May 1, 2003 For Immediate Release CONTACT: Alan Stoddard Elevation Entertainment 801/554-3028 email@example.com
Touched By An Angel Now History -- What's Next?
Local filmmakers suggest LDS-themed movies can fill the economic void left by departing TV productions.
"Touched by an Angel" has just ended its nine-year run filming in Utah. During that time, producers reportedly injected over $200 million into the local economy. But does the show's cancellation signal the end for the Utah film industry?
Not if Alan and Allen have anything to say about it. That's Alan Stoddard and Allen Dial, whose production company, Elevation Entertainment, has just launched production on a new feature-length action-drama film aimed at LDS audiences. Call them dreamers, but the two insist that LDS films like theirs have a lot more to offer the local economy than many people might think.
"Certainly, the loss of 'Touched by an Angel' leaves a void," says Stoddard. "But there are a lot of films being produced right now, especially LDS-themed films. Believe it or not, these productions are more than filling the void."
Stoddard's research suggests that LDS film production companies have already spent over $15 million since the beginning of 2000. Although not comparable to the amount spent by Moon Water Productions and CBS (who produced "Touched"), there is at least one critical distinction.
"Ninety percent of LDS film production companies are local," says Stoddard. "So not only are they spending money in state, but the money they make also stays in state." Elevation Entertainment estimates that in 2002 alone the LDS film market produced over $30 million in revenues.
And those figures appear to be on the rise. The website www.ldsfilm.com currently lists over 15 LDS-themed films in various stages of production.
"The LDS film industry serves a very specific market," says Dial. "LDS audiences are really eager for good, quality feature films. The more, the better."
But, Alan and Allen caution, future growth is not a given. It also depends on meeting -- and exceeding -- growing audience expectations.
"The first few LDS feature films got a lot of mileage based on novelty," says Dial. "But LDS audiences are going to be expecting Hollywood-quality entertainment. After all, that's what they're paying for when they go to the theater."
"And that's what we're here to deliver," says Stoddard.
Stoddard and Dial's feature film, "Trial by Faith," is slated for a Fall 2003 theatrical release. Casting for the film is now underway, with callbacks being held April 24. People wanting information on casting or other aspects of the production should contact Elevation Entertainment at 159 W. Broadway, #102, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 1, 2003 For Immediate Release CONTACT: Allen Dial Elevation Entertainment 801-541-6392 email@example.com
Real-Life Heroes to Get Big-Screen Credit
Salt Lake City, Utah -- Most people love going to the movies to see make-believe heroes in action. But two local filmmakers think it's about time our real-life heroes got the big-screen attention they deserve.
"We wanted to make a movie about people risking their lives to make a difference," says Alan Dial, director of the upcoming feature film "Trial By Faith." "Fortunately, we had a lot of real-world examples."
"Trial By Faith" is the fictional story of two LDS missionaries serving in the southern Philippines whose lives are turned upside-down when they are captured and held hostage by terrorists.
"It's about regular people risking their lives to make a difference," says Dial. "Today, there are thousands of people in some of the world's most dangerous places doing just that. It seemed inappropriate to make this film without acknowledging their sacrifices."
To do that, Dial and Stoddard, the film's producers, hit upon a unique idea. At the end of the film, in addition to giving credit to the cast and crew, why not also give credit to real-world heroes?
"Those people have just as much to do with the making of this film as the writer of the actors or the crew," says Stoddard. "So they're getting credits along with the rest of us."
The film will hit local theaters this Fall. In the meantime, Dial and Stoddard are asking the public to nominate real-life heroes for credit in the movie. And they say they're not just looking for members of the military.
"We want to hear about anybody throughout the world whose life has been affected by the war on terrorism," says Dial.
"This is kind of like our personal memorial," says Stoddard. "But instead of building a monument, we're making a film."
Anyone wishing to nominate a real-world hero should submit a name and brief description by mail to Elevation Entertainment at 159 W. Broadway #102 Salt Lake City, UT 84101 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos of the nominees are also encouraged. Submission must be made by August 31, 2003, and should include the sender's name and a return address. For more information, call 801-541-6392 or email the filmmakers at email@example.com.