Young filmmakers focus on upcoming premiere
Duo — and friends — working on next installment in ‘Indiana Bum’ series
For Tonganoxie teens Tristan and Tracy Bowersox, a movie premiere next Wednesday caps two years of creative endeavor.
Their movie, "Indiana Bum and the Pamphlet of the Dead" will premiere at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts, Lawrence. Cost of admission is $5, with all proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The cast of the 30-minute action-packed film includes names familiar to Tonganoxie teens.
Tracy, who is 14 and a sophomore at Tonganoxie High School, plays Indiana Bum, a stick-horse riding archeologist who wants to retrieve the stolen "pamphlet of the dead."
His brother, Tristan, 18, plays the role of Bill Bills, a police detective who joins Indiana Bum in finding it. Tristan, a 2005 THS graduate, attends Johnson County Community College and works at Tonganoxie Nursing Center.
Others in the movie include Jake McGhee, Ben Field, Brady Field, Shawn Rebman, Jordan Rebman, Brian Lindquist and Cody Somers. And of course, the credits would be incomplete without the inclusion of Patsy, Indiana Bum's stick horse.
But Tracy and Tristan didn't stop at being part of the cast. Tristan directed the movie and Tracy did much of the editing and composed the music. In fact in November 2004, the Children's Wish Foundation surprised Tracy with video editing equipment. At the time, Tracy, who has cystic fibrosis, said he wanted to use the equipment to make films.
Evidently, that's what he's been doing. In the past year and a half, the teens, with the assistance of their parents, Kevin and Jody Bowersox, have condensed and edited 20 hours of filming into a 30-minute movie.
The teens describe their movie as "a comedy adventure."
The idea of making a movie arose on a summer day about two years ago.
Tracy said he and his cousin, Jordan Rebman, were bored.
"He had an Indiana Jones hat, I just took it and put it on and we decided to make a little movie," Tracy said.
And when they were done, Jordan took the movie home and edited it, adding music to the video.
"After I saw it, I wanted to do another one because I liked it so much," Tracy said, noting his cousin edited that movie, as well.
Inspired by the first two films, Tracy and his family and friends decided to make another movie -- the one premiering this month.
While the film was shot during a fairly short period of time, there were issues to contend with. For instance, costumes. The actors were growing.
"Ben Field is one of our characters and he broke his arm after Scene II and then we had to wait until it healed," Jody said. "By the time he came back I had to lengthen his pants. He'd gone though a growth spurt."
And there were special effects to consider. Sounds are a big part of the movie. Tracy pats his hands on the kitchen table to show how he made the galloping sound of Patsy's pretend hooves. Even simple sound effects like the noise of shuffling papers had to be recorded.
And of course there were the visuals -- the blood spattered on a wall as the good guy chases the bad guy.
But even the blood scene isn't too gory, Tracy said, adding, "It's rated PG."
Promotion of the film has been detailed. A signboard at the corner of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Kansas Highway 16 advertises the movie premiere. A Web site, www.indianabum.com provides trailers and information about the film. Fliers are hung on area bulletin boards.
While the family will rent Liberty Hall for the showing, Jody Bowersox agreed to bake dozens of cookies to serve the post-movie reception where those who attend can meet the cast and crew.
And, with this film ready to show, the cast and crew are planning their next adventure movie.
Though they're cagey about giving out too much information, Tracy said a columnist in The Mirror provided part of the inspiration.
"We have two premises in the works right now," Tracy said. "One is 'Indiana Bum and Aunt Norie's Sewing Basket.'"
The sewing basket film will have Kansas references. "It's all about string and yarn, the largest ball of twine," Tracy said, adding that like their other films, it's combined in a story about intrigue and the good guys versus the bad guys.
Meanwhile, Tracy, Tristan and their parents hope to see a good turnout at the movie premiere.
"If we get even 200 people there we'll have made $1,000, and we've had fun doing it the whole time," Jody said.