Sharpened Iron Studios in pre-production on ‘Amarillo’ musical
Less than a year after Amarillo College’s School of Film Arts was established at the forefront of innovation, Sharpened Iron Studios, which collaborates with AC in running the school, is gearing up for its premiere cohort of students this fall.
However, even with the future presence of students on the college’s downtown campus, where Sharpened Iron Studios is based, the film studio is not slowing its release, having completed a children’s TV show during pre-production. many feature films. projects.
Sharpened Iron Studios recently announced the acquisition of an original musical script titled “Amarillo” as one of its first film projects.
Written by screenwriter Steven Gaydos, executive vice president of global content for Variety Magazine, and directed by Ate de Jong, best known for the 1991 comedy “Drop Dead Fred,” “Amarillo” follows two singer-songwriters participating in a reality TV, Amarillo-based Americana Music Competition.
“‘Amarillo’ is the story of two young singer-songwriters, a boy and a girl, who go from contestants pretending to be lovers, to a real couple whose songs bring them together and help them survive the wildest times. and the most confusing. weekend of their lives, ”according to a press release.
Sean Doherty, CEO of Sharpened Iron Studios, said the musical, which he described as “an original celebration of American music and Texan culture,” was originally designed to be based in Austin. But after Gaydos saw what Amarillo had to offer, he changed his location.
Gaydos said the town’s lookbook, which highlights all the reasons why Amarillo should be a location for movies and TV shows, was stunning, helping him make the decision to shoot 100% of the film locally.
“When we were introduced to Sean, it immediately changed in a really, really significant way, so much so that today’s script is as much… for me, it’s as much about Amarillo as it is about our story. , of our heroes and of our characters, “he said. “It really became an Amarillo movie… The city is an amazing place that’s so cool, I really hope… we’re the first to walk out the door because Amarillo has a look, he has a story, he has a story and he has a culture and that’s why I say that my film… is as much a vision of Amarillo as the story of two young people who pretend to be in a relationship, then fall in love and become a real couple.
Since the film was shown to Doherty, he has said he loves the concept and the potential it brings to Amarillo as a whole.
“I love musicals and I’m also a country / western fan,” Doherty said. “As I was talking to Steve and he was talking about the different places – either the Barfield or the Embassy Suites, movie at the (Amarillo Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts), the Big Texan and the Starlight Ranch – (we were like) ‘Wow, that’s just a phenomenal publicity for the town of Amarillo.’ ”
One of the film’s “cardinal points” is the Nashville songwriting tradition, which Gaydos sees primarily in American music rather than country radio music. This kind of music has always been a passion for Gaydos, he said.
Gaydos said this film gives viewers a glimpse of the “American Dream”, with the characters providing a perspective of what some call “the country flying over”.
“I think one of our cardinal points is to make a film that reflects – with precision and respect – the culture of a lot of people that people don’t necessarily make films for,” he said. “It’s really about loving conquering greed. These are the good guys who win and the bad guys who win. It is about the triumphant love of a world of materialism and falsehood. It’s rooted in real, what I call, Americana values.
The Amarillo culture is something Gaydos wants to highlight in the film, showing people outside the Texas Panhandle how special it is. His aim is to show a realistic aspiration of what Amarillo could be like in the near future, he added.
“If you think of the movie ‘La La Land’ – ‘La La Land’ isn’t necessarily the real one (Los Angeles),” Gaydos said, “but it’s a wonderful evocation of a magical movie (Los Angeles If it is Americana ‘La La Land’, I wouldn’t be unhappy.
Doherty said it was both “exciting and terrifying,” referring to the speed at which Sharpened Iron Studios is evolving right now, with all the different content in production as well as students arriving this fall.
“We are moving at the speed of light. If you consider that our agreement with Amarillo College was signed not even a year ago… and here we have a film school that is starting its first cohort this fall, two films that are now in important areas of development, a program for kids that’s already shot… and we’re pitching distributors now, ”he said. “We often have to stop, take a step back and catch our breath. “
Gaydos has stated that “Amarillo” is scheduled to begin filming this fall at Sharpened Iron Studios.
For more information on Sharpened Iron Studios, visit https://www.sharpenedironamarillo.com.