Will von Tagen grew up in Boise, so it's not totally surprising that the 27-year-old would set his first feature film – called "Almosting It" – in the town. Boise moviegoers will get the first chance to see the film Wednesday at the Egyptian Theater.
“It’s really a lot of fun because we were able to use some local landmarks to add a lot of character to the film," von Tagen says. "The environment and the setting almost serve as characters themselves. We [filmed at] the Record Exchange, Lowell Pool, 10th Street Station, we shot at the Owyhee, lots of downtown sites. So it’s very much a Boise film.”
Von Tagen pulled from the local pool of talent to produce the film, which he stars in, and hopes to get the attention of a distributor so the movie can get a wide release by the fall.
That's a high bar for a debut feature film, but he's confident the movie will make a profit. Unlike other independent films shot in Idaho, von Tagen formed an LLC and got investors backing the venture. He says treating it like a small business is helping to hold him accountable to produce a high-quality film on a timeline. Principal photography for the film was shot less than a year ago. He says getting it on the big screen early was important to him.
“We’re kind of building our assets, building a base model so we can then prove to theaters outside of Idaho where it’s not so much a novelty that it was filmed here, that the film can turn a profit, that people are seeing it."
The young filmmaker says Boise's movie industry has a ways to go before more than one feature can be shot at the same time. But he says the town's excitement for the film business is palpable.
“You go to a lot of places that boast to have high film incentives and a lot of movies get filmed there, but people aren’t quite as excited to have you showing up at their front door with cameras as they were in Boise.”
After Wednesday's premiere, "Almosting It" will have a run at The Flicks.
Check out the first trailer for the film.
Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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