A program from the Shanghai International Film Festival featuring Hollow in the Land.(Submitted)

Movie filmed in Castlegar to be released soon

Hollow in the Land, written and directed by Castlegar native Scooter Corckle, will be released soon

Scooter Corkle’s dream is about to come true.

It was almost two years ago when the Castlegar native and Stanley Humphries grad rolled into town with trucks full of filming equipment and movie props, as well as an entourage of actors to begin shooting Hollow in the Land. At that point, Corkle was only half way into the journey of getting the screenplay that he had written turned into a movie.

Castlegar turns Hollywood

Corkle and his crew shot scenes all over Castlegar using locals for small parts and as extras. But when filming wrapped up, the hard work of getting the movie produced and ready for the public began.

The lead role in the film is played by Glee star Dianna Agron. Other actors include Shawn Ashmore, known for his appearances in The Following and X-Men, and Michael Rogers known for Beyond the Black Rainbow.

Two years later, Corkle is excited about where things are headed.

“It has been a long road getting to this point — we shot two years ago,” said Corkle. “The whole world of distribution — it’s hard to get established and it takes quite a while.”

Corkle explained that in the world of indie films a lot depends on film festivals and the film markets that are for distributors attending film festivals. “We went to Berlin, and the Canne market,” said Corkle. The move paid off and American distributor Vertical Entertainment picked up the film.

The film now has a Canadian distributor — Elevation Pictures — as well. “We are glad to have them,” said Corkle. “They are going to try and give us a small theatrical run.” The limited run means that major centres such as Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto will get a short run of the film.

But people in B.C. will get a chance to see it sooner — Hollow in the Land will be shown twice during the Vancouver International Film Festival in October. “It is super exciting,” said Corkle. “We will get to play for all of our cast and crew over here.”

Plans are also underway for a screening in Castlegar as well as a small tour of the Kootenays where Corkle will attend and host a Q&A session after the viewings.

Corkle is encouraging locals to hold on because the movie is coming soon. “The movie is coming to Castlegar and we are going to try and make sure we are there for the screening, and try and have a party to really celebrate everybody’s involvement. That is paramount to us.”

The film will then be playing at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax and the Calgary International Film Festival with announcements for screenings at more festivals expected soon.

Finally seeing the project come to fruition has Corkle experiencing mixed emotions. “For the most part I am really happy that we are getting to the point that it is going to come out,” he said.

“It’s like a baby you have been holding onto for three years now and it finally gets to be shown to everybody. There is excitement and there is trepidation,” added Corkle.

Corkle has learned that the mental and emotional work is harder than the actual work of putting a film together.

“It is kind of like your baby — and you are birthing something each time. Because it is such an emotional ride and you are so intertwined with it,it becomes sort of a love/hate relationship by the time you actually have to put it out there, because you have sat with it for so long, and it is all over in the blink of an eye.”

“It has been frustrating at times — but once we actually see it with everybody, I think that part will make all of the strife and everything really worth it,” added Corkle.

Corkle has begun work on his next project — Chloe and Attie — but has found it difficult to concentrate on it while still working on Hollow in the Land.

“I have been trying to write over the last couple of years here, but with any sort of feature comes a huge amount of emotional time expenditure and it becomes really tough to concentrate on anything else,” he explained.

“You put a lot of yourself into each screenplay and you want to make sure that you’re not just concentrating on what the story is but putting yourself into the characters.”

Knowing that your creation is going to be around for a long time is another cause for reflection. “You are literally sitting with this for your entire career, and every time you write something, you know that you may be living with what you are writing for the next five years,” expressed Corkle. “It is part of the battle with screenwriting in general.”

“I wish it were easier,” he said, “But then, would it be as nice at the end? I don’t know. I’ve heard it never gets easier, it’s just more money and more people involved.”

Corkle also has a few other new assets — a manager and an agent in Hollywood. “I now have people who are going to bat for me in the creative field,” he said.

It looks like Hollow in the Land may be just one of many films written and directed by Scooter Corkle.


Hollow in the Land crew during filming in October 2015. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

Hollow in the Land crew during filming in October 2015. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

Locals were used at the bowling alley during a scene from Hollow in the Land. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)