Though movie filming occurs in the Pittsburgh area, none quite capture the true Pittsburgh tone. Starting Nov. 8, Bigfoot: The Movie aims to do just that, with Ellwood City as the setting.
Greensburg native Curt Wootten, AKA Pittsburgh Dad, and Beaver Falls native Joanie Dodds, who finished runner-up on Cycle six of America’s Next Top Model, star in this upcoming horror comedy.
Creator Jared Show, a 1998 Riverside High School graduate, met Wootten in Los Angeles while the two lived in the same apartment complex. Wootten explained that the meeting occurred in typical Pittsburgh fashion.
“I saw [Show's] roommate one day at the apartment complex, and he was wearing a Steelers jersey. So, of course, I said ‘Go Steelers.’ After that we all started getting together,” Wootten explained.
Show added that the two shared commonality in movie taste, which prompted the idea of filming a “Yinzer” movie based in Ellwood City, PA.
“We talked about doing a movie with ‘yinzer’ characters. No movie really captures that Pittsburgh tone. We were both big fans of Tremors and Shaun of the Dead…and movies like that. So, we decided to do it, and I wrote the script,” Show said.
Bigfoot: The Movie details a story of three Ellwood City men in 1989 who attempt to find and kill Bigfoot, who killed their friends and family members. Wootten plays “Chuck,” a man who lives to party and loves everything popular. ”Chuck” craves popularity in Ellwood City, and uses the Bigfoot chance to gain recognition from his fellow Ellwoodians.
“Chuck blew the big football game in high school, and feels like killing Bigfoot is his second chance at being a hero,” Wooten explained. ”If Chuck could be the mayor of Ellwood City, his dreams would be fulfilled.”
In the movie, the trio of rednecks: Wooten as “Chuck,” Show as “Burl,” and fellow RHS graduate Nathan Magill as “Dale,” befriend an attractive bartender, “Kate,” played by Dodds. She discussed her role, and friendship with Show.
“Kate is really tough, outdoorsy, and adventurous. She’s a cocky bartender, and a little like me in real life,” Dodds said. ”I’ve known Jared since we were kids. I went to Blackhawk High School, and we both went to Lillyville Church of God. He moved to LA ten years ago, and I moved out here seven years ago, which brought us back together. The movie is totally his style. It takes place in places we’ve been tons of times.”
As for filming so close to home, Dodds added, “It makes you feel proud.”
The movie, referred to by both Wooten and Dodds as “Show’s Baby,” contains a trailer filmed in 2007. The actors share equal excitement about making it a full feature film.
“It’s ‘yinzerific’,” explained Wootten. ”We had such a great time in 2007, and the people were so nice. I went to a convenience store dressed at “Curt” and no one thought anything of it. I did notice that Ellwood City had lots of weapons. People kept telling us which guns we should be using.”
Show added that the support he receives from his hometown makes it that much more special.
“I grew up in Ellwood City, so I definitely have support of people in the area. We even talked to Donnie Iris, who is from Ellwood City, about putting his music in the movie, and he was completely on-board,” Show explained.
The movie, which films from Nov. 8 to Nov. 25, stands a better chance of great success with the help of Ellwood City natives. People who donate to Bigfoot: The Movie by Oct. 25 receive anything from post cards to “extra” spots and credits recognition.
For more information on the film, or to donate funds to production, visit Kickstarter.