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Madison Business Expo

‘Madison’ actors, scriptwriter
to highlight 2002 Regional Business Expo

By Don Ward
Editor

(April 2002) MADISON, Ind. – “It starts with a dream.”
With that as its theme, the second annual Regional Business Expo will bring together dozens of area businesses at the Venture Out Business Center, 975 Industrial Dr., on the Madison hilltop.

Scott Bindley

Scott Bindley

Sponsored by the Southeastern Indiana Small Business Development Center in partnership with the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, the event will feature up to 75 commercial and not-for-profit exhibitors, plus prize giveaways, children’s activities, food and a chance to meet some of the actors from the soon-to-be-released hydroplane racing movie “Madison.”
The movie, which stars Jim Caviezel (“Thin Red Line,” “The Count of Monte Cristo”) was partially filmed on location in Madison in summer 1999. It tells the fictionalized true story of the late Jim McCormick’s victory in the 1971 Governor’s Cup hydroplane race aboard the Miss Madison.
The movie is anticipated for national release on Aug. 23 by Premiere Marketing and Distribution Group, LLC, a newly formed company headed by Mitch Goldman, formerly of New Line Cinema. A 13-minute trailer of the film will be shown at the Expo. Indianapolis native Scott Bindley, who co-wrote the script with his brother, Bill Bindley, is scheduled to speak at a morning breakfast at Clifty Inn. Exhibitors and the general public are invited to attend this event. Tickets are $25 per person. Bill Bindley, the movie’s director, said he will be unavailable.
Scott Bindley started writing the “Madison” script a decade ago as part of a college project. Perhaps he never dreamed at that time it would eventually be made into a motion picture and released to theaters nationwide.

Jake Lloyd

Jake Lloyd

“It’s really exciting to see it finally happen,” said the 36-year-old Bindley by telephone from his Indianapolis office. “Aug. 23 is a good date for the release because it comes near the end of the summer when most of the big blockbuster movies have already been released. There’s a period there that makes it a good time for a ‘feel good’ movie to come out.”
Bindley said he spent many days on the set in Madison watching the production but had little involvement at that point. He helped rewrite a few parts when problems arose or when certain scenes had to be tightened up.
He’s been busy writing new scripts and said he hopes to begin production this summer on a “kid’s movie” with his brother, Bill, 39. No production dates or location have been decided.
At the Expo in Madison, Bindley said he will likely discuss how “Madison” went from a college project to a script that was actually made into a full-length movie.
Bindley said work is now being done on the movie’s soundtrack. Indiana-based rock star John Mellencamp provided the opening narration in the film and had earlier expressed interest in writing an original song for the movie. But Bindley said that with his new tour about to begin, he might not be available to do so.
Actor Frank Knapp Jr., a Nashville, Tenn., resident who plays Miss Madison team member Bobby Humphries in the movie “Madison,” also plans to attend the Expo and may take part in the breakfast program. Jake Lloyd of “Star Wars – The Phantom Menace” fame who plays a young Mike McCormick in “Madison,” is also scheduled to appear. Lloyd, who has not worked in any films since “Madison,” now lives and attends school in Indianapolis. The actors and Bindley will be available for autographs at the Expo.
The daylong event is designed to feature business from the SBDC’s five-county Southern Indiana district, which includes Jefferson, Ripley, Switzerland, Ohio and Dearborn. Most exhibitors are from Jefferson. Businesses outside this district also were invited to participate, including those from Kentucky.
Prior to the doors opening to the public, exhibitors will be invited to participate in three seminars geared to small business owners.
Last year’s inaugural event was filled with exhibitors well before April, with a waiting list any last-minute booth openings. NASA astronaut Dr. Janice Voss, whose parents live in nearby Deputy, was the featured guest. The event attracted more than 1,500, including exhibitors, officials said.
As of late March, registration for the 75 available booths was more than two-thirds filled. The fill the remaining spots, the registration deadline was extended.
“It’s going to be tough to top that first year because of all the excitement of having a new event and because of having a NASA astronaut here. But were excited about this year, and we’re gathering a lot of support for it,” said Melissa Rogers, the chamber’s marketing director.

Frank Knapp

Frank Knapp

Recent announcement of the release of the movie also has helped, officials said. The movie made its international premiere at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Last October it made its Midwest premiere at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. The premiere at Hilbert Circle Theatre attracted several hundred residents from Madison and was well received by both premiere audiences.
Last year’s Expo also was helped by a $35,000 Community Development Action Grant from the state of Indiana, plus $1,000 from the Collaborative Marketing Project of Jefferson County. No such grants were provided this year. To help offset the costs, the exhibitor booth fee was slightly raised.
Expo planners have been working on this year’s show for months. But they admit that a slower economy this year has made planning efforts more difficult in reaching the $20,000 goal in combined sponsorships and exhibitor booth fees.
Officials from the Madison Kroger store decided not to return this year to cook out hamburgers outside the center. Instead, the Madison Athletic Booster Club, a chamber member, will sell food. Children can visit the Walnut Street Fire Department truck and “Buck” the Madison Police Department’s dog. Police will be fingerprinting children as part of their child safety program. Girls Inc. officials will provide face painting for children. There will also be a clown and balloons.
Inside, visitors can browse the commercial booths, take part in prize drawings and pick up literature and samples from various businesses. For more information, call the chamber at (812) 265-3135, ext. 251, or visit: www.madisonchamber.org.

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