Director wants audience to connect with characters in 'A Host Of Sparrows'
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Kevin Alexander Boon has spent the most part of three years working on the film “A Host of Sparrows.”
So he’s just a little nervous to have the film make its debut.
“It’s nerve-wracking, really,” he said. “You never know what you have until you put it in front of an audience that didn’t make it or have their kids in it or something. It’s strangers. When you finally put it in front of paying audience, you find out if you did OK or not. Until you get that audience’s reaction, you never know what you have.”
And at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at The Capitol Theatre in downtown Chambersburg, the movie will make its premiere during a VIP screening. After the film, there will be a Q&A session with the cast. There will be free posters and giveaways and the cast will be available for a meet and greet before and after the event for autographs in the theater lobby.
Boon, a professor at Penn State Mont Alto who teaches film writing and literature, is a writer, director and co-producer for the movie. Although this is his third film, it is the first with the production company Open KEG Film Project, which includes co-producers Edwin Koester, cinematographer, and Gillian Colley, co-producer.
“A Host of Sparrows” follows the story of a man who, after more than a decade in prison, is getting released and is trying to find out who killed the woman he loved while he was serving time.
Boon said the seed of an idea was born from something he would jokingly tell his kids when they asked him for something: “Well, I’ll do this for you, but you owe me. And one day a man will come to the door, and that man will have a bag. And in that bag will be a gun and a name. And you will do that for me then because I do this for you now.”
“I always thought that would be a great start to a movie. You’ve got an average everyday Joe comes living with his family somewhere in Suburbia. And bang, bang, bang, someone comes knocking at the door at night and calls in this old obligation comes in before,” he said.
Boon said he collaborated with his partners working in 2016 on scripts during which the shift actually moved toward the perspective of the ex-con.
This is Boon’s third film since first starting the Mont Alto Film Project on Penn State Mont Alto campus, before forming Open KEG.
With established relationships, Boon said many who had worked with before returned.
“Most of the people we had seen before working behind the camera and worked on the films before, it was like Old Home Week or something, so it was nice. It worked well and we had a great time shooting it,” he said. “It was very rewarding.”
The cast and crew started shooting in March 2017 filming mostly weekends. Some of the locations have been Inn at Birches Garden in Greencastle, Pa., South Central Pennsylvania filming on location including in Gettysburg, Mercersburg, as well as Bethesda, Md. Filming was wrapped on June 2017. Boon spent an additional 10 months on post-production.
Boon is looking forward to seeing the audience’s reaction Saturday evening. He’s hoping that some audience members might shed some tears at the end, or get invested in what happens to the character.
“I would like them to have those emotional reactions and attachments they come out of the theater, having been entertained first the hour and a half, but forming an emotional bond with the characters they’re supposed to be with ... I would love them to have that.”
Top photo: DC Cathro plays Norman Foley in 'A Host Of Sparrows.' (Photo courtesy of Third Child Production).