OREM -- Someone warned him not to do a period piece. Now he knows why.
Rob Sibley enjoyed the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books when he was growing up, so he wrote a movie mystery/adventure based on the legend of a lost wagon train, "The Shadow of Light."
Set in the 1930s and '40s with flashbacks to the late 1800s, the movie needed old cars, a mansion, a cave, some horses and no jet contrail in the sky.
"Attention to detail adds a whole other dimension when you are doing a period piece," Sibley said.
As writer, director and producer, Sibley had the help of three other producers. One, Marva Loy Eggett of Payson, found the cave between Santaquin and Genola.
"There aren't a lot of caves in this particular area," she said. "I'd drive along the road looking for caves -- something accessible to horses and wagons.
"This cave was on BLM land where some kind of mining was done during the early 1900s."
A mansion, Stephen Lacey's home, was located west of Payson. "They were very gracious to have us," Eggett said. "They let us move furniture around."
Old vehicles are abundant; however, the truck used in "Shadow" moved under manpower rather than gasoline, he pointed out.
"We filmed everything in Utah County," Sibley said, "We were able to find a variety of terrain and homes that hadn't been modernized, from the turn-of-the-century."
One thing Sibley didn't anticipate was, while shooting a 1940s street scene, modern cars could be seen three blocks away.
"We'll have to reshoot," he told the crew. The special effects person saved the day by digitally removing the cars frame by frame.
"Fortunately we shot that early on, and never again did we aim the camera down the street," Sibley said.
By the time the crew filmed a drugstore scene in Springville it had learned its lesson.
"The drugstore had a plate-glass window that would reflect everything on the street, so we parked an old car there that covered up a lot," Sibley said.
The perfect spot for an 1880s flashback was Spanish Fork Canyon. But the flight path of the airlines goes over it. Every 15-20 minutes a jet flew across, leaving a trail. "Then we'd have to wait for it to leave," he said. "A scene may only last one minute, but we'd do it three or four times."
OREM -- Legends abound in Utah, and Rob Sibley included some of them in his LDS-oriented movie "The Shadow of Light."
Lost treasure, disappearing wagon trains and Montezuma sending his gold to Kanab are just some of the legends interwoven into Sibley's first feature film, which will soon be available on video in local stores.
The KBYU production supervisor wanted to include stones. "There are always stories about stones that do various things, like in Harry Potter," he said.
A Book of Mormon story tells of stones lighting the way for the Jaredites. "Now what would have happened to those?" Sibley asked himself. "Here are some bright stones; would they have kept them once they got to America? Pass them down from generation to generation?"
Written by Sibley five years ago, the story is aimed at all different ages.
"There's nothing embarrassing that makes Mom and Dad cringe," Sibley said. "It's a compelling mystery: What happened to the pioneers and the treasure?"
He wrote three stories and filmed the first one because it takes place locally. After outlining for a month he turned it into a screenplay during the winter and filmed it this past summer.
"I set the story in the 1940s because that's when my mom and dad lived, so it's kind of an homage to them," Sibley said. "You have people in the '40s who knew the pioneers. We could actually go to them and ask, 'What happened?'"
"Shadow" tells of two brothers (played by Holt Hamilton of BYU and Dallen Johnson of Payson) who are stranded in a southern Utah town after a disastrous summer camping trip. The guys find a journal that hints at missing treasure. They are aided by a friend, played by Christina Shelley, a BYU student from Orem.
Originally from Baton Rouge, La., Sibley has always been fascinated with LDS Church history. "We have a tie to the Book of Mormon in the story," he said. "I have no desire to preach in my TV and filmmaking work, but if by watching this movie people go and pick up the Book of Mormon, my objective has been reached."
Sibley was amazed that 250 people showed up for the open casting calls. "I didn't have anyone in mind," he said. "I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to take a step up. I'd never done a feature film, so I was taking a step up. I was very pleased with the quality of people who came out."
Shelley, a linguistics major at BYU, tried out when someone in casting encouraged her. "Getting to know everyone was one of the best parts of the experience," she said.
She learned that movies are not shot in sequence. "We did the ending scene halfway through," she said. "They want to get everything in the same spot so they don't have to travel back and forth and change costumes and props."
During the two weeks she earned "a small fortune."
"Everybody got paid in this movie," Sibley said. "Not much, but they got paid."
More time is spent preparing and editing than actually shooting, which took 15 days. "It's matter unorganized," he said with a grimace. "It's amazing every time I do a show, how this vast puzzle fits together."
The movie is to be released soon to local stores. "Mormon moviedom is in its infancy," Sibley said. "I have no idea what the market is. Our goal is to make the money we invested back and a little bit more so we can continue doing this."
