By ROB ALWAY, Editor
Film director Harold Cronk stopped by our Ludington office today to talk about his upcoming movie, “Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy.”
Cronk, known by us Scottville people as Dave — and known in the film industry as just Cronk — is co-owner of 10 West Studios in Manistee. He is a 1993 graduate of Mason County Central High School and a 1998 graduate of Central Michigan University, where he majored in high school art education.
Cronk wrote and directed the movie, which was filmed exclusively in Mason and Manistee counties. The movie’s executive producer is Edgar Struble, another Scottville native. The majority of the movie was filmed this past fall but the final scene and some minor retakes were filmed last weekend at the studio’s main sound stage in Manistee.
The story is about teenager Mickey Matson and his newfound friend, Sully Bragington, who go on an adventure which is kind of a combination of “National Treasure” and “The Goonies.”
Mickey’s grandfather has just died and he leaves Mickey with a Petoskey stone. Mickey doesn’t understand why his grandfather would give him a rock and he is just about to through it in Lake Michigan when a man, a friend of the grandfather, stops him and tells him about the true meaning of the stone.
You’ll have to wait for the film to find out the rest.
The film received Michigan incentive dollars, which meant it had to be filmed locally using as many local resources as possible.
For Cronk, who loves his hometown, that wasn’t a problem.
“We have so much talent here in our area,” he said. “It’s such a family atmosphere. That’s why we shoot here. The community is so supportive and everyone involved in the project is supportive.”
Not too long ago, an independent film director and film editor would have to rent an editing suite in a larger city, often in Los Angeles. This process is expensive and extensive. Because of modern technology, Cronk is able to edit the film from his Amber Township home, communicating online with his editor in another location.
“It’s amazing what we can do. The editor is on his computer and we are using Skype to talk to each other. His webcam is focused on the screen and I can see him editing while we are talking. It’s really convenient. And, best of all, I get to also babysit my 4-month-old daughter while my wife is working during the day.”
Cronk will head to Los Angeles next week where he will meet with film distributors and studio executives. “We are really excited about the responses we have already received about this film,” he said. “When we show film executives the trailer they are just blown away by what an amazing backdrop Manistee and Mason counties are. They can’t believe we did this film on the budget we had to work with.”
To find out more about 10 West Studios, visit its website at www.10weststudios.com. You can also become Facebook friends with Mickey Matson movie on to follow along with production.