Former Nikiski High School graduates, Mario Bird and Alden Ford, are home from college for the summer, but rather than working on the slime line, they're making a motion picture.
Alden Ford is a theatre major at Whitman College and will be a senior next year; Mario Bird will also be a senior next fall and is a film major at Notre Dame. "We've collaborated over the past few months to come up with a screen play called Echo Lake, which we will be shooting at a variety of locations on the Peninsula here through June to mid July and then editing in August. We have collaborated on the project with other former Nikiski students as well," said Bird. The team is looking for authentic Alaskans to build their cast, "That's the short answer for saying we don't have enough money to employ professional actors," added Bird. There will be nothing amateur about the film however, as Ford has brought several theatre major friends home with him for the summer who are experienced actors.
The team held a casting call last weekend at Kenai Middle School and were very pleased with the turn out. The list of cast members hasn't been released yet, but filming will get underway this week. Bird and Ford plan to enter the finished film at the Anchorage Film Festival in December, and hope to contract a showing at one of the local theatres, "We hope to have everything done by that time, it would be great to premier the film in Alaska at the Anchorage Film Festival, but as yet, we have to finish the film, so the showing is still a wild card," said Bird.
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