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Local film moves into editing stages
for the Sequim Gazette
“Serenity Farm The Movie” is expected to air on television, possibly in theaters, in 2012 and release on DVD in early 2013.
Producer John Rodsett describes filmmaking as a “marathon” not a “sprint.”
Rodsett wrote the two-page synopsis for the low-budget thriller feature in July 2010. By January 2011, the script was complete. Then, from April-August, film crews spent 25 days using three cameras to take more than 93 hours of footage.
“That’s a lot of editing,” Rodsett said, describing how a local assistant editor is helping him assemble more than 2,500 clips into three acts.
Currently, the film is 142 minutes long and needs to run between 90-92 minutes. The condensing process, Rodsett said, will take at least six to eight weeks and requires the assistance of an editor familiar with thriller movies. While the final editing is being done, Rodsett will continue adding special effects, adjusting screen coloring and hire somebody to add music to multiple scenes.
If everything goes according to plan, Rodsett will take the finished product with him to the south of France in May where he will attend a popular film market and try to sell the movie. It’s his 21st time attending the event and Rodsett said he feels confident he will be able to sell the film to one of the representatives with whom he’s already communicated.
‘Serenity Farm The Movie’
The film is set at a children’s horse farm on a remote Northwest island, where campers are surrounded by beautiful horses and untamed forest. A group of the camp counselors wanders into some old bunkers and tunnels on the island.
“Serenity quickly turns into mystery and fear,” Rodsett said.
Sinister events claim the lives of a number of adult camp counselors. As the younger horseback riders are evacuated, the young adult counselors — both male and female — are left the task of trying to figure out what is going on and how the deaths have happened.
Meanwhile, Jack, the new owner of the island, and an attractive female reporter are back on the mainland trying to find out the true story about what inhabits the island.
The teenage counselors locate an abandoned bunker/tunnel complex in the side of the cliff on the far side of the island where they are confronted by hooded creatures living in the dark depths. Fear, menace, revulsion and the nightmare of being hunted in the dark consume the counselors as one by one they die.
The investigation reveals the disturbing event of a U.S. destroyer’s return from a humanitarian mission in Africa in the early 1960s, the disease it was transporting, the disease’s mutation and the catastrophic effects it had on one family.
More information about the film and a promotional trailer is available online at www.serenityfarmthemovie.com.
A local effort
Eight of the cast and crew members holding major parts in the movie are from Sequim and the surrounding area.
Students from the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center also participated in filming the movie by helping backstage and on the set in exchange for learning about the process of filmmaking.
“The students were beneficial in many different ways,” Rodsett said. “Everybody talked to them about their job function so they could understand what a career in the business entails.”
Several local scenes are featured in the thriller, including the Sequim Police Department station, a Victorian hotel in Port Townsend, the Holiday Inn in Sequim, the Olympic Game Farm, the Fort Worden bunkers in Port Townsend and, of course, Serenity Farm.
The ‘real’ Serenity Farm
Ken and Sue Sweeney, owners of Serenity Farm up Blue Mountain Road, sold Rodsett a few acres of the original 70-acre parcel and the house that Sue Sweeney’s parents used to live in three years ago. Since then, the couple has become good friends with the Rodsetts.
Year-round, children of all ages visit Serenity Farm to learn about different equestrian sports and how to interact safely with horses. Some stay for the day, others participate in weeklong camps.
“It was a lot of fun to watch the filming going on over the summer,” Ken Sweeney said. “We are anxious to get a copy of the movie when it comes out.”
Mr. Film Biz
Rodsett started his career in the film and entertainment industry more than 30 years ago. His production resume lists numerous TV series, including “M*A*S*H.”
Since starting his independent film and sales agency in 1987, Rodsett has produced 20 independent films and has handled the distribution and sales for hundreds of films all around the world.
In more recent years, Rodsett has started focusing his energy on sharing his experience with younger generations. He’s taught global business and marketing at the University of Washington and marketing and entertainment at the University of Miami. As “Mr. Film Biz,” Rodsett maintains an active blog and leads independent film business seminars.
For more information, go online to www.mrfilmbiz.com.