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Vt. Film Nears Completion - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. Film Nears Completion

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Colchester, Vermont -- January 2, 2010

Vermont may not be the movie capital of the world, but some good films have come out of the Green Mountain State. Tunbridge dairy farmer Fred Tuttle's fame back in the 1990s comes to mind. And now another farmer has found the inspiration for a film that just might find its way to fame.

This was the last day of production for George Woodard's soon-to-be finished film, The Summer of Walter Hacks. A group from the Vermont Symphony Orchestra rehearsed and recorded a movie score for the film.

It sounds like a Western. But instead of a gun-toting cowboy, the hero is an eleven-year old boy who rides a bicycle instead of a horse. And he carries a slingshot rather than a six-shooter.

Woodard said the music was inspired by the classic syncopated sound of the Western, including scores by composer Elmer Bernstein.

Woodard is the director. He followed the music closely to make sure it fits. The musicians watched a trailer to make sure they understood the tone of it all. 

Walter is a kid who grows up on a farm in 1952 -- and finds adventure. Woodard himself is a small dairy farmer with a lifelong hobby of theater productions. He knew that the film would have to be low-budget, which means no pricey actors and no plush surroundings.

"We have a beautiful dairy farm, so why not shoot it right there?" he told Channel 3. "And I got a kid, why not use him, you know? He's always there. In the middle of haying -- Hey, we gotta' let this hay set for a couple of more hours. Let's go over here and shoot this scene right now. Henry, go put your duds on!" he would tell his son, Henry, who was eleven when they shot the scene.

He says the film has taken five years so far, including fourteen months of shooting and fair amount of unpaid work. Producer Gerianne Smart said nobody has turned down an invitation to take part. "I had no 'nos,'" she said, "in five years, not one no. So I think that's a testament to George Woodard and his ability to rally around a good idea."

The film is presented in black and white, putting the audience back in time. Woodard said "We're going to show it at film festivals and hopefully all over the country, all over the world. How 'bout that! Whatdya' think of that, huh?" he laughed. "Oh, Boy!"

He said it will be shown at the Green Mountain film festival in Montpelier March 19 and will be submitted to other festivals. 

In case you wondered, just like in the Westerns, the hero saves the girl.

Andy Potter -- WCAX News

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