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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Local Filmmakers Inadvertently Shut Down South Fort Thomas Avenue

"The City of Fort Thomas is really a full blown character in the movie."

Local film company Sovereign Entertainment and their upcoming feature “The Edge of Indolence” have appeared in Fort Thomas Matters twice this year. Once, in January, when we told of their decision to use Fort Thomas as the location for their next movie, and possibly less happily in July, when they inadvertently caused the police to shut down South Fort Thomas Avenue.

“The Edge of Indolence” is an action/ comedy movie (not a zombie movie as reported on July 17th) from local filmmakers William Chaffin and Chris Wesley, whose production company Sovereign Entertainment will release the movie. The movie, written by Chris and directed by William, deals with a couple of friends who find a suitcase and end up on the run from people who want its contents. While the film deals with crime and criminals, a visit from Fort Thomas PD was not high up the filmmakers' list of priorities.

 The production had been in contact with the City Administrator and had permission to film in Fort Thomas.  Usually they sent an email letting the city know when they’d be filming and the city spoke to dispatch, so that if anyone called the police they would be aware that there was filming in the area.  This time the email somehow didn’t get through.

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On the day of the incident, there were two units filming. The director, William Chaffin, was filming at Tower Park and a second unit was filming around Midway. They were filming an action scene, where a hitman with a prop firearm chases two characters up an alleyway. Understandably, when a member of the public stumbled upon this they called the cops.

The first William knew of any of this was a phone call from a crew member telling him that six police cars had showed up and two crew members, one of whom was his partner Chris, were in handcuffs. He headed straight over. “It’s the first time in fifteen years a shoot has ended up with someone in handcuffs!” Even after he spoke to the police and they understood they were making a movie, the PD were concerned that this was a prank to have them come over so they could film them and put them in the movie.

“Once we told them we had permission from the city, the police officers were super nice. They advised us we should probably stop for the day, we were pretty much finished so that was fine.”

Filming of “The Edge of Indolence” has been going on in Fort Thomas since the end of April and William says that this has been “the only hiccup.” They’ve got two days of filming left in Fort Thomas, on Friday, August 11th and Sunday, August 27th.

Despite this “hiccup” William is really pleased with how things have shaped up so far, “We’ve gotten a lot of help from the City of Fort Thomas and the town looks really cool in the movie. We want the town to kind of be a character in the movie. We’ve shot all over, through Midway, in Tower Park at the basketball courts and the amphitheatre, where North and South Fort Thomas Avenues meet and as far as Highland Heights. We’ve shot in houses as well as in front of the. Fort Thomas is really a full blown character in the movie.”

With the production being low budget William and the crew often have to think on their feet. One scene in the movie should have been filmed up on the roof of a house. “Once we got the actors and stunt people etc up there we could see it wasn’t safe. It should have been filmed in April but we went back and rewrote the scene. We ended up getting permission to film it on a friend of one of the crew’s property. It has a huge deck with a pool, so we rewrote so that the confrontation happened on a deck instead of a roof. It looked even more cool, so it was like this happy accident, we had to go to Plan B and it ended up even better.”

After filming stops William will begin editing the movie. Simultaneously others will be adding visual effects, sound effects and music. “We break it up into smaller parts so we can be working simultaneously.” The goal is to be done between January and Spring, with the film released between Spring and Summer.

William says that The Edge of Indolence will be “a much more high quality production than we’ve done in the past.” 

Once completed the film will be submitted to video on demand sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Playstation Network and Xbox live and an agent will submit it to Red Box. They plan to submit the film to festivals but more with an eye to marketing the film than for seeking distribution. The production company is also working on screening the movie at a local theater, plans for which will be announced once “The Edge of Indolence” is finished.

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Surveillance behind an area business shows the film crew on set. 

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