SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Tim Avers: I’m a Nashville native and a father of two daughters ages 20 and 16. I graduated from university in the early 1990s with a degree in political science and communications and a minor in philosophy. I have a 9-5 office job at a small company and for the past five years I have volunteered with a national organization called CASA for Children, which helps young people in the foster care system.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Tim Avers: My creative energies are really focused on writing although I have worked both with Loyd Elmore on the Dollar Baby and on AMC’s “Nashville” television program which was later broadcast on the CMT Network. In both cases I worked background.
SKSM: How did you become involved in The Things They Left Behind Dollar Baby film?
Tim Avers: I knew Loyd and Melissa Zimmerman through a girlfriend and I was happy to be asked to participate.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Tim Avers: “The Things They Left Behind” is simply a solid short story and although it’s connected to the events of September 11, 2001 in New York City it’s a universal story about grief and survival.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Tim Avers: For Loyd’s adaptation of “The Things They Left Behind” I provided notes on the script, contributed camerawork, and suggested shots.
SKSM: You worked with Loyd Elmore on this film, how was that?
Tim Avers: Working with Loyd and Robert Gilmer, who did camera and set work, was a great deal of fun. Loyd is just a natural storyteller and the whole process was enjoyable.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Tim Avers: As Loyd mentioned when speaking with you, we did much of the filming on May 1, 2010 which was the first of two days of torrential rain in Nashville that resulted in what the meteorologists call a “Thousand Year Flood.” The Cumberland River cuts through Nashville’s business and residential centers in the downtown areas and the river crested at almost 52 feet. This flooded the stadium of the Tennessee Titans, an American football team, the lower levels of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and numerous other buildings at a loss of about 2 billion US dollars. The flood also cost 21 people their lives.
So needless to say, it was a really strange and tragic event to have happen while trying to shoot a film! I’d actually left the baseball bat prop, on which my friend Roger Stewart did wood burning art and painting, in the trunk of my Mazda RX-8. Later that day both the car and I were nearly washed off the road by a rising creek. I only got out of the flood by wading to the safety of a passerby’s truck and ultimately the car engine was ruined and the vehicle totaled.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Tim Avers: Naturally I keep up with Loyd who has a great blog and Nashville is the sort of town where you often run into friends you’re not expecting to see. Melissa and her family are just some of my favorite people.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Tim Avers: From time to time I pound out a comic book script but most of my writing is political – recently about civil liberties and the gun issues that we are trying to address here in the US.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Tim Avers: Like a lot of people my age I find King to be a marvelous storyteller – but in my case I mean that quite literally. I got the opportunity to see Stephen King during his tour supporting independent booksellers and promoting the novel “Insomnia” in the 1990s.
There is absolutely nothing like hearing King read his own fiction. I also stumbled across a copy of a book on tape of Kind reading “The Dark Tower” and it’s something I could listen to on a monthly basis and still enjoy immensely. My favorite horror writer, though, is Richard Matheson, and I also enjoy Clive Barker and Cormac McCarthy, although his works are generally not considered horror.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Tim Avers: Oh… there’s nothing all that surprising about me.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Tim Avers: Even if you are a casual fan I strongly recommend seeing Stephen Kind live if you have the opportunity. He’s a terrific entertainer. His “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” is also essential.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Tim Avers: King is only asking for a dollar US to adapt these stories and I strongly recommend filmmakers of any skill level take him up on the deal! It’s a terrific experience.