“Westworld” star Luke Hemsworth has come on board as the lead in Beyond Casual Media’s sci-fi drama “Encounter.”

Shooting will commence in Georgia later this month. Paul J. Salamoff will make his feature film debut from his own script, inspired the television series “The Twilight Zone.”

The story will center on a group of friends making a remarkable discovery in a rural field — a crashed spacecraft with  a survivor. When they bring the otherworldly being home, they soon discover that it holds even greater secrets than they could imagine. But with the government on their tail, time is running out to ascertain the alien’s true intentions.

“The world of ‘Encounter’ is a nod back to classic sci-fi movies of the ’70s and ’80s,” said Salamoff. “Its fresh approach offers a new twist on science fiction’s strengths of exploring very human themes of loss, grief in an unexpected and thought-provoking way.”

The cast includes Anna Hutchison, Tom Atkins, Glenn Keogh, Vincent M. Ward, Cheryl Texiera and Christopher Showerman.

Salamoff began his career as a make-up FX artist on over 40 films. The film also marks the debut feature for the Augusta-based Beyond Casual Media, headed by Amy Bailey.

Worldwide sales and distribution for “Encounter” is being handled by Lightning Entertainment.


Written by Dave McNary, this articled appeared in VARIETY on April 19, 2017

AUGUSTA, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Movie crews are back in Augusta scouted spots earlier today to film a new movie. This time, it's about showing everything Augusta has to offer.

From the moment Paul J. Salamoff set his sights on Augusta, he knew this was the home for his new movie.

"I met everyone, and I sort of fell in love with the place very quickly," said Salamoff, Director of the film 'Encounter'.

Augusta's film office already has three films under its belt, but this one will be different.

"When it came time to do 'Encounter' there was not question we were going to do it in Augusta," said Salamoff.

The whole movie is tailored to Augusta. The script includes scenes from farms in Hephzibah, to other locations you might recognize. There's also a shot of Paine College's iconic clock tower and a scene at the demolished jailhouse off Reynolds Street.

"So you want to go to a place that has not only great tax incentives, but also a great crew base," said Salamoff.

Luckily, Augusta has both with a crew made up of two dozen locals, and that doesn't include volunteers for this film.

"We have been passionate about this business. Scraping pennies, working out of town," said Susan Willis, local casting director for 'Encounter.'

Willis is one of the casting directors for the film, but because this is an Augusta-centric film, her job is to cast locals.

"I actually cast four supporting roles, and the director wanted some local faces." said Willis.

But Willis said, it takes prep work, even for a background role.

"A lot of people don't understand that you're training for a job. This is my job," said Willis.

But what makes this film special is Augusta isn't playing anyone but itself. Augusta is playing Augusta.

Film crews will begin filming next week. Crews will be in Augusta for three weeks to shoot 'Encounter.' The Augusta Film Office told News 12 NBC 26 there are more plans for films this year, but they have not released those plans yet.


By Brooke Zauner  | 

Posted: Thu 5:37 PM, Apr 13, 2017

‘Love Is ___’: Wendy Davis Joins OWN Relationship Dramedy In Recasting

Army Wives alumna Wendy Davis has signed on as a series regular in OWN’s upcoming hourlong dramedy Love Is___, from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, in a recasting.

Created and executive produced by the Akils, Love Is ___, is described as a humorous drama about a modern-day power couple balancing successful careers and a beautiful family, and draws inspiration from the Akils’ real-life relationship. In the world of Black Hollywood, they navigate a complex set of social codes, and this series will explore it all, from the good to the bad…to the ‘90s, because that’s where this definitive love story all began.

Davis will play Nuri in the year 2027. Nuri is first seen in 2027, in her 50s, relaxed, happy, and comfortable in her life and her 32-year marriage to Yasir. Davis replaces Lana Young, who was originally cast in the role.

The Akils executive produce the series through their Akil Productions banner, with Mara Brock Akil serving as showrunner. The series hails from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and stems from the Akils’ big overall deal at Warner Bros. TV.

Davis played the series regular role of Joan Burton on all seven seasons of Lifetime’s Army Wives opposite Sterling K. Brown and was last seen in the feature Encounter starring Luke Hemsworth. She’s repped by Stone Manners Salners and The Green Room.



April 13, 2018 2:25pm



AUGUSTA MARCH 28, 2017 – Beyond Casual Media announces the start of pro- duction on ENCOUNTER, a suspenseful Sci-Fi drama, written and directed by in- dustry veteran PAUL J SALAMOFF in his feature film directorial debut. 

Shooting in April in Augusta, GA, the cast includes Luke Hemsworth (WESTWORLD), Anna Hutchison (CABIN IN THE WOODS), Tom Atkins (LETHAL WEAPON) and a who’s who of genre rising talent: Dean S. Jagger (GAME OF THRONES), Vincent M. Ward (THE WALK- ING DEAD), Cheryl Texiera (IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA) and Christopher Showerman (SUPERGIRL).

Inspired by THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE OUTER LIMITS and films of pure science-fiction such as MOON, EX-MACHINA and most recently ARRIVAL, ENCOUNTER explores the far- thest reaches of our imagination. 

Salamoff began his career as a Make-Up FX artist on over 40 films. His writing career now spans film, TV, short stories, books, comics and graphic novels. Recently voted one of The Tracking Board’s Top 100 upcoming screenwriters, Salamoff is also a two-time Bram Stoker Award nominee. As a producer he has worked in film, video game marketing and DVD con- tent and was Vice President of Production for BOLD Films and President of Production for Rat Bastard Productions.

Salamoff states: “We are all very excited to bring this unique and exciting modern day sci- ence fiction story to life. The world of Encounter is a nod back to classic Sci-Fi movies of the 70’s and 80’s. Its fresh approach offers a new twist on science fiction’s strengths of exploring very human themes of loss, grief in an unexpected and thought-provoking way.”


Studio marketing and development veteran ROB HOLLOCKS, declares: “The reaction to ENCOUNTER has been incredible. It's intelligent, smart and terrific on every level. As an Exec. Producer it’s the kind of material you always hope to find. I’m proud to be part of the team bringing it to fruition.”

The film also marks the debut feature for the Augusta-based Beyond Casual Media. Headed by local Producer & Entrepreneur AMY BAILEY. Over the last few years, Bailey and Salamoff have been working with local crews to nurture and support the thriving and close-knit feature film community with a series of events and seminars designed to educate as well as train. The latest, last spring’s “Hollywood to Y’Allywood”, set the groundwork for ENCOUNTER.

Bailey is enthused about the future of the industry in her hometown: “Our goal is to show both Hollywood and our cousins in Atlanta that Augusta is now beginning to boast the quality of production services and support that will soon rival other thriving filmmaking hubs – we want to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the best.” 

Augusta also benefits from Georgia’s highly advantageous tax incentives. 

Worldwide sales and distribution for ENCOUNTER is being handled by Lightning Entertainment.