Here is some of the text from the official "Shadow of Light" website:
Milestone Productions presents The Shadow of Light, a comedy/mystery/adventure from producer Rob Sibley. (Cartoon-Mania, Utah's Blackhawk War, Historical Highlights, Utah's Heritage Highway and Culinary Creations with Mary Crafts.) This film features an ensemble cast that include actors Holt Hamilton, Dallen Johnson, Christina Shelley, Craig Lillywhite, Philip David, Carl Wilson and Fred Walters.
The behind-the-scenes crew includes: Screenwriter Glenn L. Anderson; Producers Marva Loy Eggett, Gary Francis and Ron Zeeman; Director of Photography Tahlee Booer; Composer Marden Pond; and Visual Effects by Ben Ungrum, Brian Mangum, Garrett Batty, and Glenn Smith.
A deserted mansion... a hidden journal... a lost wagon train... an insane sea captain... a missing treasure, brothers Jason and Nate Simms may be in over their heads! After a disastrous summer camping trip, the boys find themselves stranded in a small southern Utah town with a mysterious past.
With help from the local Mormon Bishop and his daughter, Susan, the boys begin unraveling the clues of a 60 year-old mystery that lead them to the pages of The Book of Mormon and a treasure worth more than all the riches on earth.
Producer Rob Sibley has always been fascinated with the history of the LDS church and the state of Utah. He wanted to make an adventure story that would spark the imagination of the audience about the pioneers and The Book of Mormon. The Shadow of Light is targeted for every member of the family. Although the majority of the story is fictional, there are many elements of fact sprinkled throughout. "The whole purpose of this film is to entertain the family and yet at the same time tell a compelling story," said Sibley. "If while watching, they have a desire to pick up The Book of Mormon and read the passage concerning this story, then the purpose of this film has been accomplished."
The Shadow of Light covers two time periods, the late 1800's (when the pioneers were still settling many areas of Utah) and the late 1940's. Wanting to tie the two time periods together, Sibley knew that in the late 40's there were people still alive who would have known some of the original pioneers. He also wanted to show how much has changed from the late 40's through the present. The fact that the Williams family was attending Sacrament Meeting in the evening, after attending Sunday School in the morning, helps give young people today an idea of what worship services were like before meetings were consolidated.
Holt Hamilton (Jason Simms) was born and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho. He served a LDS mission to the Navajo nation in Arizona and New Mexico where he gained a love for Native Americans. His acting experience includes Disney's Don't Look Under the Bed and commercials. Holt is currently studying at Scottsdale Community College in the motion picture program and is working on a screenplay and some short film projects. He plans on attending Northern Arizona University where he will study Cultural Anthropology. He hopes to use the film industry as a tool to educate people about different cultures. The Shadow of Light is his premiere film.
Dallen Johnson (Nathan Simms) is a senior at Payson High school and was born and raised in Spring Lake, Utah. The Shadow of Light is Dallen's debut in film. He has appeared in numerous plays and choirs including taking on the role of Mr. Bratt in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Dallen has also enjoyed singing with the Salem Superstars, The Payson Concert Choir, The Trouveres, Utah All-State Choir and The Payson Men's Choir. He enjoys spending time with his grandparents, running, flying, dating, scuba diving and being with friends. Dallen recently received his private pilot's license, and plans to attend Brigham Young University, go on a mission and become a full-time Seminary instructor.
Christina Shelly (Susan Williams) began performing at the age of four in various singing groups including the BYU Children's Choir and the Morning Star East Choir. Christina started her acting career in the 8th grade. The Shadow of Light is Christina's debut in film. She currently attends Brigham Young University where she is majoring in Linguistics and minoring in Tesol (teaching English to students of other languages.) Christina will graduate in April 2002.
Fred Walters (Elk Shadow) is originally from the Navajo reservation, but now lives in Fairview, Utah. Fred has appeared in Utah's BlackHawk War as Chief Sanpitch. He enjoys making his own traditional Indian items and clothes. He is active in the community by visiting schools and other institutions where he displays his native arts and talks about the American Indian lifestyle.
Lenore J. Cambria (Mrs. Simms) talents extends beyond film including commercial, radio and theater. Lenore has appeared in Touched By An Angel and Granite School District films. Her training includes vocal, acting, improv comedy, choreography, motivational speaking and percussion. Lenore lives in Sandy Utah.
