KINGSPORT — After establishing himself in the acting world, Kingsport native Jonathan Hamblin is trying out the other side of filmmaking.
Later this month, Hamblin’s first film, “Hush Little Baby Welcome To The Family,” will be screened at the Marquee Cinemas-Pinnacle 12 theatre in Bristol.
Though he is new to the world of writing and directing, Hamblin has high hopes for the film, which he believes is a fresh escape from what’s typically produced in Hollywood.
“I think people are looking for more than what Hollywood is giving them,” Hamblin said. “I think people are tired of movies they can’t take their kids to or that they’re really ashamed to go to themselves. I think this gives a good alternative.”
Born and raised in Kingsport, Hamblin has lived in the area most of his life. He got his start in television and film on the CW show “Fit 4 Life,” on which he served as a host, producer and cinematographer.
“We had a little over a million viewers in the first season, and when that happened, I was approached by a talent agent, who said, ‘Would you be interested in doing TV and movies?’ ” Hamblin said. “I said, ‘Well, I don’t have any experience in this, but I’d be more than glad to try.’ ”
Since then, Hamblin has joined the Screen Actors Guild and is ranked in the top 1 percent of actors in the world on IMDb, a popular online resource for movies and television.
About the film
Hamblin will be screening his creation at the Marquee Cinemas-Pinnacle 12 theatre on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. The film was produced by Four Cities Media and Boogum Productions, Hamblin’s production company.
Hamblin describes the film as a psychological thriller about a dysfunctional family and their interactions with a young couple they meet on the road. The movie was filmed earlier this year over a four-day period in Kingsport and Church Hill and features a cast of eight local actors.
“I decided I was going to write and direct my own movie, and this is the result of it,” Hamblin said. “So this is my first attempt at directing, and I took it to Marquee Cinemas … and they loved it, and next thing I know, I’m getting ready to premiere it.”
Hamblin notes that the film is about an hour long and contains no cursing, nudity or sexuality. It is rated PG-13 for intense scenes and some depictions of blood, though no deaths are blatantly shown on screen.
Hamblin said tickets are available online on the theatre’s website, www.marqueecinemas.com/location/42031/Pinnacle-12. Based on his conversations with theatre staff, Hamblin expects the film to sell out.
“I’m a new filmmaker. This is my first one, and it’s hard competing with Paramount and Lionsgate and the bigger films,” Hamblin said, “but I look for mine to grow very quickly.”
Hamblin isn’t slowing down when it comes to producing films. He has a few projects already in the works, including a dark comedy and another psychological thriller.
“We’ll actually start filming our next movie in November, and that’s already lined up, and it’ll probably be released in the summer. So this is just the first of many.”