ST. GEORGE — Two Southern Utah filmmakers have begun production of their newest short film, and hope their work can inspire others to get involved in the film community.
“A Tale Told Heart” is the brain child of Dan Fowlks of the city of Washington, who said after reading the short-story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe he was inspired to tell the story in his own way.
Fowlks, who is working as the film’s writer, director and playing the lead role, said while there have been films based on many of Poe’s works, this particular story has not yet been focused on.
“I think people can expect an original take on this story,” Fowlks said. “While they may be familiar with it … we put it into a new and different light.”
The 20-25 minute film will keep the dark feeling of Poe’s original work, Fowlks said, but places it in a western-style setting and narrative format in which the killer is relaying the story to his attorney.
Film production of “A Tale Told Heart” began on Thursday, he said, and is being shot entirely in the Southern Utah area at locations like the Danish Ranch and Covington Mansion. Fowlks said Southern Utah is unique because it offers filmmakers a wide variety of locations.
“The area is such a good place for this,” Fowlks said. “We have the desert and rocks here; then snow and mountains an hour away.”
Some members of the cast and crew are using the film as a way to pursue their dreams of making it in the film industry. Shane Egan, director of photography for “A Tale Told Heart,” said he has always dreamed of making movies, and working on films like this gives him a chance to live that dream.
“When (Fowlks) asked if I wanted to be the director of photography on this project I immediately said, ‘yes,’ because this is what I love doing,” Egan said.
The filmmaking community in Southern Utah is small, Egan said, but projects like this help to bring those interested together and allow them a chance to meet up with others who share the same interests. While the community is small, Egan said, it’s relatively easy to find people to help with productions because everyone knows who to call for a certain job.
That drive to bring people together was one reason Fowlks said he started his own production company called Rogue Digital Media. It is his hope that this film can be the start of something greater and that by using the local talent he can help build support for future films and projects.
“There are so many different venues in the area that facilitate theater actors and performances … but there was no one really doing that for film,” Fowlks said. “The best thing about films is that you can put it together, have local talent involved, and people can support it without even leaving their homes by watching it on their phones or home computer.”
Community support for these types of projects is critical, Fowlks said, because their donations help ensure filmmakers can continue to produce more work in the future. These funds go towards better locations, newer equipment and ensuring members of the production team can be paid for their time and efforts.
“We’re really trying to make something that can also create awareness in the community,” Fowlks said. “Hopefully people can see this and realize that there are local filmmakers (here) trying to put films together and release their art.”
The film will be available online through Vimeo on Demand for 99 cents, Fowlks said. It will be released on Oct. 17 and will be available for a limited-time until Oct. 31.
Those wanting to learn more about getting involved with Southern Utah-based film projects can visit the St. George Actors and Filmies Facebook page.
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