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Horror film gets ready to call action at Barn Theatre next month
AUGUSTA, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Hollywood is coming to West Michigan!
The Barn Theatre in Kalamazoo County is making the jump to movies.
Right now, the stage there is set for a production of Tarzan, but in just a months time it will be the centerpiece of a major motion picture.
Inspiration struck director Phil Wurtzel in 2011 while making a documentary on the rich history of the Barn Theatre.
He then wrote the screenplay for a horror thriller film, named Cawdor.
After getting the green light from several production companies and casting stars, "lights, camera, action" will be called in September.
And it will all take place at the Barn Theatre.
The filmmaker said it's more than just the perfect location that is bringing the $1 million project to West Michigan.
The resources that you need to make an independent film, just the nuts and bolts of it are very accessible in this area, Wurtzel said.
The Battle Creek native said the majority of the cast and crew will be locals.
Almost every resource will be coming out of Michigan, direct money going back into this area of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, Wurtzel said.
In the starring roles will be Cary Elwes from cult movie classic "The Princess Bride", Drake Bell from the Nickelodeon TV show "Drake and Josh" and Mischa Barton from TVs The O.C..
She comes into the theatre to complete a work release program. And while she's here, things start happening. Like any good horror movie, it gets worse and worse until the end when the ghost, the spirit that's in this theater, him and her collide in the end, Wurtzel said.
The spooky feature will be filming at the theatre for four weeks with no rental fee.
It's a joint effort. A project like this, even though it's a low indy budget movie, it's important to the area as well because they will generate a lot of stuff for the crew and cast, said theatre owner Brendan Ragotzy.
The documentary about the barn theatre will be premiering locally at the end of the month.
Wurtzel said the film should be released sometime in 2014.