Craig Lillywhite (Bishop Williams) is from Murray, Utah. His experience includes film, commercials and theater. He has appeared in; Allergan, The Trip, The Case of Debbie, As Others See Us and The Sacrament Meeting. He has also appeared in commercials including; Promised Land, Touched by An Angel, Wal-Mart and Julie's Egg Rolls. Craig has a Bachelors Degree in drama from Brigham Young University and is an accomplished public speaker.
Carl Wilson (Royce) currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah and owns his own talent agency, Minority Plus/Select. He has appeared in; Encyclopedia Brown the Boy Detective Series,Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Teen Angel: the Return (Disney) and The Sand Lot with James Earl Jones. His experiences also include LDS commercials, documentaries, and training films.
Rob Sibley (Director, Writer, Producer) is a talented film and television producer with numerous productions and screenplays to his credit. He produced the award-winning Utah's Blackhawk War: an historical account of Utah's most extensive Indian War told through the eyes of the participant's descendants, Directed Cartoon-Mania; an in-depth behind the scenes look at the golden age of animation, Historical Highlights; fifty animated cartoons that teach American history, Utah's Heritage Highway; the history, cultural, sights and sounds of U.S. Highway 89, and the series Culinary Creations with Mary Crafts. He has also produced Utah's Lost Treasures, a look at the legends and stories of Utah's past riches; Butch and Sundance Revisited, an examination of what may have become of Utah's most famous outlaws; Pioneer Stories, a look back at triumphant exploits of Utah's settlers, and Kanab: Little Hollywood, an examination of film-making in Southern Utah. In addition to his film experience, Sibley has edited hundreds of television programs. He is originally from Walker, Louisiana (near Baton Rouge) and served a LDS mission in the Boise, Idaho Mission.
Glenn L. Anderson (Screenplay) has worked full-time for Brigham Young University since 1979. He has directed media presentations for BYU's Instructional Technology Center, written and directed a multi-image biography on Rex Lee, and produced a video documentary on the history of BYU. Recently he co-produced LaVell Edwards: The Spirit of Cougar Football. He is a published novelist and has received leading screen-writing credit for the Disney Sunday Movie "The Thanksgiving Promise." His productions have won 13 national and international awards.
Ron Zeeman (Producer) was born and raised in Payson, Utah. He has extensive experience in film, including special effects for six movies. Ron has produced two full length movies and currently is in the Communications Department at Brigham Young University.
Tahlee Booer (Director of Photography) has worked in the film industry locally and abroad for over thirteen years. She studied film at Brigham Young University and is currently involved in The Smith Family documentary and a hip hop rap video for a local record label. She has also worked on Sisters of Zion, The Seer, Wasatch Modern Dance, Singlepoint, Nike-I am Mike, ASI Tattoo, and Big D Construction. Tahlee has learned from a number of prestigious directors throughout the years and is an avid still photographer. She would like to further her skills as a director of photography and would like to eventually shoot feature films.
Scott Hill (Visual Effects) graduated from Brigham Young University in Broadcast Journalism. His interest has always been in sports television. He currently works for KBYU Television as Sports Director. Scott's first television production was Utah's Blackhawk War with Producer Rob Sibley. He has also worked on several documentaries including Immortal Fortress and Helen Foster Snow: Witness to a Revolution. Scott was born in Hawaii and raised in Utah. He currently lives in Spanish Fork.
Justin Utley (Composer The Shadows of Light) was named as one of the top three male vocalists and top three songwriters in Salt Lake City by City Weekly Magazine. He has received numerous awards in the performing arts, including "Entertainer of the Year." Justin began writing music at the age of fourteen, and has since written over fifty songs, released three albums, appeared on television and LDS media. He has performed as "Joseph" in multiple productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat along the Wasatch Front. Justin is currently performing at the Egyptian Theatre Company in Park City, Utah.
Marva Loy Eggett (Producer) currently lives in Spring Lake, Utah. Her experience in film includes producing the award-winning Utah's BlackHawk War with Director Rob Sibley. She is a research historian and a member of the Peteetneet Arts Council. Marva Loy will be an Olympic torch bearer as it passes through the state of Utah during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Gary Francis (Producer) is originally from Springville, Utah and is President of Milestone Productions. Gary has produced numerous television programs and videos. Along with his father Sam Francis, Gary has produced fifteen educational albums for school-age children. He has also composed music for his album Called To Serve and has written music for the Utah Centennial and the Olympics.
Marden Pond (Composer) is an instructor at Utah Valley State College. His background in music is extensive including the production of twelve recorded albums and CD's. He is the director of "Nachtmusik" an orchestra that dresses in eighteenth century costumes and performs classical music. Marden also conducts tours to Europe that focus on the study of famous composers and listening to their music.
