Friday, March 9, 2012

Living in the Brownfield - Independent Film

Guest Blog by Clint Newton - Spade of Reason

OK, so while not exactly the star, our office was used as a set for a soon to premier film by local author Jim Cowan. The Spade of Reason was filmed in the early months of 2011 on location in Bethlehem at the NCC South-side Campus, Spillman Farmer's office and other places around the Valley.

The film which is set in Texas in 1996 is a SciFi drama about a  brilliant but quirky young man Cax6ton who looks for messages in randomness, scattered tiles from a Scrabble game, simple computer programs he writes with a friend, white noise from an old TV, and finally government IT systems he subverts for his own ends. His journey takes him from dark places that none of us want to go but in some part have been.

In the early days of 2011 we began an intensive Social Marketing campaign to help position ourselves in a fiercely competitive market. As part of that effort I reluctantly embraced Facebook and was soon up to my digits in social media. While catching up with old friends rediscovered through this new to me media, I stumbled onto a link to ACE, the Arts Community of Easton, where I learned of a local author Jim Cowan's efforts to bring his screenplay to life using local independent talent. The screenplay intrigued me and so I thought maybe I could do something to lend a hand. As a set builder and designer I was looking for new challenges. While reading through the location log I was struck with an overwhelming almost eerie sense of familiarity. The scene he described was only feet from my desk at work. I sent him a brief email to tell him that I had his location and a few weeks later we had a shooting schedule. In addition to hosting, I was also able to find some vintage props to set the scene.
The location uses the brownfield as a backdrop stand-in for the Cold War era Pantex nuclear bom disposal facility. Unlike the intentionally desolate and bleary backdrop of the story, our brownfield is becoming greener and more vibrant every day. Learn more about The Spade of reason at
. Look for the Spade of reason to show at this summers South-Side Film Festival. Come out and see what Living in the Brownfield is like in person and on the silver screen!

And talking about stars: One of the local actors in the film, Reese Sebastian Diaz, is currently playing Michael Banks in Mary Poppins on Broadway.  After acting as the young Caxton in The Spade of Reason Reese went on to play roles in the national tour of Beauty and the Beast, produced by Disney, and then the national tour of Mary Poppins, also a Disney production, before continuing with his role on Broadway this spring,,

Your are invited to attend the premier for the Spade of Reason on March 24th 6-9PM at  Lipken Theater, Northampton Community College.   A trailer for the film and more details about the film and the premier are at

Please RSVP to:  by March 14th if you want to see the film, meet the cast and crew, and get some free food.

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