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Netflix Auditions Attract Hundreds of Participants from Across the State

Stephen Board
One by one would-be-extras had head shots taken for casting company Marinella Hume Casting.

People converged from all over the state this weekend in the Northern Panhandle to audition for a roles as an extras in a new Netflix series called called Mindhunter. It’s directed and produced by David Fincher - who directed such films as Seven, Fight Club and House of Cards. Mindhunter is about an FBI crime unit tracking down serial killers. It’s set in the 70s and is based on a best-selling book of true crime stories.

Bill Marinella of Marinella Hume Casting directed crowds of people who showed up in makeup and 70s-style clothing at the Moundsville Sleep Inn in Marshall County. Some people drove as many as three hours for a chance to be involved.

“I’m trying to grow my resume because my dream is to go all the way to Hollywood with my acting career,” said Jesus Mitchell from Saint Albans. “Not just me, but I’d take my family with me.”

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant also showed up. She and her husband Eric Wells drove their daughter Delaney Wells up for the casting call experience.

“My dad got an email about it,” Delaney Wells said. “He showed us the email and asked if I wanted to do it and I said, yeah, I wanted to do it.”

Delaney’s dad Erik Wells is formerly a West Virginia state senator with a professional background in media. He says while he supports his daughter’s interest in the performance arts, he also believes the film industry could help the state’s ailing economy.

“When they come into town to do a movie, you’re looking at a lot of residual income that will benefit the state with tourism, and from a positive image that West Virginia could be portrayed on the big screen. And that’s important.”

West Virginia does have tax incentives in place for film and television productions - but low state revenues make it difficult to compete against larger, wealthier surrounding states. The series Mindhunter will mostly be shot in Pittsburgh, but at least one episode will take place in West Virginia. Three or four days of shooting are scheduled in September.

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