Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch
Original Story by: Kevin Kidd of the Suburan Journals
Jefferson County Journal
Submitted by: Les
Movie audiences aren’t familiar with the story of Captain Bob McCain and his crew of intergalactic rogues, but if Jim Yelton and Steve Newton have their way that will change.
Yelton, 33, of Arnold, and Newton, 35, of St. Louis, formed Midnight Entertainment in April and are working to bring the adventures of McCain to the silver screen, or any screen for that matter.
They are cautiously optimistic about their first project. While Yelton and Newton have set an ambitious budget of between $1 million to $1.3 million for the film, they aren’t aiming for a theatrical release just yet. They are hoping to sell the distribution rights to a cable channel followed by a video rental release.
So far, Newton and Yelton have been going over the preliminary details of McCain’s first cinematic adventure, “The Swindlers of Doom.” Newton has been working on set and costume designs while Yelton has been seeking out “name” actors for lead roles.
“Once we get some actors attached to the project the investors will fall in place,” Yelton said. “They want to know whose name’s going to appear on the DVD box at Blockbuster.”
Yelton believes a distribution deal and money from local backers could finance the movie and get Midnight Productions off the ground.
McCain and his crew were first brought to life in a radio theater piece Yelton produced while working in Tennessee. When he moved back to Arnold, Yelton reunited with Newton, who he first met while working for Wehrenberg Theaters in St. Louis. Newton, a graphic designer, agreed it was high time McCain and his misfits made their first voyage.
“It’s kind of along the lines of an epic story,” Yelton said, “yet small enough to be done on a low budget.”
The story focuses on the crew’s never-ending quest to swindle aliens out of valuable resources for their own gain. They must choose between taking the money and running or staying to save the day when one of their con games places an alien race on planet Girellia at dire risk.
Yelton is expecting to cast known actors for the three lead roles – McCain, Jana Korel, the crew’s alien pilot who longs for excitement, and Mal Fecks, the ship’s sarcastic engineer. Yelton is hoping to cast the nine to 12 supporting roles locally.
Yelton and Newton believe, if successful, Midnight Entertainment could give people in the local filmmaking community a chance for national exposure.
Newton said the goal of the first project is to entertain audiences without being mindless.
“There’s enough of that out there already,” Newton said. “We’re conscious of putting together a quality product.”
Yelton is hopeful filming for the project will begin this fall. He said it would take about six weeks of filming followed by five months of post-production before audiences could get their first look at McCain.
While this is their first attempt at moviemaking, Newton and Yelton believe they have been preparing for the adventure all their lives.
“I think us spending this much time thinking about this really allowed us to put together a good plan for success,” Yelton said.
Newton has designed promotional video displays for Wehrenberg Theaters while Yelton has produced radio theater. Both cite a love of movies as a reason for forming Midnight Entertainment.
“I grew up watching old movies on Saturday mornings with my mom,” Newton said.
That explains why the duo envisions McCain as a swashbuckling character in the fashion of Errol Flynn rather than the calculating space captains moviegoers have come to expect in recent years.
“Most people get an idea that they want to make into a movie,” Yelton said.
The difference is the duo has made the decision to put their idea into practice, aspiring to boldly go where few other local filmmakers have gone before.