Just in time for Halloween, some kind of diabolical monster has been found by a TV news crew embedded with a local search party near Revelstoke – oh, I mean Hats Creek, Smalltown, USA!
The Revelstoke Times Review checked in with Don Knodel, the producer of the film Embedded, which was filmed in Revelstoke in September of 2010. We wanted to know what’s been going on with the film since then.
Speaking from his Vancouver home, Knodel said the film has completed post production. Representatives from production company Iceberg Films are travelling to the Santa Monica-based American Film Market convention soon to seek a buyer. Knodel told us the annual festival attracts about 10,000 buyers.
Click here to watch the teaser for Embedded. (Editor’s note: Due to website upgrading, we’re having some issues with links. Here is the URL to the Embedded teaser: http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi3815349273/ )
For more about the ‘found film‘ genre action thriller, read our story from September of 2010 here:
Embedded started production in downtown Revelstoke on Monday morning, with a cast and crew of about 30 people shooting a number of scenes on the streets and sidewalks of Mackenzie Avenue.
Revelstoke is standing in for Hatt’s Creek, Montana — made apparent by the altered sign on city hall.
A suspenseful action-thriller titled ‘Embedded’ started production in Revelstoke on Sept. 26.
Producer Don Knodel of Vancouver-based Embedded Productions Inc. says they’ll be shooting in downtown Revelstoke for the first three days, then they’ll be doing most of the shooting in the bush, including lots of work around Blanket Creek.
“We’re going to put up a few American flags up and a few signs that say ‘Hats Creek’ and the rest of it is going to be showing Revelstoke for all of its beauty, with the mountains and the old-fashioned buildings,” said Knodel.
Embedded tells the tale of a former big-time television reporter whose career has taken a turn for the worse. He’s reporting from rural Montana when he’s called to the fictional town of Hatt’s Creek, to cover the story of a 12-year-old boy who’s gone missing in the woods.
The reporter joins the police and a posse of hunters who form a search party (hence ‘Embedded’) and venture into the forest. The townsfolk suspect a grizzly bear, seeing as cattle had been going missing near town.
That’s when things start to go south, and also where Knodel ends his plot summary. It is a suspense-based story, after all. “I’m not giving anything about the story away,” he says.
Stylistically, Knodel says Embedded will have a documentary-style look, drawing the audience into the story from the perspective of the television station videographer (played by Knodel).
For this reason, he says they purposely cast unknown or up-and-coming actors. When pressed for the biggest name, he hands over Jeb Beach, who has appeared in other films by director and writer Micheal Bafaro, originally from Revelstoke.
Jeb Beach has appeared in a number of films, including The Devil’s Ground (2008), Sanctuary (2008), Blood Ties (2006) and Psych (2006). Beach has also had a series of roles in television pilots.
Director Micheal Bafaro also shot The Barber in Revelstoke, a 2001 release featuring Malcolm McDowell playing a psychopath. That movie was set in Revelstoke, Alaska.
Bafaro has a number of film credits as director including, 11:11 (2004), Canes (2006) and also The Devil’s Ground along with Jeb Beach. He also has numerous credits as a writer and assistant director.
So, why Revelstoke? “One of the reasons was because it’s just beautiful. It fits the story really well,” says Knodel. “It’s a beautiful 100-year-old town. A lot of the mountain towns around Vancouver and across the province are newer, and they just don’t have that American feel to them. Revelstoke has that older, American feel to it, “with the mountains all around it’s just beautiful. It fits the story so well,” he said.
Knodel says the cast and crew are looking forward to getting up to Revelstoke, saying it’ll be a mini-vacation for some.
How can Revelstoke attract more film productions and the economic activity associated with them? “Films like this will help,” says Knodel. “If this film does really well, and people ask, ‘Where did you film that beautiful film?'”
The production is low budget, so filming in a place that doesn’t have a lot of fees and expensive permits will help stretch the production dollars.
One of the reasons behind the meteoric rise of the film industry in Vancouver in the 1980s and 1990s “aside from exchange rates and locations” was the lack of expensive permits and fees prevalent in other locations such as Los Angeles. But now, in Vancouver, “they have their hand out” says Knodel. “Vancouver gets so much filming, that people they get tired of it and they’re not very friendly towards it,” he says.
The crew is looking forward to staying in local accommodations and hanging out downtown. “We’re hoping that everyone’s really cooperative,” Knodel says, adding they’ve had good experiences with police and city officials so far.
Revelstoke Mayor David Raven said he spent half a day scouting out locations along with the crew earlier in the year. “I was quite positive about some of the feedback I got. They were very enthused about Revelstoke,” he said.
Most of the cast roles have been filled, but there are two roles they are seeking to fill locally. One is for a boy aged about 12, who will play the part of the missing boy. The other is for a child aged around seven. Knodel says they are also still looking for a few extras (mainly “older types”).
Revelstoke resident Lyn Kaulback will be doing the local casting. Interested parties can get in touch with her.
The plan is to complete the film and then market it for a theatrical release, said Knodel. When I bring up the idea of a screening at the Roxy, Knodel says they hadn’t thought it that far out, but it was a possibility.
The production will wrap on about Oct. 10.