'The Book of Dallas' is a 10 episode series that's gotten over 1.3 million views online. The show's main character, Dallas, is faced with the task of creating a new religious text that people do not use against each other or to start fights.
Writer Joe Atkinson, also the director of Digital Media at University of Evansville, says he'd been fascinated with the idea of religion for years.
"I mean, I was raised Catholic, grew up that way and at some point in my early twenties, had the 'Do I really believe this?' kind of moment," Atkinson said.
Atkinson says writing about religion became a kind of therapy for him and the start of a new Internet television series.
"The message almost became more relevant as we were shooting and as we were working on this because you kept seeing all of this violence done in the name of religion," Atkinson said.
Atkinson says the script called for nearly 50 actors and 36 different locations. He tells 14 News that filming locations around Evansville include the UE campus, Tucker Publishing Group, and Just Rennie's.
"That's one of the great things about doing independent film in Evansville is there are so many people who are supportive of what we're trying to do," Atkinson said.
"You get to work with a lot of the same people and build these relationships," said Kristine Farley, who plays God in 'The Book of Dallas.'
In the show, the main character, Dallas, gets hit by a car and wakes up in heaven.
The character, God, promises to send Dallas back to earth if he creates a new religious text and sells it on a book tour.
Kristine Farley played the role of God. And yes, eating did come with the part.
"I ate four of those big, like plate-sized waffles. I did not eat anything else the rest of the day," Farley said.
Atkinson says another fun memory from shooting the series was a protest scene outside of the 'Book Nook' in Newburgh.
Atkinson tells 14 News actors playing protestors held up religious signs, but those who passed by thought the situation was real.
"We had our production intern, we made another sign that said 'This is a movie, fake scene' and he stood out and whenever traffic went by, he held up the sign," Atkinson said.
Fun aside, the main message viewers should take away, Atkinson tells 14 News, is about starting a conversation with those around you and creating a common ground.
"What it all comes down to is, we can all be nice to each other and love each other and be happy," Farley said.
"We can find those gray areas. The world's not black and white," Atkinson said.
Atkinson tells 14 News the same production group, Court Street Productions, will be starting a new project in 2013.
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