In 2004 Indie Action director J.A. Steel won the Bare Bones' Film Festival Indie Auteur of the Year award - the festival's highest honor for the 35mm feature THE THIRD SOCIETY. Steel fell in love with Oklahoma and returned three years later to film her next feature SALVATION.
Filmed entirely in Oklahoma, SALVATION opens with the murder of the Knights Templar in 1307 by the Catholic Church for heresy. The souls of two of the Knights burned at the stake, Malchezidek (Ben Bayless) and Gabriel (J.A. Steel) are condemned to continue the heavenly battle between good and evil, fighting for the souls of men. Seeking to end her existence in Purgatory and find Redemption, Gabriel saves murdered 8 year old Michaela (Alyssa Wilson) and hides her away in a small Midwest town run by Sheriff Dade (Glen Jensen).
Several years pass when Michaela (Heather Surdukan) finally confronts the Biker Gang that killed her led by Billy Bedlam (Devon Brewster). Sheriff Dade suddenly has a string of unexplained murders that all lead to Michaela as the killer. Michaela must choose sides in the heavenly battle between Malchezidek and Gabriel and her own existence in Purgatory forever.
The SALVATION teaser trailer took home a Silver Medal for Excellence in the Best Impact of Music in a Short Film category at the Park City Film Music Festival last week. With its emphasis on music used in independent film, the Park City Film Music Festival highlights movies that best utilize music or a variety of music throughout the course of a film. The Park City Film Music Festival ran concurrently with the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals January 23-28, 2007.
Steel filmed SALVATION in Oklahoma under the tax incentives offered by the state. Steel only had to fly in herself, Ben Bayless, and Glen Jensen (whom Steel considers a local because his family still lives in Wagoner). The rest of the cast and crew were local. Steel met Director of Photography Hartley Powell, Cameraman Gary Dominguez, Sound Mixer Jeff Leyerle, and Special Effect Make-up Keller Powell during the 2004 Bare Bones Film Festival in Muskogee where the team won Best Oklahoma Soil Film for their feature VALENCE THEORY. During subsequent festivals organized by Shironbutterfly and Oscar Ray, Steel also managed to meet the rest of the cast and crew. "Oklahoma has been really good to me - it's a very easy state to film in with a wide variety of locations. I can't wait to film there again."
Steel's use of the wide variety of Oklahoma locations added great production value to SALVATION. When the trailer premiered during the Park City Film Music Festival executives could be heard commenting on the presence of the jet (Courtesy Flight Concepts/Tulsa & Oklahoma City), a medieval castle (Courtesy of the Castle of Muskogee), and a small town (Courtesy of the Cities of Muskogee and Ft. Gibson).
During the festival, Steel was asked if her two projects in active development BLOOD DEED and NIGHT OF THE HUNTER might be filmed in Oklahoma, which she responded with a quick "Yes." The only trouble Steel admitted was having a New York skyline in a sequence in one of the scripts. With a quick smile, Steel simply responded "Second Unit, like I did in Australia with THIRD SOCIETY - run and gun." And how to get there? "On a Flight Concepts charter jet of course!" Steel grinned as jet sequences are rapidly becoming her signature mark.
The SALVATION Trailer and interviews can be viewed at:
For more information contact:
Fred Mercer, Warrior Entertainment