PARK CITY, UTAH (ABC4 UTAH) The Sundance Film Festival may seem like a ‘Hollywood thing’. But did you know – four of the films featured this year are actually a ‘Utah thing’. “Brigsby Bear,” “Wind River,” “Snatchers” and “Deidra & Laney Rob a Train” were all shot in Utah.
I caught up with one of the film directors during Sundance to talk about ‘movie making’ in Utah.
This past spring and summer Sydney Freeland came to Utah to direct “Deidra and Laney Rob a Train.”
“Working with the Utah Film Office and Utah crew base and the Utah talent – it was amazing.” Freeland says Utah was simply the best place to make her Netflix movie. “It had the elements we needed from a story standpoint – but also, logistically it provided all the backdrops and scenery we needed.”
While the setting for the film is Idaho – most of the movie was actually shot in Ogden and Heber City. “It just so happens that Ogden, Utah fit the all-American vibe that we needed. And Heber valley had a train we could own and control.” And Freeland, who has directed five projects, says Utah actually beat out three other possible locations. “We looked at Portland, Oregon. Chicago, Illinois and I think Winnipeg in Canada. That was our short list. Each place had something – but not another thing we needed.”
The stars of the movie are from other places, but Freeland says 80 percent of the crew is from Utah. And she says – coming back to Utah after filming a movie here, is something she won’t soon forget. “I had this crazy realization last night while I was in the theater – oh, wait I was here six months ago – shooting a movie and running by this place. Now we are in the theater showing the movie at Sundance. It was really a great surreal experience.”
“Deidra and Laney Rob a Train” steams on Netflix on March 17th. And if you watch it you will see several Utahns in it – including me. I play the role of a reporter. Links to the movie can we found here.
The Utah Film Commission says 27 films and television projects were shot in Utah in 2016.