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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  Movies

Magic Lantern to screen locally filmed romantic thriller ‘The Purple Rose’

Actors Jonah Platt and Janel Parrish embrace during filming a scene from “The Purple Rose,” May 10, 2017, in Will Bill's Longbar in Cheney. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Actors Jonah Platt and Janel Parrish embrace during filming a scene from “The Purple Rose,” May 10, 2017, in Will Bill's Longbar in Cheney. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

For one week last May, Inland Northwest locales like Wild Bill’s Longbar in Cheney and the Indian Canyon Golf Course doubled as both Portland and Wyoming.

It was all part of filming for “The Purple Rose,” a romantic thriller that will be screened at the Magic Lantern on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The movie follows Kate, a young woman who moves from Portland to a small town in Wyoming after fleeing a stalker. Kate is living the dream after rebuilding her life and finding love until her stalker re-enters the picture.

The movie is based on local author Christi Walsh’s book of the same name, the first in her “Chroma” series. Walsh’s daughter, Sydney Ortman, wrote the screenplay.

“The Purple Rose” stars Janel Parrish (“Pretty Little Liars”), Rob Estes (“90210”), Jonah Platt (Broadway’s “Wicked”), Michael Welch (“Twilight”) and Tom Kiesche (“Breaking Bad”). Many locals were used as extras in the movie.

The cast and crew spent a week filming in Los Angeles before heading up north for another seven days of filming.

The Inland Northwest was chosen for a number of reasons.

For one, producer Marc Dahlstrom said, locals and city officials are much more accommodating of filming here than in Los Angeles.

“They don’t immediately see dollar signs,” he said. “They see ‘This is cool and it’s fun and it’s ultimately good for the community and good for the economy and it keeps people working.’ ”

Other pluses: The diversity of potential filming locations and a hardworking local crew, many of whom have worked together on the Spokane-shot horror/comedy series “Z Nation,” where Dahlstrom works as production supervisor.

When filming wrapped in May, editors had already pieced together an assembly edit, with the scenes laid out in story order.

Over the next two to three weeks, that edit was fine tuned with input from director Jodi Binstock, the producers (Binstock, Dahlstrom and Steve Graham) and Ortman until they had a locked picture, which was then sent to the post-production team to perfect the audio.

At the same time, visual effects artists combed through the film, adding, for example, more rain during one scene.

After several weeks of work, plus a final mix and a bit of color correction, “The Purple Rose” was complete.

The team shopped the film around and are currently in negotiations regarding distribution with a major TV network. They hope to have “The Purple Rose” on air sometime this summer.

The team screened “The Purple Rose” for the L.A.-based cast and crew last month, and Dahlstrom is excited for local audiences to experience the film they helped create.

“When you watch the movie with an audience, it’s a whole different experience and that’s what makes it worthwhile,” he said. “They react when you hope they will based on what you try to create. Then they react in places you wouldn’t expect and that’s usually a happy surprise.”

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