Three local high school students who starred in the video book trailer production of the Montooth Book Series’ first novel saw the video for the first time at a press conference on Tuesday. “I loved it,” said Megan McCarville, the Riverview High School (RHS) student who played the lead character, Carty. The press conference was at HuB Studios, the Sarasota video production company that produced the short film.
The students, along with several other local actors, starred in the groundbreaking video trailer for The Montooth Book Series, written by Anna Maria Island award winning author Robert Jay. “This is not something that many publishers have done,” said Robert Jay, “but Cloverleaf Corporation wanted to bring the pages of the book to life at book signings and events, and what better way to do that than with an action packed movie that catches people’s attention. This short film certainly does that, and I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Jay. After the viewing at the HuB Studios screening room, the crowd of actors, family members, media and friends erupted into applause. “It was awesome,” said Ryan Howell, one of the cast members.
The action packed trailer includes scenes with the heroine and her bow and arrow, chase scenes through the swamp, and a shoot out with the villains.
“It was so exciting to be involved in this project,” said McCarville, who plays the adventurous and athletic heroine in The Montooth Book Series. “I have never acted before so having to act brave, shoot a bow and arrow and chase bad guys through the swamp turned out to be quite a real life adventure for me!” said McCarville.
RHS Principal Linda Nook also attended the event to support McCarville and says the project works well with the Sarasota County literacy initiative she is working on currently. “We hope to have the author come to Riverview and show the students this amazing video and talk about what it takes to write great novels,” said Nook.
Sarasota High School student Ryan Howell plays the role of Blake, and Booker High School student Treyvon Thomas plays the part of Hale. Booker High School Principal Dr. Rachel Shelly also attended the event and says she plans to invite Jay to speak at Booker as well. McCarville, Howell and Thomas are joined by several other local actors including Kathryn Parks, John Russo, Conner Chatfield, Assunta Swier, Tyler McCool and Dylan Jones.
Hub Studios produced, directed and shot the 6-minute short film on location at several local attractions including the Crowley Museum, the Myakka Old School House, and at two Sarasota historical homes.
The video is being timed to coincide with the upcoming publication date of the third book in the Montooth quintet, Montooth 3: Red Cross of Gold. The book is set in the 1950’s, so special steps were taken to authenticate the video including costume design and props.
Montooth Books are written by accomplished businessman, Award Winning author and Anna Maria Island resident Robert Jay, who has sold more than 20,000 books in his series, worldwide.
The first of five books in the Carty Andersson young adult series is a 441-page novel, centered on the fable of Montooth, a massive alligator. Montooth and the Canfield Witch begins with the spirited 14-year-old female main character leading her male friends on a heart-thumping journey through the Florida swamps near Sarasota, in 1950.
Deep in the swamp, they discover the last descendant of a family chased out of Salem, Massachusetts by 17th Century witch hunters. The recluse, now thought of as a witch by many townspeople, is being dogged by a band of treasure hunters, under the impression that there are riches on her property. Carty, the main character and an accomplished young archer, leads her crew on an adventurous journey to protect the recluse.
The Montooth quintet reflects the period 1950-62 following the main characters as they evolve from junior high students in the first novel into key participants in the Cuban Revolution.
Cloverleaf Corporation will display the video in mall kiosks, bookstores and online to promote the series.