Filmmakers shoot in Breck
BRECKENRIDGE – When Steve Mudd turned 29, he took his dreams off hold. Now he’s pursuing his filmmaking passion by shooting his first feature-length movie in Breckenridge. In college, Mudd and his buddies talked about dropping out and making movies. One friend did drop out to become a mortician. But Mudd completed his bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Wyoming, then worked for a variety of employers, from the Colorado Rockies to his current position as planning manager for Xcel Energy.In the meantime, he took a two-day film class, called his mortician friend to write a script together, then promptly put it on the shelf, both literally and figuratively – until his friend submitted it to Project Greenlight, a contest Matt Damon and Ben Affleck started to discover new talent. His film finished in the top 250 out of more than 7,000 entries, and that gave Mudd hope.”You know where it says, ‘Thank you for paying your bill on time’ on your Xcel bill? I wrote that. I just didn’t want that to be my greatest accomplishment,” he said. “On my 29th birthday, I started feeling old. I told myself I’d do a movie by the time I was 30.”
Mudd turned 30 a couple of weeks ago, and on June 5, he’ll begin shooting his movie, “Seclusion,” at a private home in Breckenridge.”Seclusion,” tells the story of a congressman’s adulterous trip to a secluded mountain cabin. When his mistress suspiciously disappears and his wife unexpectedly arrives, the mystery begins.The story is a dramatic thriller lined with dark humor, Mudd said.”All of the characters have a secret, have a past,” he said. “We’ve tried to add the layers so it’s more than a B movie up in a cabin.”
He likens his film to “Memento” or “The Usual Suspects,” hoping viewers will walk away saying, “Boy, I didn’t see that coming.”Though this is his first film, he has worked as a hired gun for Colorado-based Downside Productions on “Spotless,” which premiered at the Starz FilmCenter this year. He’s also writing Globeville Studios’ first feature-length project, tentatively titled “The Places You’ll Go.”In order to produce “Seclusion,” he says he has surrounded himself with people smarter than him. He is in negotiations with up-and-coming actors Chris Gann (who appeared in “XXX” and “The Pacifier”); Christopher Stapleton (who has played the lead role in three independent films and appeared on such television shows as “The X-Files”); and Missy Crider (who started her career as a teenager on “Lonesome Dove”). Two other local actors, Jefferson Arca and Catherine Sheehan, round out the cast.Mudd is shooting the film on a $100,000 budget, which he is funding with the help of friends and family. He plans to complete the film by October and enter major film festivals, such as Sundance. His worst-case scenario involves distributing the DVD version through such vehicles as Amazon.com to help recoup the money.
“The goal is for someone to write a check,” he said. “The chances are slim, but it happens every year.”Mudd and Rich Lerner, the director of photography, will shoot in Breckenridge from June 5-26. Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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