Kirby Heyborne * Will Swenson * Britani Bateman
Merrill Dodge * Tracy Ann Evans * Michael Birkeland * Maren Ord

John E. Moyer * Rulon Gardner * Larry H. Miller * Lincoln Hoppe * Daryn Tufts

A comedy from Dave Hunter and Kurt Hale,
the makers of "The Singles Ward":

The R.M.

written by Kurt Hale and John E. Moyer

"Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the world..."

In theaters January 31, 2003!

Related Links

News Article Mentions "The R.M."

Headline: Comedy film 'Singles Ward' to premiere in January
By: Laurie Williams Sowby
Source: Utah County Journal
Date: 11 January 2002


OREM (Jan. 11) -- Laugh-out-loud comedy for and about Latter-day Saints may seem an unusual niche, but it's one filmmakers Dave Hunter and Kurt Hale believe they can fill.

Their first movie, "The Singles Ward," is set to premiere in Salt Lake City on Jan. 30, followed by a general release in 55 theaters in Utah, Idaho and Arizona on Feb. 1. "Singles Ward" is the first of three LDS audience-targeted films the BYU film school graduates plan to produce before jumping into the general feature film market.

Hunter and Hale, who call their fledgling company HaleStorm Entertainment, want to deal in the market they know before spreading their wings to encompass a larger one.

"The Singles Ward" will be followed by "The R.M.," about a returned missionary who returns to find his family has moved and his girl and job have both evaporated. Third will be "Church Ball," whose title is self-explanatory for anyone who's ever witnessed the sometimes less-than-sportsmanlike behavior of church ball teams.

"We know what'll work," says Hunter in explaining why he's doing what he's doing...

Hunter sees "Singles Ward" and the two LDS-oriented comedies to follow as progress toward making bigger, general-release feature films.

"I know it sounds corny," he says, "but we really want to get in and make great films for the world to see. These are our stepping stones."

R.M.: Official Movie Site

29 January 2002 - The official website for "The R.M." has already been registered by Halestorm Entertainment. The URL is, predictably enough,

Currently the URL simply points to the Halestorm Entertainment website. The Halestorm website, by the way, has updated the "Coming Attractions" page to include mention of "The R.M." A logo is there, which simply includes a small "The" and a large "R.M.", done in a lighthearted style reflecting the fact that this film will be a comedy. A tagline and filming date comprise the only text:

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the world... Filming begins May 2002

R.M. - Not To Be Confused With...

The feature film titled "The R.M." (directed by Kurt Hales) should not be confused with the short film made by Chris Bowman while he was a film student at BYU. Bowman's film is titled simply "RM." A still from the apparently animated film can be seen at, on the BYU Films site.

The description for Bowman's film reads: "A young man wrestles with adjusting to life after serving a full time mission." Clearly the short film by Bowman and the feature film by Hale tackle the subject matter, but their scope is vastly different.

Filmmaker Chris Bowman is best known for the live-action short film he directed while a BYU film student: "The Wrong Brother." That film won top awards at the Final Cut Film Festival at BYU and went on to win 1st Place at the 1st International Young LDS Film Festival, where Kurt Hale was a guest speaker.

"The R.M." should also not be confused with the 12-episode British television series "The Irish R.M." That program, a comedic farce produced from 1983 to 1985, starred actor Peter Bowles as a retired British army officer who becomes a Resident Magistrate (R.M.) in the western Ireland around 1900.

In the films by Hale and Bowman, "R.M." is, of course, short for "Returned Missionary." This abbreviation is not widely used outside of Church circles. Non-Latter-day Saint writers often refer to returned missionaries as "former missionaries." The word "former" is less ideal, because it fails to convey the sense that Latter-day Saint missionaries serve for a pre-determined period of time. They do not "quit" being missionaries. They return home.

As noted, non-Latter-day Saint writers rarely use the word "R.M." in the way that Latter-day Saints do. One of the most significant usages of this word by a non-LDS writer is in the novel Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch. (First published in 1968, this novel was recently ranked the 5th Best Science Fiction Book of the 20th Century by, slightly ahead of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game in 7th place.)

