Friday, 6 August 2004

The man behind the film

STACEY S. MANNING The Kentucky Standard

After three years of starting and trying, filming and dreaming -- and working with no budget -- John Coulter wasn't sure if the St. Joseph College docudrama would ever get off the ground.

If it wasn't for his rural upbringing, he isn't sure he would have the heart to get the St. Joseph College production finished.

Raised in Bloomfield by his parents, Jane and Kenneth Coulter, John Coulter grew up working in tobacco and hay.

"It makes you a fighter," he said. "If it was not for my mother and father and the upbringing I've had, I would have dropped out a long time ago."

But for Coulter, that upbringing, coupled with what this film could mean for Bardstown and Nelson County, kept him going.

"This film is important for this town, this place," he said. "We are doing the impossible with the impossible."

It's a production made up of blood, sweat and tears, literally, he added.

For Coulter, there is a spiritual side that keeps the vision of St. Joseph College going.

"This project is a result of prayer," he said. "For so long so many things didn't go right. It was three years of creative pain. It's been a very emotional thing."

It's hard for Coulter to find words to explain what if feels like to finally see his dream become a reality.

"I can't explain it," he said. "As many times as I have tried to get this thing going and I have failed ... I've been hanging on to that string that leads to a dream."

The support of others, especially from his wife, Anna Shepherd-Coulter, has kept that dream alive.

"If it hadn't been for her, this film would have never been made," Coulter said. "She is vital in this thing. She is the only person who saw my vision and supported that."

"The first time I saw John's work, I thought, he's amazing," Shepherd-Coulter added.

That type of support is something that brings tears to Coulter's eyes.

"I have a soft heart, he said. "I'm not another guy out to make a movie. My family taught me about hard work and to follow a dream."

Coulter is a 1996 graduate of Nelson County High School. He has a degree from Full Sail in Florida. He works for PLG as a production manager.