Independent film “Brave New Jersey” premieres in Humboldt

HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — Hundreds gathered Friday night at the theater in downtown Humboldt for a movie premiere where filmmakers used a familiar area as the backdrop.

Imagine West Tennessee completely transformed into New Jersey in the late 1930s. Movie producer Taylor Williams did just that in a new independent film. It was an exciting night for people in the area as many of them got to see a screening of the film “Brave New Jersey.”

Movie-goers filled the Humboldt plaza to see a film that was shot in their own backyard.

“I thought that we could take Maury City and set it back in time a little bit,” Williams said. “And that’s what we did.”

Williams has roots in the Crockett County area and said he knew West Tennessee would be the perfect place to set the scene.

“I really wanted to try and do something positive for a town— Maury City, Crockett County— that means a lot to me personally,” Williams said.

Williams said the film is a comedy based on the 1938 radio play “War of the Worlds,” where people in town hear that aliens are coming to invade America and prepare to defend their country.

“When the aliens were invading, we ran like crazy,” movie extra Kerry Watson said.

Many community members said starring as extras made for some unforgettable moments.

“Carrying shotguns, shooting what we thought were aliens and running through smoke and dodging each others gunfire, it was pretty crazy,” movie extra Harvey Boyd said.

“Brave New Jersey” is being shown at several locations across the U.S., but Williams said it was important for him to view the film right here in West Tennessee.

“I just told them I needed to be in Crockett County,” Williams said. “It was just too exciting for me personally, and I needed to be here in order to celebrate it with these folks here.”

Williams said he knew people would be excited about the premiere but says he did not realize how much love and positive energy would come from the community.

“Continues to be overwhelming how much people in this community have rallied around this movie and have supported it,” Williams said. “I just really appreciate it so much.”

A fun fact Taylor Williams shared about the film was it being shot in 26 days, all at night.

Williams also held a Q & A afterwards for everyone who attended.

If you missed Friday night’s premiere, it will be showing in Humboldt all week long and is available through Video On Demand and iTunes.

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