In the opening section of Camp Concentration the main character has been imprisoned as a political dissident in near-future America. His only friend in this prison is the Mormon guard whom he occasionally converses with. He never mentions the guard's real name, calling him only "R.M.", which he jokingly claims stands for "Rigor Mortis."

'Singles Ward' movie is on track financially as well as artistically

By: Laurie Williams Sowby
Date: 9 April 2002
Source: Utah County Journal

OREM (April 9) -- Two BYU film graduates who set out to make feature-length comedies based on Latter-day Saint culture are apparently succeeding, slowly but surely. Although they haven't recouped their half-million- dollar investment quite yet, Kurt Hale and Dave Hunter's HaleStorm Productions in [sic] on track with "The Singles Ward," a laugh-out-loud comedy that accurately lampoons the LDS singles scene.

The movie premiered in Salt Lake City Jan. 30 and is still filling large theaters at Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Layton and Provo's Wynnsong every weekend.

"If you were to go there on a Friday or Saturday afternoon and try to get tickets for that night, you couldn't get in," said Hunter, who's understandably keeping a close watch on the movie's reception.

He estimates 120,000 people so far have seen the movie in Utah, several of them more than once. The sound track, featuring local bands playing covers of Primary songs, is also selling well in local music outlets.

"We roll out in theaters all over Idaho April 19, then Arizona May 8 and California the beginning of June," he said, noting that HaleStorm gets "probably a hundred emails a day" from those states asking when the movie is coming.

"In the meantime," said Hunter, "we'll be hitting little Mormon pockets in Colorado and Wyoming" with screenings of the highly entertaining movie.

The gross box office during the Utah run has reached about a half million dollars, according to Hunter. "We hope to do about $2.2 million at the box office," he said. "We're still on track to do that."

"The Singles Ward" is the first of three LDS- oriented comedies which the BYU film school graduates plan to produce before jumping into the general feature film market.

Hunter said he and Hale want to deal in the market they know before spreading their wings to encompass a larger one.

Shooting begins in May for "The R.M.," about a returned missionary who returns to find his family has moved and his girl and job have both evaporated, too. Next comes "Church Ball," whose title is self- explanatory who's ever witnessed the unsportsmanlike behavior of church ball teams.

"We know what'll work," says Hunter in explaining why he's doing what he's doing.

Hunter sees "Singles Ward" and the two LDS-oriented comedies to follow as progress toward making bigger, general-release feature films.

"I know it sounds corny," he says, "but we really want to get in and make great films for the world to see. These are our stepping stones."

-- See more about "The Singles Ward" and HaleStorm Entertainment on at

'The Singles Ward' opens in Idaho Falls

By: Lindsie Taylor
Date: 23 April 2002
Source: Idaho Scroll (BYU-Idaho)

Two months after its release in Utah with a $500,000 box office bust [the inexperienced author of the article apparently means "box office hit"], The Singles Ward premiered in Idaho theaters Friday. A few of the show's actors, Daryn Tufts (Eldon), Kirby Heyborne (Dallen), Michael Birkeland (Hyrum) and Lincoln Hoppe (DeVerl), held a private, by-invitation-only screening Wednesday night at Edwards Theater in Idaho Falls to promote the movie.

"I've always wanted to direct a comedy," Kurt Hale, co-writer, executive producer and director of The Singles Ward, said. "But I've always wanted to be able to produce films within the LDS genre."

With the recent box office successes of films such as God's Army and The Other Side of Heaven, Hale noticed there is, indeed, an audience that wants to see stories about the LDS culture.

"I also notices [sic] that no one else has attempted to make a comedy," Hale said.

Before the show began, Birkeland announced two upcoming LDS-genre movies that Halestorm Entertainment, which produced The Single Ward, will release in the next year or two — The RM and Church Ball.

Uncover the stars - Question & Answer
Daryn Tufts of The Singles Ward

By: Lindsie Taylor
Date: 23 April 2002
Source: Idaho Scroll (BYU-Idaho)

How has The Singles Ward altered your career?

