Sunday Feature: “Wichita – The Movie” makes premiere in Wellington on Wednesday

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — For one night only, Wellington’s Regent Theater will premiere “Wichita — The Movie,” — that proves big time studio productions does not necessarily have to be made in Hollywood.The Wellington Regent Theater is part of a 30-city, six-state tour for the film. The movie will be shown this Wednesday at 7 p.m. Wellington residents may recognize the butcher in the film: Gregor Hunt, who graduated from Wellington High School in 1983.Carter Green, owner of GreenJeans Studios in Wellington, did the title track for the movie.“Wichita — The Movie” is a feature length western, written and produced in Wichita. All of the sets and props were produced here. All but two of the actors in the movie live or have lived in the south-central Kansas region.Gregor HuntThe adult-themed film is a cat-and-mouse mystery set in Wichita in 1882 about a mysterious fugitive who is seeking out his revenge on the person who landed him in prison. His tracking skills lead him to the quiet, peaceful town of Wichita, during a time when the town was ascending from a small farm village to a cross-cultural industrial metropolitan (see more details of the movie: http://wichita-movie.com/ .The film is the brainchild of Nicholas Barton, a writer/director in Wichita who came up with the novel concept of producing and mass marketing an indie film – and doing the promotion work backwards.He is taking the movie to the people first before going to the film festivals second. Usually it is the other way around.Today, there is a huge market for independent films – away from the restrictions of the major studios. These films get showcased at various film festivals including the Tallgrass Festival in Wichita on Oct. 15-19, 2014 in hopes of being discovered by major film distributors.Ryan McGuigan, an Arkansas City graduate and executive producer of the film, said they are instead taking their film to 30 theaters across the Midwest, including the Wellington Regent, in an attempt to generate enough word of mouth interest from moviegoers that the movie can make a bigger splash at the film festivals. After all, for example, there are 190 films being screened at the Tallgrass Film Festival this Octover. The Wichita story was written in July 2012 and has had 20 rewrites – typical for a movie. But what made their concept unique is the movie was exclusively shot in Kansas.“Many people don’t realize what an overabundance of acting talent we have in this area,” McGuigan said. “So many films are made in New York or Los Angeles or even Atlanta. We thought we could distinguish ourselves here and attract potential local investors.”It also was financially more feasible to shoot the movie here. The film sets, the consumes, and props were donated by the Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita. The original goal was to make a movie that was true to the way life was in the late 1880s, and they had a plethora of advisors here who could help them.There are about 60 people in the movie. Justin France, a Clearwater High School graduate and regular actor for the Wichita Center for the Arts, will be the star of the show.McGuigan said the fact that the movie contains actors that aren’t household names will add to its appeal.“It is about the movie,” McGuigan said. “We wanted to feature an interesting, fictional story that really could have taken place in the 1880s.”Wichita- The Movie will intertwine fiction with some historical figures such as Wyatt Earp, who lived in the Wichita area briefly before moving on to Dodge City.The movie is not for children. It has some brief nudity and plenty of violence. McGuigan said the movie will be seeking an R rating.McGuigan said he joined the production 18 months ago and it has become his life. Creating a movie is not an easy task.“Obviously, we are hoping in securing a large distribution deal,” McGuigan said. “But, ultimately, what it really comes down to is we want to be able to do films for the rest of our lives.”The movie tour kicked off in Wichita at the Orpheum on April 4. It has made its way to Tulsa, Joplin and Ponca City, before coming to Wellington on Wednesday.“We had about 1,100 people at the Orpheum and they loved it,” McGuigan said. “It’s a different kind of movie. It’s a western, but not really a typical western. It is more film noir. The movie is a cat-and-mouse kind of thriller in a period piece. I think Wellington people will enjoy seeing this.”Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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