When Nick Smith left film school three years ago, the St. Charles native launched into his first major film project with a local ghost story as his driving inspiration.
Smith, who graduated in 2008, will see Munger Road hit the big screen later this month. The film is based on the myths surrounding the actual Munger Road, located near St. Charles in Bartlett, which has its share of ghostly myths, including one in which the ghost of a little girl will push any stopped car off the railroad tracks.
“It is a great sense of accomplishment ... not many filmmakers my age have the opportunity to write and direct a film and then bring it to theaters and give people a chance to see it,” said Smith.
The film will debut to the public on Sept. 30 at the .
As film's writer and director, Smith found that he was more able to connect the vision of the script with the production of the film. During the writing process in Los Angeles, he used a huge whiteboard to map out the locations in order to maintain a better sense of the settings.
After years of working on the film, Smith said he feels “a little euphoric” knowing the release is coming soon.
At the same time, Smith doesn't doubt the quality of the film he and his team have created. He's proud it, even saying that it turned out better than he had hoped and expected.
In its first week, the film will play exclusively in St. Charles, which the director feels is perfectly fitting. He cites community support as one of the critical elements required for the film’s completion.
After its week-long run in St. Charles, the movie expands to the Fox Valley area’s other major movie theaters, including the AMC 30 theatre in Barrington, theaters at Yorktown and Woodfield Malls and the Regal 30 in Winfield.
The film is different, Smith said, because it isn’t just about a particular location—in this case, the St. Charles and Bartlett area—but also was filmed locally. He added that this often is not the case with feature films.
Smith said last year’s 16-night outdoor shoot went exceptionally well, with the production staying on time and on budget. Audiences of the film can look forward to a great story that is independently produced, but maintains the fullness of a Hollywood motion picture.
Academy Award-nominated actor Bruce Davison stars as the St. Charles police chief responsible for searching for four teenagers who go missing near Munger Road on the eve of the Scarecrow Festival.
It's no coincidence that Munger Road will debut shortly before the 2011 Scarecrow Festival, a well-timed treat for local film buffs, fans of thrilling movies and those interested in urban myths and legends.
Advance tickets are available now at Charlestowne 18. Additional showings could be added if tickets sell out.
Also, movie-goers will have the chance to meet the actors and director, see clips from the film, preview behind-the-scenes footage and buy film T-shirts at the in St. Charles.