It's definitely gotten me more involved in acting. For years, people have encouraged me to pursue acting, but I never did until this film. In fact, when I auditioned, I didn't even have so much as a headshot, resumé or agent.

What's more exciting are the opportunities it's opened up for me as a writer. I've been able to be involved as a co-writer for the next HaleStorm film, The RM and am also writing another film that should begin shooting this year. And hey – did I mention the novel?

Me, Myself & EFY is my very first stab at a novel. It's the story of a young man who goes to EFY and has an experience far beyond the one the brochure promised him. It's hard to describe without giving much away, but I can say it's an LDS fiction novel that's part comedy, part romance, part adventure with a little time-travel thrown in. I'm both very excited and nervous about it. I mean, will anyone actually buy a book I wrote? Time will tell, but please … EVERYONE … buy the book! If you'd like more information about it's release, hop on over to

HaleStorm Entertainment Press Release:

For Immediate Release

June 10, 2002

For additional information: Jed Ivie (801) 434-8800


Hundreds of aspiring actors and actresses flocked to the casting audition for HaleStorm Entertainment’s new LDS comedy The R.M. "We only expected 250 auditions today," stated casting director Michelle Wright, "Over 500 movie hopefuls showed up. It was quite overwhelming the response we received. This has been the largest audition ever held in Utah for a feature film." Writer/Director Kurt Hale only planned on holding auditions on Monday, "It turns out we have another full day of auditions we will have to do on Tuesday." Hale credits the vast turnout greatly to the success of his previous comedy, The Singles Ward. "The Singles Ward was an overall hit in Utah and has really generated a peaked interest in LDS films. Everybody wants to be involved."

The R.M., which will begin filming in July, will feature another all star line-up of famous LDS personalities who will have cameo appearances in the film. "This is such a pop-culture piece," said Producer Dave Hunter, "We felt that many of our LDS pop-culture celebs of today will really add something to the production."

To date, The Singles Ward has grossed over $775,000 in the box office and HaleStorm Entertainment expects the movie to gross over $1.5 million theatrically.

"The Singles Ward has done so well while appealing to such a limited audience," said Hunter, "I feel The R.M. will appeal to a greater audience and thus outperform Singles Ward." Movie goers can expect The R.M. to hit theaters in Utah and Idaho in early January 2003.

June 10, 2002

THE R.M. Synopsis

Returning home from a Latter-day Saint full-time mission isn’t easy–and Jared is about to find that out. He is sure he’d be overly blessed for his dedication to missionary service–and he will be, just not the way he expects.

Jared is a member of a large Latter-day Saint family–thirteen kids total (and one on the way) and has very loving, albeit distracted, parents. Jared’s release date arrives and he returns to a family that forget he was coming home, a girlfriend who has found someone else, a best friend that has gone inactive, and a predicament that will test his faith.

This hilarious comedy and yet poignant story is based on experiences that many returned missionaries have experienced in some small way when returning to life after the mission. The RM allows members of the church everywhere, to laugh out loud at peculiarities of post-mission life, while causing them to think deeply about what it means to choose the right and hold to the rod.

Callback will be held Monday, June 17 from 9am to 5pm.

Auditions are being held at HaleStorm Entertainment’s office located at 580 S. State St., Orem Utah.

Interviews and photo opportunities are available.

Arts Briefs

Date: 14 June 2002
Source: Salt Lake Tribune

Crowded 'Ward': The makers of the LDS-themed comedy "The Singles Ward" got a surprise Monday when they started auditions for their new movie: a crowd of 460 would-be performers at their Orem office, nearly twice the number they expected.

"The R.M.," a comedy centering on a returned missionary and again boasting numerous cameos by LDS personalities, starts filming in July. The movie, written and directed by "Singles Ward" director/co-writer Kurt Hale, should hit screens in Utah and Idaho in January 2003.

