June 25--Filmmaking continues to grow in the Central Valley. Here's a look at projects keeping local moviemakers busy.
The short film "Adonis" by Fresno's David Dibble won the "American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase" at Cannes and collected the "Best Short Jury Award" and "Audience Favorite Short Film" honors at the Riverside Film Festival.
"Adonis" is a short film Dibble started three years ago. The romantic comedy deals with a guy who hires a dating service that employs a cute dog as a chick magnet. It stars James Snyder, Velinda Godfrey and features a cameo by Ernie Hudson.
"It was shot on green screen and all the backgrounds were miniature dollhouses and model railroads that my family helped to build," Dibble says.
Dibble's past work includes the one-hour documentary "Fort Roosevelt Requiem" that looked at the history, concept and demolishing of the fort in Hanford.
Kevin Searcy, a local filmmaker who was the director of photography on the local low-budget movie "Bigfoot's Wild Weekend" and "Trespass into Terror," will make his directorial debut with the vampire-werewolf-car racing film "Blood Drive." It will be shot in the Central Valley.
Irwin Keyes, the square-jawed actor who has appeared in "Wristcutters: A Love Story" and "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas," is scheduled to appear in the film.
For now, Searcy, along with producers Joe and Robert Silveira, have started a fundraising campaign at igg.me/at/blooddrive. They are looking to pull together $50,000 to make the movie.
Local filmmaker and author Philip R. Cable will attend Comic-Con International July 18-21 in San Diego to promote his new comic book, "Action Force." He's also in the early stages of turning the comic into a feature film.
"It's a lot easier to get a movie based on a comic book these days. Everyone wants to do one, but Disney has most of the Marvel characters and Warner Bros. has DC Comics," Cable says.
Cable, who lives in Visalia, has filmed several movies in the Central Valley, including the comic book-inspired "Knights of Justice" and is considering making "Action Force" here. He also is getting wooed by New Mexico, which is pushing to get film and TV production to the state.
He also plans to promote his book, "Make Movies That Make Money!" (McFarland and Co., $39.95).
"This book explains how to make a good, commercially successful, low-budget movie in the current multimillion-dollar Hollywood climate. The purpose is not only to show how to get movies made and distributed, but also how to maximize a film's potential for significant profit," Cable says.
Now you see it
"Firefall," the low-budget movie shot here in 2011 by local filmmaker Matt Sconce, has been released on DVD and Blu-ray, along with being available digitally. It's available at iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Walmart.com.
The film, originally titled "The Park," follows five groups of visitors to Yosemite National Park to see the natural effect known as the flaming waterfall of fire. Their visits are marked by family challenges and perils of the wilderness, which include an enraged mutant bear.
The cast includes Stan Harrington, Deep Rai, Sandy Kellerman, D.T. Carney, Willy Ortlieb and KMPH (Channel 26.1) anchor and part-time actor Kopi Sotiropulos, whose portion of the film was shot at the local FOX affiliate's station.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.
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