Undercurrents: 'East Side' is just part of the story

Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 05:58 PM.

PANAMA CITY — The world is taking note of Bay County — whether as the setting for a new film, or as the home of accomplished actors, writers and musicians. Here are just a few recent examples:

-Another round of dance auditions for “East Side Story” took place Sunday at the Gulf Coast State College Wellness Center. The movie is in pre-production and will begin shooting this month in Panama City Beach.

Film Commissioner Julie Gordon will speak at Friday’s joint meeting of the Bay County and Panama City Beach chambers of commerce, where she’ll introduce “East Side Story” writer/producer/director David Winters and choreographer Brandon Bryant. The joint chamber meeting will be at the Florida State University-Panama City Campus Holley Academic Center. Networking starts at 7:30 a.m., and the program will begin at 8 a.m.

(In December, Winters was a guest of the Panama City Beach Senior Center’s pot luck dinner; two tickets were drawn awarding Senior Center members a lunch on the set with the cast during production.)

-The Owsley Brothers, a punk/blues/garage band that grew out of Panama City resident Jerad Reynolds’ “bedroom recording project,” had one of its original songs, “Blood and Fire,” featured on the ABC TV series “Revenge” that broadcast Sunday evening. Reynolds also is manager at Quincy Ave. Art & Things in Seaside.

-Ryan Didato, a 2006 graduate of Bay High, appears as the male lead in the Christian romance, “The Way of Love,” an independent film directed by George Jiha. The movie had a limited theatrical release in 2012 and should be released on DVD later this year.

“It was just a really small movie made for the Christian market,” said Didato, who has worked professionally in south Florida since graduating from New World School of the Arts in Miami in 2010. A member of Actors Equity, the union for professional stage actors, he recently co-wrote a web series called “Morning Wood,” which also should be out soon, and is living in New York City, where he is auditioning for roles.

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