'Copenhagen' at PTC: Pioneer Theatre Company announced that the fourth show of its 2002-2003 season will be the Tony Award-winning play "Copenhagen" by Michael Frayn. "Copenhagen" is set in Europe during World War II and concerns a fateful meeting between two scientific giants. Licensing requirements prevented PTC from announcing the play's title when the rest of the 2002-03 season was announced.

"Copenhagen" will be presented Jan. 15 to Feb. 1 at Simmons Pioneer Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, Salt Lake City. Call (801) 581-6961 or visit

New Boss: Carol Ann Modesitt of the Southern Utah University Opera Theatre is the new chairwoman of the Cedar City Arts Council. Spencer Wilson of Cedar Mountain Ceramics is the vice chairman. The council elected the pair at a June 11 meeting. The council's major goal will be to create an Internet calendar of events.

[Webmaster's Note: Carol Ann Modesitt is the model for her husband L.E. Modesitt's main female character in his novel OF TANGIBLE GHOSTS and its sequel GHOST OF THE REVELATOR, which is set in Utah.]

"The R.M." Casting Info

Date: June 2002
Source: Official movie website

The R.M.

A new 35mm feature-length film from:
HaleStorm Entertainment

Producers: Dave Hunter and Kurt Hale
Director: Kurt Hale
Casting Director: Michelle Wright
Auditions: Monday, June 10, 2002
Location: 580 S. State Street
3rd Floor
Orem, UT
Callbacks: TBA
Shooting dates: July 8 - August 3, 2002
Day-rates: Leads: $200 + 15%
Supporting: $100 + 15%
Other: Non-pay
Shooting locations: Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah

Agents and talent, please e-mail Michelle Wright to confirm all auditions.

All talent, please come prepared:

For casting questions, or to be a featured cast member or extra, please send an e-mail to casting.

"The R.M." Storyline

By: John Moyer and Kurt Hale (the screenwriters of the movie)
Date: June 2002
Source: Official movie website

Returning home from a Latter-day Saint full-time mission isn't easy -- and Jared McAllister is about to find that out. He was confident that he would be overly blessed for his dedication to missionary service, and he will be, just not the way he expects.

Jared is a member of a large Latter-day Saint family -- 11 children total (with one on the way) -- and he has very loving, albeit distracted parents. Jared's final missionary day arrives and he returns home to a family that not only has forgotten that he was coming home, but has moved away, forgetting to tell him! Needless to say, life doesn't get any easier from there. He loses the job he had planned, the girlfriend he loves, his car, and the bedroom that was once his. But that is just the situational issues that lie at the core of Jared's problems.

Jared's best friend, Kori Swenson, was supposed to enter the mission field shortly after Jared left. It didn't happen, and yet Kori has everything that Jared thought he had a right to after returning from his mission: The girlfriend, the high-paying job, the fraternity, and more. Who is the Lord really blessing? Shouldn't Jared be entitled to these things after his dedicated missionary service? These are just a myriad of questions that cross Jared's mind at the insistence of Kori.

Kori wants Jared to loosen up, live a little. According to Kori, nothing he is doing will keep him out of the Celestial Kingdom, so Jared needs to relax, and "make your own blessings, because the Lord doesn't work that way."

Jared's faith is pushed to breaking proportions when he is forced to choose between honesty and sending himself and Kori to jail for, in the words of Kori, another two-year "mission," or dishonesty and getting off free. What will Jared do? Will he tell the truth and go to jail or will he lie to save himself and Kori?

This hilarious comedy and yet poignant story is based on experiences that returned missionaries have gone through in some small way about the culture shock after serving a mission. "The R.M." allows every member of the church to laugh at the peculiarities of post-mission life, while causing them to think deeply about what it means to choose the right and hold to the rod.

"The R.M." Characters (casting sheet)



Agents and independant talent should e-mail casting to confirm all auditions with your name and the part you will be auditioning for.

Open call:

All talent, please come prepared:

If you have any questions, contact casting.

Each character is listed below with a brief description to the right. Times for auditions are posted to the right of each character's description.

Auditions will be held Monday, June 10, 2002 at the HaleStorm office. Callbacks will be announced at a later date.

