Brandon Carroll returns as ‘Jack Wren’

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jack Wren ran away from the battle and found the war.

That’s the theme of the short film, “Scarecrow,” which was one of the featured films at the Troy Film Festival at TroyFest in April.

A private showing of “Scarecrow” was held for the Civil War Forum at the Troy Public Library Monday night and Brandon Carroll, the actor who plays Jack Wren, was the guest speaker.

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Carroll, of Eufaula, said he was proud to be back in Troy and to have another opportunity for the film to be viewed.

“We have been very fortunate that “Scarecrow” has been accepted at five film festivals and received good reviews so far,” Carroll said. “‘Scarecrow’ has been accepted at the upcoming Montgomery Film Festival, and we are exited about that opportunity, also.”

Carroll said “Scarecrow” is a short, 17-minute film and was made to demonstrate the filmmaker’s ability to produce a quality film based on the War Between the States.

“‘Scarecrow,’ which is directed by Patrick Knipe, is the story of a young Confederate soldier who goes off to war to be a hero but is so horrified by what he encounters in his first battle that he runs away,” Carroll said. “Later, Jack Wren is forced to discover his true character, as he risks everything to save the life of a young boy and ultimately learns what being a hero is really all about.”

“Scarecrow” focuses on the bloodiest period of American history and the country’s incredible sacrifice and loss in order to determine its identity and ensure the freedom of all Americans.

“This film is an especially relevant tale in these tumultuous times,” Carroll said. “I’m proud to be a part of a film like this.”

“Scarecrow” was filmed in the Santa Anna Mountains of California and, while auditing for the part of Jack Wren, Carroll was bitten by a tick and contracted Lyme disease and had difficultly overcoming the lingering symptoms.

However, he was cast in the main role and spent many hours researching the “war” and reading diaries of young Confederate soldiers. His characterization of Jack Wren was developed through the reading of the thoughts, fears and hopes of those Confederate soldiers.

Carroll is optimistic about his future as an actor and about the future of the Film Festival in Troy. He has played the lead in several films, including “Pop Skull” which is making waves at selected locations around the country.

“It’s about addiction, not of illegal drugs, but about over the counter drugs,” he said. “It’s a very enlightening film.”

He was a principle character in Francis Ford Coopola,’s “In My Life” and played a supporting role in “Boys of H Company” on the Discovery Channel.

“I’m very interested in being a part of the growth of the Troy Film Festival,” Carroll said. “I think it got off to a good start this year but I was surprised that more college students didn’t participate. Film festivals are usually very popular among college students.

“But it was a good first festival and I believe it will grow to be a really big event. The idea of going international with it is a good one and one that will help it grow quickly. If I can contribute in any way, I will be glad to do it. I just appreciate John Jinright including “Scarecrow” in the 2009 Troy Film Festival. I didn’t realize that there are so many cultural events and opportunities in this area. It’s a great place for the arts.”