Mt. Juliet filmmaker to premiere new movie

Jake Old • Updated Jan 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Jim O’Rear, a Mt. Juliet resident and longtime worker in the entertainment industry, will premiere his newest movie, “Nightblade,” in a special showing Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. at Full Moon Cineplex at 3445 Lebanon Pike in Hermitage. 

“Nightblade,” is a 1980s-style police thriller produced and directed by O’Rear with his business partner, Scott Tepperman, that features Hollywood faces acting alongside homegrown talent. 

The movie aims to capture the feel, style and fun of the 1980s police dramas and television shows such as “Miami Vice” and “Magnum P.I.” 

“It’s definitely inspired by the ’80s, but it doesn’t take place in the ’80s,” O’Rear said. 

“It’s a typical whodunit you might see in something like ‘Miami Vice.’” 

“Nightblade” was filmed in Mt. Juliet, Lebanon and surrounding Nashville areas. Filming took place over an eight-day period, 16-18 hours each day. 

“With most of our movies, we set aside 10 days, and we did that for this movie,” O’Rear said. “Everything went so smoothly that we just needed eight days.” 

Among the actors featured in the movie are Todd Bridges from “Diff’rent Strokes,” Robert LaSardo from “CSI: Miami,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Death Race” and Betsy Rue from “How I Met Your Mother,” “My Bloody Valentine” and “True Blood.” 

O’Rear has worked in the Hollywood entertainment industry for more than 30 years as an actor, stuntman, screenwriter, director, make-up artist and producer. 

He got his start in the business after becoming one of the youngest people to be accepted in the American Society of Magicians. 

“I went on tour with Harry Blackstone Jr. and worked several other magicians,” O’Rear said. 

A producer asked O’Rear if he would be interested in acting in a commercial. At first, O’Rear resisted.

“I told him, ‘I’m not an actor, that’s not what I do,’” O’Rear said. “He said, ‘no, when you’re on stage doing magic, that’s what you’re doing; you’re acting.’ After a week or two of him begging me and my agent and my parents, I said OK, I’ll do the stupid commercial, and that’s how I got into the acting side of things. 

He would later go on to work in a variety of different jobs in the entertainment industry. 

“Really, I just wanted to be able to work,” O’Rear said. “Whenever someone would call and ask if I could do something, I’d say yes, and I just learned a little bit of everything.” 

Normally known for his work in horror and science fiction films, O’Rear has decided to branch out and offer his fans a different experience with Nightblade. 

“We’re still giving the fans a horror element with Nightblade,” said O’Rear, “because at its core, the story focuses on tracking a serial killer, but we’re hoping to expand beyond blood and guts and let the story elements and performances drive this one.” 

The theatrical premiere of “Nightblade” is open to the public, and will be held Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Full Moon Cineplex. Tickets are $5 and are available at the theater.

The audience will be able to watch the film for the first time with members of the cast and crew, who will be in attendance. 

A question-and-answer segment with the cast and crew will be held after the screening for anyone interested in behind-the-scenes stories or filmmaking advice.  

“I do about 15-20 convention appearances throughout the year at different comic cons, and I’m asked to do filmmaking panels … I go there to share with people who want to learn, because not too many people in the industry who like to share their secrets. I don’t mind. I think there’s room for everyone,” O’Rear said. 

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