Sides are provided in PDF format, which you can download by clicking on the character name that you wish to audition for. You can then use Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the file. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you can download it from the Adobe web site.

BRIGHAM McALLISTER: Age: 40s. Caucasian male. Father of 12 children. Kind, good Mormon father. A mentor to the family. Must be strong actor. (Supporting.) 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
EMMA McALLISTER: Age: 40s. Caucasian female. Mother of 12 children. Sweet, typical Mormon mother. Emotional. Must be strong actress. (Supporting.) 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
SAMUEL McALLISTER: Age: 16. Caucasian male. Smart, witty. 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
RUTH McALLISTER: Age: 15. Caucasian female. Spirited, witty Mormon. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

[Etc. 64 more characters listed.]

HaleStorm ready to shoot second LDS comedy film, 'The R.M.'

By: Laurie Williams Sowby
Date: 18 June 2002
Source: Utah County Journal

OREM (June 18) - The success of their first feature-length movie has made the second a lot easier for HaleStorm Entertainment.

The Orem-based film company - which produced "The Singles Ward" with BYU film grads Kurt Hale and Dave Hunter at the helm - has found both funding and casting easier for its upcoming film, "The R.M."

The comedy in the same vein but not a sequel to "The Singles Ward" will spoof Latter-day Saint culture as it tells the story of a hardworking, rule-keeping missionary who returns home and "expects everything to be great, but his life begins falling apart," according to Hunter.

"It's sort of a modern-day story of Job," he continues, with a parallel story of the R.M.'s friend who didn't serve a mission but seems to have it all - great girl, great car, great job.

"The R.M," which will be shot during July and early August at locations in Salt Lake City, Utah County, Wallsburg and Fairview, has already benefitted from the success of "The Singles Ward," which debuted the end of January and is still playing in major theaters along the Wasatch Front.

"It was like pulling teeth to get people here to audition for 'The Singles ward,'" Hunter says, but, casting director Michelle Wright notes, "We had an overwhelming response to our casting call" this time.

She says 250 were confirmed for auditions on the first day, Monday, June 10, "but 500 showed up. We've spent the week making sure we've seen everybody. This film is obviously one everybody wants to be a part of," she says.

Callbacks were June 17 for some 95 speaking roles, plus the six leads and extras. Kirby Heyborne, who portrayed a young man called on a mission to Boise, Idaho, in "The Singles Ward," will portray Elder Jared McCallister, newly returned from his mission to Wyoming and expecting great things to happen in his life. The other roles have not been announced yet.

Wright credits detailed information at the film company's Web site - - for the huge casting turnout.

"Agencies responded, talent responded, and several actors from Hale Center Theater responded," she says.

But Hunter also credits the success of "The Singles Ward" with making young actors want to be in the next movie. And their initial movie's financial success has also made it easier to obtain financing the second time around.

"Right now, we're funded enough of our half-million dollar budget to get us through filming," Hunter explains, "and that's all happened within the past two weeks. It took us six years to get enough financial backing to do 'The Singles Ward.'"

He says "The R.M." will be in a similar comedic vein to "The Singles Ward," and a sound track of bands playing covers of hymns and Primary songs will be available.

"We're making fun of cultural things and leaving religious stuff completely out," he says. "It'll be just good, clean, fun family entertainment."

The HaleStorm team - Hale as screenwriter and director and Hunter as producer - have left themselves several months for editing and getting the film ready for its January 2003 debut. Their third film, "Church Ball," is scheduled to debut in January 2004.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Next!": Writer/director Kurt Hale (foreground) and casting director Michelle Wright put aspiring actors through their paces.

PHOTO CAPTION: Casting call: Hundreds turned out to auditions for "The R.M.," thanks to a good Web site and the success of HaleStorm's first movie, "The Singles Ward."

Film drawing big lines - for auditions

By: Callie Buys
Date: 19 June 2002
Source: Deseret News

OREM -- To those standing in line, the wait to audition for "The R.M." seemed almost as long as the last three months of a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Still, open auditions in Orem for a new film aimed at LDS audiences enticed 700 people to spend time over three days waiting to audition for one of some 85 speaking parts in "The R.M," created by the same producers as "The Singles Ward."

