Ad executive Doug Myers has worked for five years to get his horror film off the ground, and now it's finally time to let audiences get a peek.
"Dead West," formerly known as "Ghost Town," debuts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads as part of the Tucson Film & Music Festival. Tickets are $6.
It's the story of an actor and stuntman who works at Old Tucson and deals with deadly forces that plague the studio-theme park during a "Nightfall"-like horror event.
Myers, the president and co-creative director of Hilton & Myers Advertising Inc., and his wife, Lisa Hilton, financed the film's entire budget, which has crept close to $1 million.
Myers, who films television commercials - including "Nightfall" ads - for local businesses, wrote the script, then found actors here and in Los Angeles. He shot the film over 30 days in late 2005 and has spent the last half-decade editing, polishing the sound and doing re-shoots.
Myers, a 56-year-old University of Arizona and Catalina High School graduate, is excited to have finally finished the film.
What additional work have you done on the film since we last spoke two years ago?
"We actually re-shot the last scene in November, adding a lot more action in the cave sequence. I also finished the soundtrack, adding some new music and just generally reshaping the edit. … It's finally done and I am finished with it."
How have audiences reacted so far?
"This is going to be it's first real audience at the festival. Every other audience was involved in the making of it, but they like it, too."
Do you have any leads for finding a distributor?
"As far as distribution, we have had a few deal memos but are waiting to get in a number of festivals and send it out to some distributors now that it's mastered."
What would you like to get out of this festival?
"The opportunity to have our cast and crew see it (since we shot it here) and we're hoping to get some positive PR to help build some support for the film going forward. It's a fun festival and as a local film that has a lot of local music."
Will you make any more movies?
"My wife says 'no more movies.' This has been an incredibly difficult experience. Especially with all we do in the agency. It would have to do incredibly well before I would consider it. I do have a screenplay - about my days as a flight attendant for the CIA, 'Evergreen Airlines.' It's a great story. Maybe. …"
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IF YOU GO
• What: Premiere of "Dead West," part of the Tucson Film & Music Festival.
• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Crossroads 6 Theatre, 4811 East Grant Road.
• Tickets: $6.
• Online: Go to www.tucson filmandmusicfestival.com for tickets and more information about the festival.