillard says being an albino has never caused him any problems with others. And he's not into political correctness about his inherited condition. "What's next, the 'pigment-challenged?' The 'keratin-impaired?'"

Fire Me Boy!
05-10-2007, 08:20 AM
I understand they're going to spend 2-4 weeks in Warrensburg, then about 1 week in Springfield.

NewChief
05-10-2007, 08:25 AM
I figure this is as good a place as any to plug this site again:
http://undergroundozarks.com/

JimNasium
05-10-2007, 08:28 AM
I understand they're going to spend 2-4 weeks in Warrensburg, then about 1 week in Springfield.
I've been to the albino farm as a teen and hope they can create something fun and scary with this film.

Fish
05-10-2007, 08:32 AM
People with albinism prefer the new PC term "Ultra Cracka"

MOhillbilly
05-10-2007, 08:42 AM
People with albinism prefer the new PC term "Ultra Cracka"

hahaha

DMAC
05-10-2007, 08:48 AM
I've been to the albino farm as a teen and hope they can create something fun and scary with this film.I had a 85 Pontiac Sunbird when I was 16. It idoled very low.

I took a girl on a date out there one late night, and when we crossed the bridge I took my foot off the gas so it would die. Of course that is part of the legend. So when it died I started freaking out to scare her...yelling "My God! Look they are everywhere!!"

She freaked and never talked to me again (thanks to my crying laughter and pointing finger).

chagrin
05-10-2007, 08:58 AM
So what's the deal, it's a movie about albino's - what are they doing? I have never heard of this urband legend, nor can I find anything about what specifically the movie is about, in that article.



We have an albino black gal working here, she's perfectly normal, also there was an albino gal in my elementary school - what's the deal?

DMAC
05-10-2007, 09:00 AM
So what's the deal, it's a movie about albino's - what are they doing?Running after you...oooooo OOOOOOO!

JimNasium
05-10-2007, 09:03 AM
So what's the deal, it's a movie about albino's - what are they doing? I have never heard of this urband legend, nor can I find anything about what specifically the movie is about, in that article.



We have an albino black gal working here, she's perfectly normal, also there was an albino gal in my elementary school - what's the deal?
http://www.undergroundozarks.com/springlawnnl1.html

NewChief
05-10-2007, 09:05 AM
http://www.undergroundozarks.com/springlawnnl1.html

And here's their main entry with all their collection of Albino Farm info:
http://www.undergroundozarks.com/springlawn.html

DMAC
05-10-2007, 09:05 AM
what's the deal?The legend I heard was that there was a mean old farmer, who, had a (pack?, pride?), I don't know, group of albinos for slaves.

They revolted and went on a murderous rampage. Even still today, when young teens drive across the bridge, the albinos somehow kill the engine in your car and then proceed to tear you apart with their long albino fingernails.

chagrin
05-10-2007, 09:11 AM
The legend I heard was that there was a mean old farmer, who, had a (pack?, pride?), I don't know, group of albinos for slaves.

They revolted and went on a murderous rampage. Even still today, when young teens drive across the bridge, the albinos somehow kill the engine in your car and then proceed to tear you apart with their long albino fingernails.



LMAO
Their long Albino Fingernails, haaha


The two Albino gals i mentioned, both have eyesight problems, so I doubt Albinos could run after you and catch you, unless they somehow mind meld their Albino Brains and telekenetically go after you, creeepy

chagrin
05-10-2007, 09:11 AM
http://www.undergroundozarks.com/springlawnnl1.html

Thank you sir :)