Indie Filmmaker Takes ‘Corny’ Doc on the Road
If a film title like Cornhole
furrows your brow, that’s precisely what Elaine
Mello-Clarke ’90 and her husband, Tim, are after.
The couple’s four-year labor of love is finally on the big
screen – and a really big screen when Cornhole: The Movie plays on
stadium TVs July 17 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The provocatively named film follows four fictional teams in
their quest to become national champions of cornhole. The object of this
simple, tailgate-friendly game is to toss a bag filled with corn kernels onto a
board with a hole in it: Points are awarded for landing on the board or in the
hole and the first player/team to 21 wins.
The mock documentary style of the film derives its humor
from the simplicity and peculiar name the game, which is particularly popular
in the Midwest. The film will play and make
its DVD debut this month in Chicago
at Soldier Field, an NFL stadium that is hosting a major tournament.
Mello-Clarke produced the film, directed by Tim Clarke, and
plays self-absorbed cornhole superstar Gina Rosenstones. Mello-Clarke’s career
in independent film did not start in the theatre department at Oswego, where she studied creative writing
“There was a guy who offered me a part once, but it was
Christmas time and it would have cut my vacation short, so I said no,” the Syracuse native recalled.
As a student, she also unsuccessfully auditioned for a part.
Mello-Clarke settled in San Francisco
following a summer as a camp counselor with a group traveling cross-country to California. She got
involved in Bay Area theater through a friend and eventually she made her way
to Los Angeles,
where she currently works as a freelance writer, actor and producer.
"I felt like there was a lot of creative energy at Oswego,” Mello-Clarke
said just before a Syracuse Film Festival screening of Cornhole. “The creative writing teachers were phenomenal.”
— Shane M. Liebler
’90 visited her hometown of Syracuse
for a special screening of Cornhole: The
Movie in June at the Palace Theater.
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