Cowley instructor producing/directing film
Ken Spurgeon, director of Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cowley College, is serving as the producer/director of the film “Bloody Dawn: The Lawrence Massacre”, which began filming in early June.
Spurgeon, who teaches history and government, wrote the film along with a colleague. The film tells the story of William Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, KS on August 21, 1863. It was the climax of the Kansas-Missouri border war during the Civil War and was an aberration even to those used to a violent war and time.
On that day in a space of four hours Quantrill and 450 Missouri bushwhackers murdered over 180 unarmed men. Many of those murdered had nothing to do with the simmering blood feud but the city of Lawrence was well known as an abolitionist capital that preached free-state principles and abolition of slavery.
“In the film we talk to historians who explain the reason for the hatred and violence and introduce us both to the motivation of Quantrill and his men and the various individuals in Lawrence at the time,” Spurgeon said. “The film is a docudrama using both the traditional documentary approach and the dramatic approach detailing the events with a realistic approach.”
Cowley employees that are involved in the film are, Leslie Berryhill, Mark Britton, Andrew Tash, Kathy Sikes, Misty Maynard, Clayton Crenshaw, Dave Landin, Uwe Conrad, Shane Hilt, Anne Erhart, Angela Fry, Linda Grossman, and Judy Crenshaw. Cowley students involved are, Nathan Hilt and Anthony Ngicu.
The film will be screened in area theaters later this year including a premiere in Wichita at the Orpheum and then will air on PBS around the end/first of the year.
Several interesting individuals are involved in the film. Among them Joel Fein, who is an Emmy award winning sound man who has worked on films like Back to the Future, Blade Runner and others and who was nominated for an Oscar in 1979 for the Buddy Holly Story for Best Sound.
Fein resides in Wichita and supervises the sound for the film. The narrator of the film is Buck Taylor, who was a regular cast member of the long running television show Gunsmoke as well as featured in several westerns including Tombstone, Gettysburg and others.
The film is paid for in part by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council, Star Lumber Charitable Trust, Old Cowtown Museum, The James and Beverly Mershon Charitable Fund, Craig and Christy Smith Foundation and the Friends of Lone Chimney Films, Inc.
Lone Chimney Films is organized exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. To make a donation or charitable gift, or to learn more about the film company, visit www.lonechimneyfilms.org