There will be a casting call on Saturday, August 6th in Newport for two males between the ages of 25-35 for Restoring Arthur, a independent documentary film that will explore the life of railroad magnate and philanthropist Arthur Curtiss James (1867-1941).

Surprise Valley Farm

Arthur Curtiss James held controlling interest in the Western Pacific line, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Burlington, Southern Pacific, and other Western railroads; was the owner of both the sail & steam yacht “Aloha” and of the schooner “Coronet” now being restored at IYRS (International Yacht Restoration School); and was the original creator of Swiss Village (originally Surprise Valley Farm) in Newport.

The 50 minute film will be narrated by his best friend “Peter, ”  producers of the film are looking to film the position of Peter and Arthur on Saturday during the non-union casting call on Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM in the Second Floor Conference Room at Mainstay Inn, 151 Admiral Kalbfus Road Newport, RI

The documentary will be filmed  over 7 – 8 days in Newport, Bristol, Jamestown and Annapolis, Maryland, the two positions being cast will be compensated for their time.

Casting Call Position #1 – Arthur Curtiss James: Railroad magnate and philanthropist (1867-1941)

  • Age range: 25 to 35 (to 65 with make up for one short scene)
  • Height: 6-feet approximately
  • Weight: 180 pounds approximately
  • Eyes: Dark
  • Hair: Dark hair with beard
  • An intelligent looking man with bright eyes behind rimless spectacles who has a love for life, an eye for women, and a ready sense of humor, Arthur is smart as a whip but also dignified, confident, and well-behaved as his social class and professional position require. He is a private person who does not court celebrity in the least. Above all, he is comfortable in his own skin.
  • Required Ability: to row a dinghy with reasonable polish (feathering of oars, etc.). Or learn to do so over the summer. 
  • Required Availability: To travel to Annapolis MD for two days shooting before the end of August.
  • On-Camera Lines: 2-3 short lines
  • Costume: period—mostly suits

Casting Call Position #2 – Peter:  Arthur Curtiss James’ best friend and the Narrator of the film.

  • Age range: 25 to 35 (to 65 with make up for one short scene)
  • Height: 6 feet approximately
  • Weight: 210 pounds approximately
  • Build: Preferably stocky, broad shouldered, and strong
  • Peter is a tad rough cut – he would not shy from a bar fight — but he has learned to be proper. An old and trusted friend of Arthur’s from college and a fellow sailor, Peter’s hair is a little long and unruly and his necktie is always a little askew. Peter is ENGAGING, a charmer who has an attractive, humorous way about him. We like him, and we hope he would like us!
  • Required Ability: As film’s Narrator, must be able to provide dramatic readings of voice-overs to be recorded in studio in Rhode Island.
  • Required Availability: To travel to Annapolis MD for two days shooting before the end of August. To record voice-overs sometime during the fall of 2016 (estimated 3 days).
  • On-camera lines: 4-5 between 10 and 20 seconds each.
  • Costume: period—mostly suits

The Production Company for the film is Story Arts Media, Executive Producer is Harry Anderson, Producers are Roger Vaughn and Joseph Daniel, Writer/Director is Roger Vaughn, Director of Photography is Joseph Daniel and the Casting Director is Ann Kiker.

We caught up with Ann Kicker, Casting Director of the film, on Friday on AM WADK 1540 AM, listen to the interview (starts around 18 minute mark) here;

The film Restoring Arthur seeks to illuminate and celebrate the brilliant business successes, the extraordinary philanthropy, and the grand life of this remarkable man. His graduation present from Amherst College was half share of his father’s 130-foot schooner, Coronet. James’ father, Willis D., who was CEO of Phelps Dodge, the coppermining giant, also put his son to work as a clerk in the company. James became very interested in the railroads Phelps Dodge was developing, and learned from his father who rode shotgun for Jerome Hill.

The film follows a chronological line and is narrated by a character named “Peter” who is based on a college mate and close friend of Arthur’s (and who we have creatively expanded for the purpose of the script). Passage making in his various yachts – including a trip to Japan with a crew of astronomers and friends to view the solar eclipse — dominated James’ younger days.

Upon his father’s death in 1907, and Arthur’s advancement to CEO of Phelps Dodge, life got more serious. But James’ genius at selecting smart, loyal executives to manage his railroad interests allowed him to keep sailing and develop his Newport estate, his Manhattan mansion, and several other large homes. His Newport parties were notable for their dramatic presentations and literary themes.

By the mid-1920s, James was hitting his stride, quietly buying stock that would give him the control he needed to connect the dots and establish the most efficient transcontinental railroad system.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).