"It was a madhouse, but it was worth it," said Wendy Pyper.

Pyper and her 8-year-old son auditioned for the movie. Both returned for call-back auditions, held Tuesday and Wednesday.

Director Kurt Hale attributes the turnout largely to word of mouth. While producers informed acting agencies about the auditions, about 50 percent of those auditioning were not represented by an agency, Hale said.

Jolene Sayers attempted to audition for a part in the movie June 10 but decided to turn back after seeing the line. She came back the next day to audition and went to call-back auditions on Tuesday.

"I'm so nervous," she said before her call back. "I hate auditions."

Casting director Michelle Wright said people came from California, Arizona, Idaho and Colorado to audition for the movie, which will film in Salt Lake and Provo most of July and early August and reach theaters in mid-January 2003.

"It's a popular film production that everyone wants to be a part of," she said.

While "The Singles Ward" featured a mainly young adult cast and aimed primarily at a similar audience, this film is for cast members and audiences of all ages, Hale said.

The film tells the story of a young man named Jared McAllister who has recently returned from an LDS mission. McAllister returns expecting to reunite with his girlfriend, get a high-paying job and go to Brigham Young University.

None of these things go right for McAllister, whose parents and 11 siblings moved to a new home without telling him and forgot to pick him up from the airport. McAllister faces numerous other challenges, including a stint in court, as he returns home.

Kirby Heyborne, who played a young man preparing for an LDS mission in "The Singles Ward," has already been cast as Jared McAllister.

The movie will also feature cameos by "recognized faces," Hale said.

Merrill Dodge planned to audition for a role as a judge, but casting directors at the first audition asked him to read the part of Jared McAllister's father, Brigham McAllister. Dodge was called back Tuesday for the part.

Dodge, who has been involved in theater and movies for over a decade, still feels nervous before an audition. In fact, he gets more nervous for an audition than for a performance.

"Somebody who says they're not nervous, I don't believe it," he said.

For this audition, the actor stands on an X taped to the floor of a small room.

A camera in the corner quietly documents the audition, including a scene in which Dodge spit out a mouthful of LDS acronyms.

Directors look for some things while an actor may be focusing on something different.

"The uncertainty of the whole thing makes it kind of exciting," he said.

Not getting a part may not reflect on one's ability as an actor, he adds. Rejection is part of the game.

While directors whittled the 700 hopefuls to a more reasonable number for call backs -- around 60 came back Tuesday, and at least that many were scheduled for Wednesday -- most of those called back will inevitably not get the part they want.

While the film serves a specific audience, there is no preaching and no agenda, Hale said.

"Comedy is universal," he said. "It's not sappy, preachy or heavy handed."

Hundreds try out for LDS genre film

By: Martin Harris
Date: June 13, 2002
Source: Orem-Geneva Times

HaleStorm Entertainment has a hit on its hands as the movie The Singles Ward, which has brought in more than $775,000 at the box office.

The Singles Ward follows a recent trend of motion pictures with an LDS theme and setting. The movie follows the lives of several twenty-something young men and women who live in a, you guessed it, Singles Ward.

The movie was released in Utah, Idaho, and Arizona and is scheduled to be released in California in July.

Now the group is trying to repeat the success with its newest venture, The R.M.

It is a comedy based on the experiences of a recently returned LDS missionary but do not look at your theatre for it just yet. Halestorm jus [sic] started casting the film and held auditions Monday.

Little did they realize the turnout they would have.

"We expected 100 to 150 people," Jed Ivie of Halestorm said.

Ivie and many others were surprised when more than 350 actors and perspective actors showed up to tryout [sic] for one of the 60 available parts.

One of the turnouts was 11-year old Kyah Morris, who was wanted the part of the mattress boy.

"I have always wanted to act since I was three," Morris said. "You get to meet people and be on TV."

Some saw the line and did a 180 at the door.

