The producers hope to film two more movies in the Youngstown area this year.
By KATIE LIBECCO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Producers began shooting a film, "Horrors of War," at an old factory on Albert Street on Tuesday and plan to use Youngstown more often.
"Everyone here has been very accommodating," said Sean Reid, a producer for the action/science fiction film. "We couldn't have found a better place."
The film was described by producers as "'X-Files' meets 'Band of Brothers.'" After encountering a soldier with powers beyond human strength, a team of World War II U.S. soldiers hunt down several of Hitler's experiments and scientists.
The production company for the film is Horrors of War LLC, based in Columbus.
"Horrors of War" began filming in the Columbus area July 12 and will wrap up Friday, after filming at the Youngstown location is completed. "Horrors of War" has a $1 million budget.
The Youngstown location for shooting "Horrors of War" is at the old Aeroquip factory, which the company is using for $10 a day. The factory has stood unused for more than 20 years, with some of the original equipment left behind.
"We couldn't have asked for a better place," said the executive producer and distributor, Tony Kandah.
Reid has had a working relationship with Richard "Oz" Ouzounian of the Western Reserve Film Commission for years. When Reid had trouble finding a fitting location, he called Ouzounian.
"He called me at noon looking for a bombed out factory and I said, 'I know the place,'" Ouzounian said. "I came here and took pictures, e-mailed them to the producers at 5 p.m. and at 6 p.m. they decided that it was the place."
It's the second movie crew to film in the Mahoning Valley in the past several weeks. Another crew recently shot scenes in New Springfield for a film to be titled "Walker Payne," starring Bruce Dern and Jason Patric.
The co-writer and director of "Horrors of War," John Whitney, is originally from Dayton and lives in Grove City, Ohio. He studied film at Ohio State University and has worked on more than 400 television commercials. He has also worked on several independent feature films, music videos and short films.
Reid is originally from Cleveland, which he left for a career in California, working for several major networks and television programs. He recently moved back to Canton, where he works as a producer and writer for Stonekap Productions.
Columbus native John Osbeck is a director, co-writer and actor for the movie. He has directed several short and independent films and commercials, and has performed on the stage, silver screen and television.
Peter John Ross is the film's co-writer, producer and director. He founded Sonnyboo Productions in Columbus in 1999. The company has produced short films that have played at more than 50 film festivals.
Actors in the film are Ohio natives and residents.
"Horrors of War" distribution deals have not all been finalized, producers said. There are plans for direct video and sales in foreign markets.
Kandah said he hopes to use Youngstown as much as possible in the future.
"I really enjoy this city and I see it as an untapped resource," he said. "I'm glad that I found it. You have the urban area, then farms minutes away. You can't find scenery like this anywhere else."
Kandah said he is planning to bring two more full-length movie productions to the Youngstown area this year, one in September and the other in December.
"I will bring more jobs with my next films. I will bring smaller crews, only eight to 10 people, and I will use local resources for the rest," Kandah said.
For more information on "Horrors of War" and those involved, visit www.horrorsofwar.sonnyboo.com.