‘Alexander Jamieson’ readies for take-off
Brad Batchelor’s independent, historical film — “Alexander Jamieson” — is beginning to take flight after nearly seven years of production.
Some of the scenes shot in the film might look strikingly familiar to local audiences, as Batchelor, a Boone-based chiropractor, chose downtowns in the High Country for their charm and setting.
He also used some local actors to bring the grassroots production home.
In 2010, Batchelor was spotted with an antique car in a seedy alleyway in downtown West Jefferson, as his cast brought a pivotal moment in the movie to life.
Additional scenes include on-location shots in Costa Rica, Malaysia and across the southeastern United States, Batchelor said.
The plot contains elements of history, action and intense drama, while focusing on the adventures of two ex-pilots from the World War I era who become assassins of drug lords from East Asia to Costa Rica. They retire in the 1930s and must deal with the bigotry of the time, according to Batchelor and vimeo.com.
“The first third of the movie takes place in World War I,” Batchelor said. “In the second part of the movie, the pilots are taken by the government, and they wanted some people to go out and assassinate drug lords around the world to get rid of the opium trade. The last third of the movie takes place in the North Carolina mountains.”
A trailer for the film features authentic biplanes and triplanes soaring at death-defying altitudes, while performing aerial maneuvers. The trailer then cuts away to scenes of grizzled veterans and intense confrontations. Exotic locations and dense forests allude to a dynamic plot that follows the main characters on a climatic voyage throughout the years preceding World War II.
Like any good action/adventure flick, the trailer features numerous gun battles and shootouts.
Production of the film didn’t come without some challenges, including reshooting of scenes and re-recording audio.
“As an editor, I’m responsible for everything, and there are a lot of challenges with that,” Batchelor said. “This is a low-budget film that looks big-budget. When I wrote the screenplay, I wrote around to things and people I had access to, like a couple of WWI biplanes. My wife is from Malaysia, and I have a house in Costa Rica. I had places to film for free.”
Fans of Batchelor’s previous work will recognize the director in the film in full flight attire.
Batchelor is the CEO of Flying Scotsman Productions, an independent film company located in Boone, according to imbd.com and previous interviews. He is involved in all areas of filmmaking, including camera, lighting, editing, producing and stunts.
In addition to working behind the camera, Batchelor has appeared in numerous blockbuster films, including “The Patriot,” “Gravedancers,” 2006’s “Miami Vice” and “Beyond the Façade.”
As for the release of the “Alexander Jamieson,” Batchelor said plans are changing by the month and is toying with the idea of splitting the feature into two separate installments.