HIGH POINT -- After five years of work, High Point University theater professor Ed Simpson's first movie has been released on DVD. Simpson directed and produced his his film 'Elephant Sighs', locally.
"It was very frightening for me to do this frankly, because this was something I had not done," Simpson said. "I had been directing theater for 35 years and never directed a film."
The movie features Emmy award-winning actor Ed Asner and John Cariani as well as several other well known actors.
It's a story of loss, loneliness and the power of friendship, which is all summed up in the movie's symbolic title.
"Whenever they hear that sound, elephants all around will follow it to the elephant that is in distress," Simpson said. "A central metaphor in there about the other elephants coming to give comfort to the one who's damaged and needs the help."
Since the movie was filmed locally, some of Simpson's High Point University students were able to get in on the action as production assistants.
"Our students helped to build props, they helped to paint, helped to build the scenery you see in the film, they helped with the lights," Simpson said. "Once we started filming they were schlepping camera equipment."
"He is a wonderful teacher, a wonderful director and has brought theater to a new height here at the university," HPU Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dennis Carroll said.
While this is Simpson's first film, he is already working on another movie featuring some of the same actors.