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Arts & Culture

Behind The Scenes Of The Idaho Film "Smoke"

This time last year, Boise author Alan Heathcock gave two of his former students the green light to turn one of his stories into a film. Now, that film has wrapped up production. Here are some of the people behind the filming of Smoke.

Amadeus Serafini is a newcomer to film, and plays the role of Vernon. The directors found him during an audition in L.A., and were struck by both his vulnerability and his ability to synthesize new information about his character. During filming of the Roy Rogers scene, the young actor asked that the set be cleared so he could focus solely on his performance as the teenage protagonist.

Joel Nagle’s acting career has spanned decades; he’s been in movies featured at Sundance Film Festival and Cannes. The New York City actor says when he read Heathcock's book Volt, the strong character portraits jumped out at him. He was especially drawn to the father character in the short story “Smoke,” and is excited to be cast in the role. Nagle says acting is an empathetic art: he tries to put himself in the place of the character to prepare for roles.

Boise actor Nick Garcia plays the iconic Roy Rogers. Garcia first read the part during an early read of the script in January. The directors asked him to continue the role for the film. Garcia has acted with the Boise Contemporary Theater and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and is the co-founder of another local theater company.

Cody Gittings and Stephen Heleker have been collaborating for the last six years. They work seamlessly together on set – like having one mind but two sets of eyes and ears. But Gittings admits the co-directors do have some creative differences when it comes to how they want particular scenes to look and feel. He says they work those differences out away from cast and crew, to keep morale high. Gittings says that despite some stressful moments and a million moving pieces, they were able to get all the shots they needed and are excited to begin editing.

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