Monday, June 28, 2004
Brookville About 500 people -- at least 100 more than live in this central Kansas town -- turned out for a chance to be an extra in a low-budget Western that will be filmed here.
People came to Saturday's casting call for the movie "The Last Real Cowboy" in costume, on horseback and armed with guns, filling downtown and helping it look even more like something out of the Old West.
"The moment I drove into Brookville, I said, 'This is magic,'" said Michael David McGuire, the movie's executive producer and director, who found out about the town from the Kansas Film Commission. "I mean, magic can happen here. The dirt streets, the old buildings. The other thing is, it's a connection to real history."
Brookville, which was founded in 1870 by the Union Pacific Railroad, has a population of about 400.
The movie, whose $500,000 budget is a pittance by Hollywood standards, will be filmed in Brookville and other parts of central Kansas. Shooting is scheduled to start Oct. 10, and McGuire said hundreds of extras may be needed.
"This has exceeded my expectations on two levels," McGuire said of the casting call. "No. 1, the number of people that have come together, but also the quality of actors and costumes."
Genevieve Boyle, 19, of Salina, wore an antique corset dress, high-heeled, lace-up ankle boots and black fishnet stockings. She said she decided to come to Brookville after hearing her 14-year-old sister talking about the casting call with a friend.
"It was kind of spur-of-the-moment fun," she said.
Among others who showed up was J.D. Gantenbein, an Abilene man who regularly re-enacts Old West-style shootings with the Old Abilene Town gunfighters.
"As far as pursuing this as a full-time job, this would really help us out," said Gantenbein, who wore black-powder percussion revolvers in holsters.
Another man who came armed with guns, 67-year-old Russell Miller, is a real cowboy -- he owns a small horse ranch near Kinsley. Miller, who has an orange-tinged beard that reaches his chest, carried a double-barrel 10-gauge Damascus shotgun on his arm and a holstered .45-caliber revolver with elk-horn grips he made himself.
"I've been a cowboy all my life," Miller said. "I would enjoy (being in the movie) very much. I can do whatever they want. I can be a cowboy, a city-slicker, a gambler -- or if they want a cowboy Santa Claus, I can do that."