The Desert Vista Black Box Theater was the inspiration for three recent grads who decided to start their own production company and take their dreams from ideas to actual stories told through film.
Daniel Ziegler, Ethan Hoover and Tristen Bagnall all met at the Ahwatukee Foothills high school. Together they participated in theater, but for each their aspirations were always in film.
“I have been interested in film making since I was 6 or 7 years old,” Ziegler said. “It was ‘Star Wars’ films that actually first got me interested in the creation of the world rather than being in front of the camera. I wanted to be behind the camera and tell a story. I got a camera and put my sisters in front of the camera and made little fun things for many, many years. In 2012, I started getting serious and writing things I felt were better than anything I had written before. I felt like I could actually do something with this. That’s when we all came together.”
The boys say their talents lie in different areas. While Ziegler enjoys being behind the camera, Hoover enjoys acting and taking on different characters. For Bagnall it’s the story telling. They decided to start their company to bring different talents together to create movies that are completely unique.
The company released its first short film, “Writer’s Block,” in November of 2012. Two weeks ago they released their second short film, “Red Song,” which features local artists, musicians and actors. The group is now working on getting the film into film festivals both in Arizona and New York.
Now that the group has graduated from Desert Vista they’re off to different locations. Hoover and Bagnall will stay in Arizona to go to college, but Ziegler is headed to New York. The boys are confident they can still work together at a distance to write scripts and organize future works.
“The films that we make, there’s a lot put into them,” Ziegler said. “There’s as much work behind the scenes as there is in front of the camera. It includes years of writing. There’s a big gap of just planning. Then the shooting phase if we are focused enough, we can get it done in several months. We have concluded that it’s better to spend our time away still planning and writing scripts and getting ready so when we all come back on breaks we can get right back in the swing of things.”
Since the release of their films the group has been approached by even more musicians, artists and actors interested in working with them in the future. That’s exciting for the boys who hope their company can continue to grow, bring together the best talents, and have success in the future.
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