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Southwest Squared

March 25, 2013, 11:00 am
By tortravis

This season, Wanted Dead Pictures brings Southwest to the Southwest. Former Army Captain Samantha Williams commands a group of super dangerous criminals and secret agents. Their job is to protect the most dangerous, documented (but best concealed) and well-funded organized crime organization the world has ever seen: The US Government.  Despite the work’s moral and psychological challenges, Williams can’t ask any questions, lest her loved ones ‘get it.’

As the title suggests, the movie is shot entirely in the Southwest. Nevada, New Mexico and Texas all get screen time. This is something that lead Danielle Maitland is excited about. “Filming on locations, such as Las Vegas, Nevada and Ruidoso, New Mexico, as well as here in Las Cruces was a great experience,” he says.

Of course, the area’s panoramic beauty is as arresting as the weather. Maitland, who plays the professionally dressed Williams, was never surprised. “The weather always made it interesting: Filming in Las Vegas, NV in a full suit in 80-degree weather, or outside in the beautiful mountains of Ruidoso, NM at 40 degrees, getting drenched in the rain in February when it was 38 degrees, really made me appreciate the things other actors go through, to get those great shots,” Maitland says.

Maitland isn’t the only person making her first feature-length film début. Southwest’s writer, director, special FX make-up artist, CGI producer and cameraman Shawn Lacone is also a rookie. Though Lacone has been a writer for many years, the revelation of his filmmaking destiny came when he was an extra in 2007’s Transformers.

From that point on, Lacone began to teach himself every film technique he now knows. According to the Southwest press-release, “[Lacone] is self-taught, if he doesn’t know how to do something, he'll learn. He did just that, when it came to the CG FX on the film, he didn't know anything when he started Southwest, but he wanted to add special FX, so he bought programs and learned how to use them.”

But as with filmovore Don Gray, Lacone’s talent doesn’t keep him from appreciating his crew. “The cast is outstanding and the crew and the producers are exceptional! Everyone involved with this film has worked hard to make everything work,” he says. “I am so grateful to have such fantastic people to work with!”

The film is shot in a hand-held camera style, so expect the uncertainty, spontaneity and chaos of The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, and The Real World.  But seriously, go out and support independent filmmakers.

Photo via facebook.com/Filmsouthwest?group_id=0

 

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