Wiley College Movie Draws Longview Extras - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Wiley College Movie Draws Longview Extras

A film being shot in East Texas is drawing inspiration from a true story.  The movie is currently underway depicting the triumph of an East Texas debate team from the 1930's.  The film is giving some East Texans the chance to try their hand at acting.

On any 2nd weekend of any month at Longview Trade Days, you can usually see Don Mackay and Robbie McCormack selling crafts.  They may be, however, looking to make a career change.  That's because both have been cast as extras in a movie being shot in Marshall and Shreveport.

"My part is I'm going to be a farmer," said Mackay.  "I've just been having a blast.  I really can't tell the difference sometimes when I'm on the set and not on the set.  The movie called The Great Debaters is a true account of the 1935 Wiley College Debate Team, that went on to win a national title over powerhouse Harvard.  The movie stars Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington, who also directs the film.  Mackay and McCormack are playing the roles of whites who were in opposition to the team in a historically racially divided south.

"I'm going to be a protester against the black people, but it's just a picture," says McCormack.

"Yes, it is a very difficult role to play," said Mackay.  "I'm glad to be part of it."  Mackay is a screen actors guild member and hopes that more movies will being shot in East Texas.

"What you see here is an actual seed set that will mushroom in the television and motion picture industry," says Mackay.  Scenes for The Great Debaters are being shot in Marshall and Shreveport.  No release date has yet been set for the film.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com



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