Jordan McClung (Sound Designer) was raised in Rockford, Illinois and has been interest in audio from the early age of seven. He attended the Madison Media Institute in Wisconsin majoring in Recording Audio and Music Technology. Jordan recently worked on the documentary LaVell Edwards: The Spirit of Cougar Football. He has also worked at the Hale Center Theater in Orem as an audio engineer.
Thomas J. McLaughlin
as Bishop Williams
Director of Photography
Marva Loy Eggett
Produced and Directed by
|Capt. Greenwood||Philip David|
|Jason Simms||Holt Hamilton|
|Carol Simms||Lenore Cambria|
|Jerry Herring||Robert Gibbons|
|Nate Simms||Dallen Johnson|
|Mrs. Turley||Dolores Richardson|
|Man in Truck||Ron Zeeman|
|Bishop Carl Williams||Craig Lilywhite|
|Susan Williams||Christina Shelley|
|Fred Shadow||Fritz Tessers|
|Elk Shadow||Fred Walters|
|Sister Williams||Allie Knell|
|James Douglas||Dan Menket|
|Old Man in Diner||Thomas J. McLaughlin|
|Cyril McFarland||Ron Johnson|
|Young Elk Shadow||Travis Begay|
|Bishop Call||James Ashcroft|
|Wild Flower||Estella Namine|
|Bad Guy 1||George Krie|
|Bad Guy 2||Andrew Avery|
|Bad Guy 3||Nathan Forrest|
|Brother Morris||Dan Glahn|
|Brother Jackson||Dennis Watkins|
Marva Loy Eggett
Director of Photography
Hale Center Theatre
Unit Production Manager
First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director
Second Unit Director
Second Unit Photographer
First Camera Assistant
Second Camera Assistant
Makeup and Hairstylist
Post Sound Department
Post Production Sound & Re-Recorded by
SIMPLE Sound Productions
Supervising Sound Editor
Sound Effects Editor
Assistant Sound Effects Editors
Assistant Sound Editors
Production Sound Department
Spring Creek Ranch
Sound Effects Supervisor
Visual Effects Producer
Visual Effects Supervisor
Visual Effects Coordinator
Visual Effects Technicians
Young Living Farms
|Linda Spencer Home||Provo|
|Gilbet White Home||Payson|
|Paul Rothe Farm||Payson|
|Steve Laney Home||Payson|
|Heber Valley Railroad||Heber|
|Diamond Fork Canyon||Utah County|
|Goshen Canyon||Juab County|
Score Recored and Part Preparation
MIDI Program and Recording
|Alto Sax||Doug Furr|
Lokata Indian Flute
Lighting and Grip Equipment
Redman Movies and Stories
This Motion Picture
Copyright 2001 Milestone Productions
Story and Screenplay
Copyright 2001 Rob Sibley
All Original Music
Copyright 2001 Milestone Productions
"The Shadows of Light"
Copyright 2001 Milestone Productions
All material is protected by copyright laws
of the United States and all countries
throughout the world. All rights reserved.
Any unauthorized exhibition, distribubtion or
copying of this film or any parts thereof,
including soundtrack is an infringement of
the relevant copyright and will subject the
infringer to severe civil and driminal penalties.
The story, all characters and incidents
portrayed in this production are fictitious.
No identification with actual persons, places,
buildings, and products is intended or
should be inferred.
PROVO, Utah (May 13, 2002) -- On Monday (May 20) at 8 p.m., KBYU-TV (Channel 11) will present "The Shadow of Light," a family feature film produced and directed by KBYU-TV staff member Rob Sibley.
After a disastrous summer camping trip, brothers Jason and Nate Simms find themselves stranded in a small Southern Utah town with a mysterious past. When the two brothers stumble upon clues that would prove that The Book of Mormon is true, they are thrust into a world of mystery and suspense.
With help from the local Mormon bishop and his daughter, the boys begin unraveling the clues of a 60-year-old mystery that leads them to the pages of The Book of Mormon.
The film was shot on location in Provo and Southern Utah using local actors and production crews.
Sibley wanted to make an action/adventure story that would appeal to all ages and spark viewers' imaginations about Utah's pioneers and The Book of Mormon.
"Although the major story line is fictional, there are many elements of fact sprinkled throughout the story," he said. "The purpose of this film is, first, to entertain the family, and, second, to tell a compelling story that reflects the values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If the audience has a desire to pick up The Book of Mormon and read the passages that are in this story, then the purpose of this film has been accomplished."
"The Shadow of Light" is set in two time periods: the late 1880s and the 1940s.
"There is a tremendous amount of interesting state and Church history available," said Sibley.