...action! Minnesota filmmakers use historic Red Wing home for set
When independent film producer Ian Morland and writer/director Brandon Lohstreter set out to find a location to shoot their upcoming short dark comedic film, they had no intention of leaving the cozy niche or city limits of Minneapolis.
But, after posting an online call for a house to use for the set of their film, they received a plethora of responses. Sorting through emails and attached photos, a certain house sparked their interest.
A few phone calls later, the up-and-coming filmmakers found themselves heading south to Red Wing to see the potential location in person.
"I was trying really hard not to like it," Morland said of the historic home on East Avenue. "Because it is a lot of work to move a cast and crew, but the house looked camera friendly and there is a lot of value in that location with such an intimate setting."
Morland, Lohstreter and their 12-member crew will be filming at a Red Wing resident's home on East Avenue from Friday Feb. 15 to Sunday Feb. 17.
This will be the first official short film released by Morland and Lohstreter, although they did start working on another short film this past summer. Individually, they have hefty backgrounds in film, producing and audio engineering.
Originally from New Glarus, Wis., Morland attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and finished schooling at the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis. He now lives only three miles away from Lohstreter.
Raised in Wayzata, Minn., Lohstreter worked on independent films after his college days and headed south in 2006 where he got much more involved in the field.
"I worked on projects in Minnesota, Chicago, Kansas City and Louisiana from the camera department to script supervising and working with directors," he explained, "I've used that experience to teach myself what to do and what not to do."
The piece being filmed here and titled "Thursday Evening 7:36 p.m. Central Time" has been in the works for at least six months.
"Now we are here," Lohstreter said, "It feels surreal in my mind, I'm used to go working on someone else's project. All of a sudden this thing is taking shape -- including the setting and value of the house, which we never imagined could look so good."
He describes the film as a character piece told through a dark comedy. "It's a home invasion gone horribly wrong," he adds.
The short film will end up being around 15 minutes and will be shot entirely indoors.
"Having something that will come out and look professional -- a one-act play, depth in characters and strong visual qualities, is all very movitating and exciting," Lohstreter said.
He and Morland plan on screening the film at Art-A-Whirl, a northeast Minneapolis art exhibition in May, submitting it to the Twin Cities Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival, among others.
"I really like local and regional filmmaking," Lohstreter added "The entire cast and crew are either from Minnesota or Wisconsin and we want to make a point to show the film locally, it's an easy way to show the community what we are doing and a good motivation to go to other film festivals."
He admits that the actual impact of bringing a project like this into a small community might not be monumental, however, it can be very influential.
"There may be some kids seeing us load equipment, or if we have a couple of hours at night and can go grab a beer, we want to meet the community and enjoy our experience. I always take that mentality with me, sometimes it can be world-changing for people. However it comes out, it should be interesting."
Final plans are being made for accommodating the mainly Minneapolis-based cast and crew, who will stay in Red Wing for the length of the filming. They are looking for potentials caterers.
"I think it is a valuable opportunity for Red Wing's businesses to be seen in a unique way and to gain publicity outside of their typical market," Morland said.
If you are interested in helping out the crew, contact Morland at firstname.lastname@example.org.