"I've seen good actors walk out because of the wait," Bryce Chamberlain said. Chamberlain just finished in a movie filmed in Utah called Day of Defense. He was asked to come to this casting call by the casting director of that movie.

Ivie and Halestorm Entertainment have their work cut out for them trying to narrow down the field for the call backs this Friday.

"The R.M." Leads Announced

9 July 2002 - HaleStorm Entertainment has released the names of the leads in their upcoming feature comedy "The R.M.", which began filming on July 8, is scheduled to finish filming August 3, and will be released early in 2003. It was previously announced that the lead actor in "The R.M." will be Kirby Heyborne, as "Jared" (the R.M., i.e., Returned Missionary). Kirby is best known for playing "Dalen" the Idaho-bound missionary in who was the lead character's friend in HaleStorm's first movie "The Singles Ward." Joining Kirby is Will Swenson, as "Kory", Kirby's best friend -- a suave young man who did NOT serve a mission, but seems to have everything in life that Jared the R.M. doesn't have. (Will Swenson played the lead role in "The Singles Ward," but neither he nor Kirby are reprising characters from that movie.)

Other cast members in "The R.M.":
The part of "Kelly", the female lead role, will be played by newcomer Britani Bateman.

Newcomer Merrill Dodge will play "Brigham", Jared's father.

Newcomer Tracy Ann Evans has landed what many insiders consider the film's funniest supporting role: the part of Emma, Jared's uber-Relief Society mother.

Michael Birkeland, who played "Hyrum" in "The Singles Ward" has a supporting role as "Duey."

Finally, music fans will be excited to hear that none other than MAREN ORD, the Canadian pop sensation, has a supporting role in "The R.M." as "Sariah." Maren's songs can be heard on the soundtrack for the movies "crazy/beautiful" and "The Singles Ward," and on the TV shows "Alias" and "Felicity." Maren sings the title song in the movie "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" (starring Alec Baldwin). She also has a track on the "Welcome to Brigham" CD inspired by Richard Dutcher's "Brigham City." But this will be Maren's film debut as an actress.

Lincoln Hoppe, Daryn Tufts and Bobby Swenson (who played DeVerl, Eldon and Zak in "The Singles Ward" respectively) will all make "cameo" appearances in "The R.M."

Shooting on "The R.M." began July 8 and will finish August 3. An early 2003 theatrical release is anticipated.

Movie film crews shoot locally

By: Barbara Christiansen
Date: 12 July 2002
Source: New Utah (American Fork)

When Elder Jared Phelps returned from his LDS mission, he found a few surprises. One was that his parents had moved and forgotten to tell him. The ensuing story is not the tragedy of real life, but the plot of a new movie, "The R. M."

Film production crews were in Saratoga Springs and American Fork this week to begin shooting the motion picture, an LDS comedy. It is scheduled to hit theaters in Utah and Idaho and January, 2003.

HaleStorm Entertainment, which made "The Singles Ward," starting filming on Monday, with scenes at the home of Tim and Karen Cowley on Nob Hill. Further filming was done at another American Fork residence, which was portrayed as the new home of the Phelps family.

Kirby Heyborne, who played Dallen in "The Singles Ward," plays Phelps and spent a lot of time Monday outside in the heat in his dark suit, portraying the elder who had just gotten off a bus with his suitcases, only to find a "Sold" sign where he used to live.

"The R.M." will feature an all-star lineup of famous LDS personalities with cameo appearances in the film. It is similar to "The Singles Ward," which had appearances by personalities including Steve Young, Danny Ainge, Jason Buck, Shawn Bradley, LaVell Edwards, Gordon Jump, Ron McBride, Thurl Bailey and Johnny Biscuit.

Writer-director Kurt Hale lead the crew in framing the shots and the action. He credited the success of "The Singles Ward" to the large turnout the group had for auditions for the current production.

"'The Singles Ward' was an overall hit in Utah and has really generated a peaked interest in LDS films," he said. "Everybody wants to be involved."

Producers anticipate "The R.M." will be an even greater hit than "The Singles Ward," which is anticipated to gross more than $1.5 million.

Go to "The R.M." page 2