Film to teach kids about Elvis

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Visitors to the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum on Tuesday and Wednesday had the chance to become part of the display.
A film crew was on the grounds capturing footage for a 15-minute movie that will be shown at the birthplace’s theater beginning in the fall.
Elvis fans from Michigan and Ohio, as well as Germany and Australia, might find themselves in the film’s background, said director Chuck McIntosh, owner of McIntosh Creative Services.
“I arranged for them to be here. The people from Australia were the hardest to get,” McIntosh joked.
McIntosh wrote “Dream the Dream” with Donna Kaye Randle, a member of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation’s board of directors.
In the story, an adult tour guide tells four kids about the obstacles young Elvis had to overcome on his way to become one of the best-known entertainers of all time.
“The guide uses Elvis as an example,” McIntosh said. “He tells them how everyone has a dream and how your dreams shape your life.”
The film’s budget is about $25,000, and it was provided by the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation, which operates the birthplace.
Dick Guyton, executive director of the foundation, said the plan is to show “Dream the Dream” when third-graders visit the birthplace.
“Really, it’s to help kids understand Elvis, where he came from and what he had to go through,” Guyton said.
He said another film is planned that would be shown to sixth-graders. The second film would examine some of the mistakes Elvis made in his life.
“We want to educate them to the point where they can make the right choices,” Guyton said. “If we can change just a few lives, we feel like we’d be accomplishing something.”
McIntosh and his team were focused on Elvis’ early years during hot days of filming on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tom Booth with Tupelo Community Theatre plays the tour guide. The rest of the cast is Tyler Tann, 11, Carter Maharrey, 10, Miracle Rutherford, 11, and Brenna Smith, 10.
They’ve had to adapt to working while Elvis fans moved about the grounds.
“It was kind of weird at first,” Rutherford said. “People were asking to take our pictures.”
Some visitors will be incidental extras in the background of the finished film. Other fans helped teach the filmmakers patience.
“We’ve been stopping to give people time to take pictures and look at what they want to look at,” said Bronwyn Teague, a film crew member. “We can’t shut down the birthplace for two days. That’s not going to happen.”

scott.morris@journalinc.com