A few Cheney landmarks saw action last week during filming of “Perfect Ten,” the first full-length feature movie by Seattle-based First Sight Productions.
The company is owned by husband-and-wife team Lindy and Kris Boustedt, who met eight years ago at Eastern Washington University, where she majored in business and he studied electronic media and film.
“Ironically, we met while he was following me around with a video camera,” said Lindy Boustedt. “I worked in one of the dorms and we ran a program that was captured on video and broadcast on the college network.”
After graduating in 2002 they were married – with a movie-themed wedding – at Eastern’s Showalter Hall. The two moved to Seattle soon after to launch First Sight Productions but have maintained ties with the university, where Lindy is on the Alumni Board of Directors.
Their company has seen some success since it was launched five years ago, with an extensive project résumé and a short film, “Collect all Four,” premiering to a sold-out house at the 2007 Seattle Film Festival.
Boustedt said she initially wanted to film “Perfect Ten” in Colville, where she grew up, but a scouting trip for filming locations revealed the town had changed too much to provide an ideal setting. “It’s just not the town I grew up in anymore,” she said.
A chance visit to their alma mater on the way back to Seattle revealed the perfect stand-in, however. “We were driving through Cheney and we thought, ‘If you cut the university out, it’s the exact small town we’re looking for,’ so we created the fictional town of Coalville.”
Boustedt describes “Perfect Ten” as “an offbeat dramatic comedy” that centers on a married woman who leaves her husband at home and attends her high school reunion, hoping for a second chance with her teenage crush.
The screenplay was co-written by Boustedt and her husband, a business arrangement which works well for them, she said, but one she wouldn’t recommend to every married couple.
“We feed off of each other. If he comes up with an idea, I’m able to take it to the next level, and vice versa. I wrote the first draft of this script – just got it all out of my head – and when I handed it to Kris it was crap. Eleven drafts later, here we are making it,” she said.
Tom Mullin, Cheney resident and a professor in EWU’s electronic media, theatre and film department, was on set last week to play a small role in the movie. “Every three or four years a group of students come forward after graduation with a worthwhile script and enough energy to make it happen,” he said.
About six of the Boustedts’ fellow EWU alumni also played a part in the film as cast or crew along with numerous people from Seattle and Los Angeles.
Mullin said this isn’t the first time Cheney has attracted a bit of interest from a movie maker; Spokane’s North by Northwest sometimes uses downtown to capture small town exteriors. The 2008 family film “Dog Gone” was shot in Cheney, and a major motion picture, “The Ward,” is being filmed near Medical Lake.
“This community is very cooperative – good about blocking off streets and things like that,” said Mullin.
Boustedt agreed, saying most locations, such as Cheney High School, Sutton Park and the Willow Springs Station Restaurant, charged nominal fees or were willing to let them film in exchange for their patronage.
“This town is such a special place for us,” she said. “It’s been great to be back here.”