SAU students hit the big time in local film

By Chris Scudder

Over the past couple weekends St. Ambrose students, alumni and faculty took part in filming the movie “Sons and Daughters of Thunder.” Some of these students held major roles while others only played extras. The filming took place just a few miles from the Quad Cities in Andover, Ill.

“Sons & Daughters of Thunder” takes place amidst the first public discussions of abolition. The dramatic Cincinnati, Ohio Lane Theological Seminary Debates of 1834 led to the end of slavery in America.

“It’s been great,” theatre professor Dan Rairdin-Hale, who plays the role of Professor Calvin Stowe, said. “I know a lot of the cast and it was really fun to be involved.”

Two years ago, Hale helped with a read-through of the script while the movie entered the initial stages of production. He continues playing a role in the production process and seemed excited that his students took part in the movie.

“I have one more shoot to be in. But it’s been a good experience, especially getting to see some of my students and previous students working together,” Hale said.

Students became involved with the project thanks to alumni and Hale.

However, shooting scenes for a movie, even a smaller production like this one, made for a long day for the students unexperienced in the filming process. Everyone from major roles to the extras first went through costume, hair and make-up. When ready for the camera, the actors then spent eight to ten hours filming the same scenes multiple times.

With a release date set for 2015, only a limited amount of theaters will show the film. Later it will air on PBS and be available for purchase on DVD.

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