Rockdale News

On a random Friday in May, Rockdale Career Academy students scored a lucky break when a Hollywood producer stopped in to give some insider insight. In town to scout locations for his upcoming film, “The Sunday Horse,” Co-Producer John Duffy asked CREDC’s Gina Hartsell to help arrange a session. RCA’s Dr. Miki Edwards and James Dinsmore, the video production instructor, were pleased to comply.

Duffy was impressed with the curriculum and technology. “I wish I would have had a place like this to study in high school. It would have made things much easier.” As he told his students for the afternoon, film making was a “fifth career” for him after various detours as a janitor, substitute teacher, counselor for runaways and actor. “In movie making and in life, I follow the ABL code – always be learning.”

Moving up the ranks from production assistant to producer, Duffy told them in his line of work it’s always about finding a solution. “Be the person who never gives up and you will come up with a solution and distinguish yourself for the next job…being a pleasant person to work with is an asset, too.” He also shared real world challenges bringing an independent film in on a $1 – $8 million dollar budget and how different skill sets line up with certain roles on a production team.

“The Sunday Horse,” an inspirational true account of the obstacles Debi Connor, a U. S. champion equestrian jumper, faced pursuing her dreams. She wasn’t from the typically privileged horsing community and suffered serious injury, yet was able to take a “throwaway” horse and train him for world class competition. The film is scheduled to begin filming in June at various locations in the area, including the Georgia International Horse Park. Duffy revealed Nikki Reed, of “Twilight” fame is slated to star. For more developments, visit and “like” their FaceBook page,