Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
DT: I have always loved movies. At a very young age my father would take me to the Chief Theater in downtown Pueblo, (my home town), and the bug was hatched. I have followed that passion ever since. When I got back from Viet Nam, I’m dating myself, I got a couple of degrees on the GI Bill. One of the degrees was a Masters in American History. This lead to gigs as a historical advisor, background artist and musician on sound tracks (harmonica). I worked on Dances With Wolves, Far And Away, Glory, Gettysburg, Avenging Angel, and How The West Was Lost. I also created the soundtrack for Damon Runyon’s Pueblo – a Golden Globe winner. In 1992 I produced a documentary – Gettysburg – In Hell or Glory. A “Telly” winner and in rotation on several PBS stations across the country. At various times I have worked as a cameraman, props, and location sound. I am basically a self taught film maker. I learned a great deal working on major films as well as low budget/no budget projects. UKTENA was a 2 year project. Myself and my son had always dreamed about doing our own film. We are both huge fans of the Kaiju genre. We decided to go for it. David is a fantastic artist and the suit he created for UKTENA is a work of art. He is also a great suit actor. I have been a professional musician most of my life and I was able to bring some of Colorado’s top Blues, R&B and Roots musicians into the movie as ACTORS! It really worked.
Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
DT: For the EFP you are going to see the latest trailer we created for UKTENA – The Horned Monstrosity. The story is based on the Native American myth – Uktena the Horned Serpent. After eons of confinement in a long forgotten cave, Uktena is unleashed on Rocky Flats City. He is brought back to life because of modern man’s insatiable lust for wealth and power. Uktena is back and he’s pissed. The story unfolds over a 3 day period. We pay homage to the Kaiju classics – Godzilla, Gorgo, King Kong, etc., but we add our own little twist of message and humor. The world premiere will be Sunday, June 20th. Great venue – Flipside Music performance center – 2231 S Platte River Drive 80223.
It will start at 2pm and it is a ticketless, open to the public event. Most of the cast will be there and after the movie a jam session featuring many of the cast members will ensue. Mike Reid and Rollins Productions will provide the screen (full theater size), projector and sound. We have submitted the film to several festivals and we hope to hold it in more venues up and down the Front Range. We would love to show it at the ‘Bug’ once some of these Covid restrictions are lifted. We are looking at presenting a package – the movie, followed by a musical show featuring many of the cast. We have begun to reach out to venues with this package idea and have gotten very positive feedback. It would be a unique evening of movie and music!
Q: What else are you working on?
DT: Outside of getting ‘UKTENA’ off the ground I am presently editing another Colorado feature – Beneath The Fields. All Colorado crew and cast – teenage slasher style. It’s going to be a good one. I am also working on a script/screenplay for a space/time machine opera. Hope to start shooting the later part of summer.
Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
DT: I could tell you so many weird things about me – LOL, but I’ve always felt that music and movies are in lockstep with each other. The process, how they are created, the beat, the groove, the mood, the emotion, the presentation – they are the same. Making a movie is like making a song. that is my approach.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
DT: The EFP is a great way to meet and network with other artist. My friend Ben Makinen turned me on to the Bug and the EFP and I feel fortunate that he did. Looking forward to meeting new people and learning more about this thing we call film making. The learning never stops.
UKTENA – The Trailer will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, June 17th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.