Last month, a new film production began in Elbert county. The short film (title to be released later this year) is set five minutes in the future and explores the theme of love in the modern age. The film will be produced through a combination of live-action and virtual production technology and techniques. Everything set in the protagonist’s virtual story will be built using computer graphic assets and animated with motion capture and the game engine/VFX software Unreal Engine, resulting in a vibrant and dynamic juxtaposition of worlds.
The live-action scenes were all shot in Colorado, helping to propel this juxtaposition. This film project supports the local content creation workforce which includes opportunities for line producers, grips, local actors and more. The project has an estimated in-state spend of $244,434 for a total estimated economic impact of approximately $440,000 through spending on craft services, transportation and lodging.
The Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media (COFTM) worked with Denver-based Emmy-nominated producers Patrick Hackett and Jake Sally, and writer and director Emma Needell, a rural Colorado native. Hackett’s films have screened at premiere film festivals around the world, including Tribeca, Rotterdam, SXSW, and AFI. Sally’s work has appeared at Super Bowl LII, in textbooks and cultural festivals including Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Sheffield and others. At just 24-years-old, Needell caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who came on to produce her breakout script, The Water Man. The Water Man had its world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to positive reviews and was released theatrically in May of this year.
“There's a particular type of expansive sunset that I've only ever experienced growing up in Colorado. It perfectly captures the tone of this film -- intimate, yet lonely, beautiful yet stark,” shared Sally. “We were fortunate enough to secure film locations in Colorado with a fantastic crew that delivered above and beyond with incredible hustle.”
For this project, Needell filmed a few scenes on her parents’ cattle ranch. "I feel like I came full circle as an artist, making a film at the very place I spent years dreaming about making films,” she said. “I also want to acknowledge the incredible Colorado crew. Our Colorado-based producer Patrick Hackett procured an incredible team who were immensely talented, always ready to hustle and problem-solve, and generally delightful human beings. I can't wait to make more films that showcase the beauty and talent of Colorado."
“This project will showcase new technologies and center Colorado as a potential location for similar future projects,” said Donald Zuckerman, Film Commissioner at COFTM. “We are proud to support native Colorado filmmakers and look forward to seeing the film highlight our state’s natural beauty.”
The Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media attracts and facilitates content creation in Colorado to generate economic growth through the Colorado Film Incentive. The incentive creates jobs for Coloradans and provides on average a 35-to-1 return on investment for the economy while highlighting Colorado's unique rural landscapes.