‘Cassandra’s Castle’: local film in progress


Irene Torres

Katie Rose as Cassandra and Sean Peck-Collier as Valerio are photographed rehearsing for a local film. Courtesy photo, Ruth Marburger.

Ollala resident Dianne Gardner’s screenplay of “Cassandra’s Castle” came in as a semifinalist out of 2,400 entries in a film festival. She describes this as a fantasy story, based on the historical events of the Portuguese revolution, with a cautionary theme.

At this point, she is working on a concept trailer featuring actors from the Key Peninsula, Port Angeles, Port Orchard, Port Townsend, Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, Monroe and Olympia.

An actress from New York called to ask for a tryout after a casting call was made on Facebook and “through the grapevine,” Gardner said.  Her project summary was presented at FilmCom in Nashville, but she had no footage, “so didn’t get too far,” she said. She hopes it can be a miniseries, a pilot for a television series or a full-feature film.

At press time, the trailer was being filmed on Key Peninsula property owned by Stuart Campion as an Indiegogo.com fundraiser campaign and project. A seven-minute trailer can run about $2,000 in costs. When complete, the film can be presented to potential producers and distributors. An independent film could cost $800,000 to make, whereas a feature film could cost $10 million or more.

Directing the trailer and mentoring the cast is local KP actor William Michael Paul. He also has an acting part in the film, playing Silvio, the wizard. He sees his role on the project as a way of giving back to the actors, through his own experience, to help them improve. He describes this as his act of kindness to this community and asks for community support to make the project happen.

Alaina Brooke-Simcoe is the costume designer. She lives on the Key Peninsula. The combat choreographer for staging the sword fight is Tom Martin from Port Orchard, with Kitsap Fencing Center.

Gardner, an author, has attended workshops, read books about writing and filmmaking, and has participated in internet forums. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She says, “Magic has to have rules. It needs grounding or it goes beyond believability. If it turns that corner, it loses credibility.”

She has been involved with stage productions with her church, a coffee house and at the fairgrounds. She said she would rather work behind the scenes and describes her talent as “finding people with talent and putting them together.”

She told the Key Peninsula News that she is a visionary, seeing things before they materialize, “I am not going to quit until it is reality,” he said

Details of the project can be found at gardnersart.com. For information, call 851-0339