USC Upstate News

USC Upstate Student Releases Inspirational Film

05- 01- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - Imagine for a moment what your life would be like if you were released from prison and you couldn’t get a job because you were a convicted felon.  Certainly, crimes should not go unpunished.  However, once the sentence has been served, should it be impossible to find work? 

Clifton ReavesThis scenario is the reality that many ex-prisoners face daily, and it is also the basis for a movie produced by University of South Carolina Upstate senior, Clifton Reaves. The Transformation of Dale Shearin was released January 23, 2009 by Most High Productions, a collaboration between Reaves and business partner David Pitts.

The story begins with Dale Shearin’s release from prison and his ensuing struggles while trying to re-acclimate to society. Shearin faces pressures from his family, friends and himself. After trying to live life on the straight and narrow, he turns back to a life a crime, landing once again in jail. 

The faith-based movie includes an original soundtrack with rap gospel titles, Forgive Me, Live Out Your Dreams and By Myself, among others as performed by Reaves. 

Reaves, 33, is majoring in non-profit administration and will graduate in December 2009. He was inspired to produce the film, based on a true story, so Shearin could serve as a witness to others. Shearin’s story ends on a positive note with him becoming a pastor, sharing the gospel in his community rather than running drugs.

Reaves says, “If the movie doesn’t positively affect someone’s life, then we have not done our job.” He says that because the movie addresses adult issues, it most likely would receive an “R” rating for language and subject matter.

Available for $10, Reaves has marketed the DVD to church groups, gatherings at barbershops, and to people he meets in passing on the street. The proceeds from the sale of the movie are used for further community outreach initiatives, such as special events and fundraising for area nonprofits.

The movie has received a positive response from the Spartanburg community, including  police officers who want to assist with Reaves’ next film, already in production.

Originally from Eastman, Ga., Reaves graduated from the Georgia Academy for the Blind and is pursuing an interdisciplinary studies degree combining nonprofit management and communications. He has an eleven-year-old daughter and an extended family in Georgia.

For further information, Reaves can be reached at (864) 327-7743 or or call David Pitts at (864) 205-5990.