Via Zoom: Filmmaker Chris Hudson of ‘The Mayberry Effect’

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CHICAGO – Start whistling the theme to “The Andy Griffith Show” and most likely you’ll get someone to whistle along. This is the aura and the premise for the new documentary “The Mayberry Effect,” created and directed by Chris Hudson. Part tribute, part deep dive into nostalgia, the doc is all about the feeling of Mayberry and its legacy. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

What makes “The Mayberry Effect” work is the step back it takes in assessing the “Griffith” phenomenon. Premiering in 1960, the show has never gone off the air, and is now accessible of course through all media. It starred Andy Griffith as Sheriff Taylor, and involved his interaction with the daffy citizens of Mayberry, including the legendary comic performance of Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife. The characters in the show, including caregiver Aunt Bea, Floyd the Barber, fussy Howard Sprague, Otis the Town Drunk, Ernest T. Bass, Gomer and Goober still resonant in pop culture.

The way the documentary creates its perspective is in the thesis of nostalgia. Whose interpretation of Mayberry is the right nostalgia? How do we place the show in context, in an era where depicting blacks on television was pretty much a no-no, despite Mayberry’s setting in the South? How do these characters make us feel, while they entertain us? This is all presented through the lens of a situation comedy that has defined a sense of Americana for over 60 years.

‘The Mayberry Effect,’ directed by Chris Hudson (inset)
Photo credit: Gravitas Ventures

Chris Hudson is an Emmy Nominated and Silver Telly Award winning television Producer/Director, and has worked in TV for over 17 years. He began his career at WTVI, the PBS station in Charlotte (North Carolina) doing World War II documentaries, and has an MFA in Documentary Filmmaking from Wake Forest University. “The Mayberry Effect” is his feature documentary debut.

In a two-part interview via Zoom, Chris Hudson explains his motivations behind the film, his interaction with the Mayberry impersonators and fans, plus the differing points of nostalgia he found while researching the subject. Start whistling …

In PART ONE, the thesis of the film is explained, and the impersonators are observed …

In PART TWO, on Don Knotts, fair use and black people in Mayberry …

Trailer, “The Mayberry Effect” …

”The Mayberry Effect” will be available through Video on Demand August 31st, 2021. Click The Mayberry Effect for details. Created and directed by Chris Hudson. Not Rated. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor, Film Writer

© 2021 Patrick McDonald,

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