Ironton to appear on big screen in #039;King of Iron Town#039;

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 9, 2002

Two-hundred people cheered while watching fights, one involving a beast, at St. Joseph High School's gym Saturday night.

Then, the director would yell, "Cut!" and all were able to relax.

Mickey Fisher, a New York resident and an Ironton native, shot a boxing scene in the gym as part of his film, "The King of Iron Town."

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"I had the script finished in a week," he said. "I rewrote for almost six months and it was done."

The film, set in Ironton, is about a man who was once a star athlete in high school, Fisher said. The man is now turning 30 and he's bored. He then enters a "Toughman Contest" because his younger brother has entered.

"It's my personal mission to bring attention to Ironton," he said. "The current problem of lost jobs here is part of the plot. But, I want to show the most beautiful part of this town, which is the people."

Manhattan resident Jonathan Clark, plays "Tyler Wells," the main character.

"My character enters an early mid-life crisis," he said. "He feels that there's something better he should be doing. When he finds out that his younger brother has entered this contest, he enters because he's always trying to compete with his brother."

Clark and Fisher were schoolmates in Cincinnati, and they had talked for a long time about making a movie together, Clark said.

After Fisher wrote the script, the two made phone calls asking for donations. Some of the project costs came out of their own pockets, he said.

Since May, Clark has spent quite a bit of time worlds away from the Big Apple.

"Being out of the big city has given me a chance to relax," he said. "People in Ironton are great, kind people. Two-hundred people are here tonight with no pay, just to support Mickey with this film.

During one of the fight scenes, Jeremy "The Beast" Bates pounded an opponent. Bates is a professional boxer from Ashland, Ky.

"I'm happy to be a part of anything that promotes boxing," he said. "It doesn't hurt as much when you're acting."

Linda Strait and her husband, Steve, were two of the cheering extras beside the boxing ring.

"Mickey's mom approached me at Wal-Mart and asked me if I'd like to do something a little different on a Saturday night," she said. "I hope this film is a success and it wins an Oscar."

If Mrs. Strait ever wins an Oscar, she already has her speech planned.

"I'll thank God, my mother, my father, and the town of Ironton," she said. Amelia Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune