Henryville woman reminisces during Scranton film shoot
By David Falchek (Staff Writer) Published: April 2, 2012
The haunting 1970 movie “Wanda” scrolled in the back of the mind of acting teacher Penny Templeton as filming proceeded on the independent movie “Paragon Cortex” in downtown Scranton on Sunday.
The Henryville woman, who has an acting school in New York City, talked about how pleased she was to work on a project that connected her home, to the big city, to the small city of Scranton. As a film crew of about 30 milled around in the rain outside the Scranton Times Building, Ms. Templeton reflected on the acting, studying under Paul Sorvino, and politics. “I remember ‘Wanda’ and how brilliant the camera work was,” she said. “Seeing the shops and buildings in Scranton now, you can see how the area has regained and kept its charm. The area has the makings of an artistic hub.”
The story line, even the genre, of “Paragon Cortex” is being kept secret. Filming wraps up shortly, then six months of editing, then the film festival circuit in 2013, said Joseph Van Wie, a Scranton native and a producer of the movie. “The Scranton area is like a lump of clay,” he said. “Every setting you need – big town, small town, rural, country – is right here.” The script was written by John Kilker, a Blakely native.
Last year, she released her book “Acting Lions: Unleash Your Craft in Today’s Lightning Fast World of Film, Television and Theatre.” In the book she discusses unauthentic performances. An actor should find something in himself that connects to the role and makes it real. She also hates overwritten scripts that constrain actors and spoon-feed audiences.
Ms. Templeton has become an occasional news analyst. She began by critiquing the paroxysm of grief from North Koreans when they received news of the death of Kim Jong Il. People were acting out of fear, she concluded. She’s also been critiquing the performances of presidential candidates. They are all performing when on the stump, she said; the key is to do it authentically. Rick Santorum does, she said. Mitt Romney does not. “I would tell Romney to think about who he is, where he is from, or someone who inspired him,” she said. “Once you find something real and speak from that place, people will recognize it.”
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