American Movie Award Best Screenplay Winner Written in Voorhees

The movie is currently in it’s pre-production phase.

Dre Edmonds, the producer of “Fight Valley” (2016) and “Abandoned the Forgotten Ones” (2018), has written American Movie Award Best Screenplay winner “The Whistler.”

“I started writing my life and it turned into a military movie….I never served,” Edmonds said.

While writing the screenplay, Edmonds interviewed many older soldiers and asked them about their experiences and what they did while serving overseas.

The screenplay was written in 2015 and Edmonds finished it in January 2016. “The Whistler” is a thriller/ mystery and is about PTSD. The Voorhees resident said many people have called “The Whistler” a “militarized Wizard of Oz.”

Edmonds has always had a hard time reading and writing due to his dyslexia. While writing his screenplay for “The Whistler,” he was bullied about it from other writers.

“Everybody was laughing at me because I didn’t finish high school. I had a hard time reading and writing but I did it…when so many people were telling me I couldn’t do it, I said I should at least try, and I did,” he said. “When I was writing it, there are traces of me in it…I didn’t know that I suffered from PTSD, and that’s from my accident.”

Edmonds was diagnosed with PTSD after writing the screenplay. Edmonds’ accident occurred while working on a truck that fell on him.

After writing the screenplay, he reached out to the state Film Commission. It told him due to the number of spelling errors, it was not something it could accept. He then called Deborah Johnson, who has been in the motion picture industry for 29 years. She read the screenplay and loved it, so she agreed to edit it. Edmonds calls her his co-writer.

Edmonds has a letter from Congress securing his copyright on the screenplay.

“The chief of staff of the Obama administration reached out about the screenplay and loved it,” said Edmonds.

For Edmonds, “The Whistler” has opened many doors. After writing the screenplay, he started V Heart Productions and has since produced several movies. Since the screenplay won an American Movie Award, he has been asked to turn the screenplay into a book, movie and Broadway play. The movie is in its pre-production phase. Major parts have been cast. There are several supporting roles that still need to be filled. “The Whistler” has been given permission to film at Fort Bragg.

The American Movie Awards was founded in 1980 to honor excellence in filmmaking and has honored Meryl Streep, Warren Beatyy, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. According to its website, it has since reemerged to celebrate the best in independence filmmaking.