Crazy, Film Inspired By The Life Of Guitar Legend Hank Garland
Crazy, an independent feature film inspired by the tragic life and groundbreaking music of legendary 1950s-era guitarist Hank Garland, is an official selection at the 17TH Annual Woods Hole Festival in Woods Hole, MA. The eight day event, which begins on July 26, is the oldest independent film festival on Cape Cod and the Islands. CRAZY will be screened on closing night, Saturday, August 2 at 9PM in the Redfield Auditorium at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Water Street, Woods Hole, 02543).
Waylon Payne, acclaimed for his debut film role as Jerry Lee Lewis in the Oscar-winning film Walk The Line, stars as Hank Garland. LA.com recently wrote, "The brash and brilliant musician is well played by charismatic actor Waylon Payne." In addition to acting, Payne is a country artist with deep musical roots. He was named for his godfather, Waylon Jennings, and is the son of GRAMMY-winning country singer Sammi Smith and Jody Payne, longtime guitarist for Willie Nelson.
CRAZY has won major awards at 2008 festivals, including Best Feature honors at Colorado's Breckenridge Festival of Film - where Payne also won for Best Actor - and the Hoboken Film Festival. The film also won the Vanguard Award, top honor at the Jacksonville International Film Festival in Jacksonville, FL. Hank Garland lived the last four decades of his life near Jacksonville with his brother (and manager) Billy Garland and Billy's wife Amy, who attended the screening.
Other awards include Best Feature at Hawaii's Big Island Film Festival and the Jury Award for Best Feature at the Charleston International Film Festival. For Charleston's Post and Courier, Bill Thompson wrote, "CRAZY has a bedrock feel of authenticity...a lively, emotionally resonant movie that is an uncommonly seamless meld of character study and period recreation." At the L.A. area's Method Fest in Calabasas, CA, CRAZY won the Daily News Award for Best Screenplay for a script co-written by CRAZY's director Rick Bieber, Jason Ehlers and Brent Boyd.
Bieber was introduced to the project - and to the late Hank Garland - by Ray Scherr, who served as Executive Producer for CRAZY along with guitar hero Steve Vai (who performs a cameo as Hank Williams) under the Favored Nations Films mantle. Scherr had known the Garland family for over a decade, and believed Hank's true story had great potential for a compelling drama. Hank consulted on the screenplay and was involved with the project until he passed away in December '04, shortly before principal photography began. CRAZY's music was produced by multiple-GRAMMY-winning producer Larry Klein, who was most recently honored for the 2007 Album of the Year, Herbie Hancock's River - The Joni Letters.
Waylon Payne headlines CRAZY opposite Ali Larter (Heroes, Legally Blonde, etc), who plays Hank's beautiful but deeply troubled wife Evelyn Garland. Cast members also include: Lane Garrison as Billy Garland; Scott Michael Campbell as fellow guitar ace Billy Byrd; singer Stacy Earl, as country crooner Goldie Hill; Evans Forde as Nashville legend Chet Atkins; and Ryan Cross, as jazz bassist Joe Benjamin. Shawn Colvin and Katharine McPhee also perform cameos.
CRAZY chronicles Hank Garland's rise to fame in Nashville, from playing on hits for icons including Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, the Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison through his brief but influential solo career as a visionary jazz artist. It also explores his tempestuous marriage as well as his repeated clashes with the "Nashville Mob" - who then controlled the country music establishment - over artist's rights, civil rights and other issues. The car crash and electroshock treatments that eventually ended Garland's performing career and derailed his life are starkly portrayed, and the enormity of what was lost is deeply felt.
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