July 09--Local filmmakers and twins Bruce and Brian Kreider are finding the lengthy process of creating a full-length feature film is rife with both endless possibilities and major setbacks.
The Kreider brothers are the writers and producers of both the original play and documentary film about the infamous Blue Eyed Six that they now want to turn to the big screen.
"The Blue Eyed Six" refers to six blue-eyed men who, in 1879, were charged in connection with the murder of Joseph Raber in northern Lebanon County to collect insurance. Their trial took place in Lebanon's courthouse, then in the first block of South Eighth Street. It ended with the hanging of five
of the six at the former courthouse property, which is now home to the Lebanon Farmers Market.
Last year, the Kreiders extolled the virtues of the film project for would-be investors from Lebanon and Dauphin counties during a gathering at the Allen Theatre in Annville. They held the event at the Allen to generate interest and attract potential investors in the full-length studio film.
The film has garnered the support of potential director and Pittsburgh native Rowdy Herrington, whose works include 1989's "Road House," starring Patrick Swayze; 1999's "A Murder
of Crows," starring Cuba Gooding Jr.; and 2004's "Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius," starring Jim Caviezel.
But the Kreiders are at a crossroads.
Do they keep playing the Hollywood waiting game trying to secure known actors to more easily obtain distribution interests and production money, or do they take matters into their own hands and find local talent to star in the film with help from college film departments and with money that has already been raised?
"Without money to do big marketing to attract attention, it's a slow process," Bruce Kreider said. "Once a known actor likes it and decides to do it, the others will file into place. Then development wraps up quickly. Then you get the green light for the film, and then the money starts coming in from presales, and you hear from distributors interested in doing it."
The development phase is going much more slowly than Kreider anticipated, but it's a vital part of the process, he said.
"Development is the longest part, but you have to be solid there or the whole thing will disassemble," he said. "It's taken a lot longer than I thought, but we are still alive and kicking away at it."
Although there is a finished script, the Kreiders are reworking it to keep the story as genuine as possible.
The Kreiders have been shopping around for big name actors and recently sent a letter to Playtone Productions, actor Tom Hanks' production company.
They are also looking into the possibility of shooting a movie scene in Germany to pique the interests of German business investors to acquire money for the film.
The Kreiders met with Congressman Charlie Dent who had recently traveled to Germany on business. When Dent heard about "The Blue Eyed Six" teaser trailer in Pennsylvania Dutch with English subtitles, Dent saw a potential opportunity to further bridge the Pennsylvania-Germany business relationship, Brian Kreider said in a news release.
One of the blue-eyed men, Charles Drews, was originally from the Holstein region of Germany. Dent suggested the Kreiders rewrite a scene and shoot it in Germany.
The Kreiders traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Sabine Schleidt, director of international programs of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, in April and acquired business contacts for the potential project.
Still, there is a lot of red tape to work around.
"Part of making a feature film means you have to probe wherever you can to see who might be interested," Brian Kreider said. "We're very interested in film distributors so there's lots of follow up and circling back and forth."
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