Wait a minute, I’m in a Movie.

My experience filming Sword Of Trust in Birmingham, Alabama

Cast & Crew Sword Of Trust (2018)

I remember reading for the role of “Jimmy” for the film Sword Of Trust back in May of 2018. Kanye West had just called ‘slavery a choice’ and thus, was all the talk about town. This becomes important later in the story. I met with Virginia Newcomb and read the script she’d sent. I had practiced reading the lines with my son Anthony and he recorded my audition and had already sent it in but, I didn’t know I was supposed to be reading the script with another person and not just “the ‘Jimmy’ parts”.

Virginia (being Virginia… which is a good thing ;^) explained my mistake and told me not to worry, she would read with me and record a new audition video to send to Lynn Shelton, the director. After a few attempts at delivering the lines written, she told me to put the script down. That’s when I got really nervous.

“Whomever they think ‘Jimmy’ is…is NOT you. But, I think you should be in this movie so, just act like yourself. Just make up some small talk,” she said. How does one ‘act like himself’ though? Is that even acting any more? At any rate, I told her that the only thing I’d been talking about was Kanye West. “Well, talk about Kanye West.”

I then went into how I thought Ye was not being listened to during my audition. I basically explained, what I thought to be, the genius of Kanye West at that time. I wrote about it in my Medium post In the Key of Ye. The re-audition took place on a Saturday morning and by that same Saturday evening, I was getting an email from Virginia telling me I’d gotten the part and to be ready to shoot the following Saturday!

The opening cast party was the Thursday of the same week and I was two things that day: 1.) Very excited that I didn’t die in the film (according to the script) & 2.) I was oblivious to how big of a deal this was because of the fact I don’t much watch “TV” nor popular shows on Netflix, . I was just cast in an all improv comedy film with the likes of Marc Maron, Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins and Jon Bass! I didn’t know how nervous I was supposed to be.

Al Elliott & Marc Maron on the set of Sword Of Trust (2018)

Because of how efficient the production ran, I was only on set for the four days I was on script and thus, didn’t really have a good idea of what the finished product would be. I remember having a blast everyday starting out at 7am and looking forward to being back with the entire cast and crew the next day.

Sword Of Trust is a smart & funny film set in Birmingham, Alabama that covers the difficult topic of the problematic past of the south in a way that doesn’t beat you over the head with cross burnings nor white hoods. It’s set in ‘modern times’ which is actually a futuristic concept for many filmmakers that create in and around my city. It will make its World Premier at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX.

Fun Fact: The character I play (Jimmy) inspired the song “Trust Jimmy” on the GNILTSUH album by Thed Weller.