About Out of Liberty
Winter 1839. LIBERTY, MISSOURI. Local jailer, Samuel Tillery (Jasen Wade) is tasked with watching Missouri’s most wanted men as they await their upcoming hearing. Caught between the local Missourians’ increased drive to remove the prisoners, and the prisoners’ desperate efforts to survive, Tillery is pushed beyond what any lawman can endure. Based on actual recorded accounts, Out of Liberty is an intense, evocative western, with an outcome you have to see to believe.
Q & A with Director Garrett Batty
Where did the concept come from for Out of Liberty?
I love a good Western, and I’ve wanted to do one for a while. The events at Liberty Jail involve a triangle of conflict between the jailer, the mob and the prisoners. It seemed like an intriguing plot to explore. Amidst some of the better known occurances were attempted jailbreaks, repeated appeals to the legal system and an impromptu court hearing. With 1830’s Missouri as a setting, it’s the perfect backdrop for a powerful western.
What most surprised you in the making of this film?
One of the surprises along they way was how dedicated and committed the cast and crew were to telling this story. One example of this is with the character of Caleb Baldwin played by Adam Johnson. I’ve been friends with Adam Johnson for years, and have loved watching him in everything from CHARLY to The Outpost on The CW. He was gracious enough to come do this movie as a favor for me. I anticipated he would show up, deliver a good performance, keep the set fun, and be on to the next project. But Adam surprised me. He brought a performance that gave a level of humanity and depth that turned Caleb Baldwin into a real person for me. It was humbling, inspiring, and it has stuck with me. Every actor gave their all, and it shows on screen. It was really quite a nice surprise to have that caliber of talent on this film.
How long did it take to film your movie?
We filmed OUT OF LIBERTY in November, 2018.
One fun story – I was holding auditions, and was surprised when Jasen Wade showed up to audition. We had never worked together, and it was an honor to have him audition. He read for a role and did a great job. But I felt I should ask him to read the part of the jailer, Samuel Tillery. He looked a little disheartened, but agreed to read for the part. He was perfect for it! About a week later, we offered him the part and he graciously accepted. I asked him to make some time for a call so that we could discuss his approach to the character. As we discussed the character, he paused for a minute, then said “Wait a minute… I’m just playing the jailer, right?” He was shocked to find out that the jailer was the protagonist of the film. He was expecting it to be just a small supporting role.