Written by Mark Martel, FilmDayton volunteer
A mysterious device fashioned from a garage door opener changes the perspectives of four different people as they experience and are transformed by its power. Part psychological drama, part comedy and with a dash of science fiction, The Wonderland Express premiered at the StarLite Film Fest in Winter Garden, Florida in early 2012 and won its first award. The film was invited back for a summer festival there and has been an audience favorite on the festival circuit all across the country.
Now it’s homecoming. The Wonderland Express makes its local premiere at the 2012 FilmDayton Festival in downtown Dayton at the Neon Movies on Saturday, Aug 25th. The 11 a.m. matinee screening will include the shorts The Medal and Always Believe.
Directed by Daytonian Greg Nichols, the Express stars an all-local cast including Shawn Green, Ryan Singer, Natasha Randall, Craig Roberts, and Charles Larkowski. Nichols and Green also produced the film with Rachel Wilson.
All of the actors in the film have roots in the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio theatre community and have extensive past experience in improvisation. Writer/director Greg Nichols, and cast members Shawn Green and Ryan Singer were involved in the same improv group from 1998 to 2003, and their tight interplay shows onscreen. Although the film began as a full script, most of the dialog was improvised during filming. Cast member Natasha Randall was recently seen in the 2010 Sundance Festival Selection Take Shelter, another Ohio independent film. Singer currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and is a feature performer of nationally touring comedian Marc Maron.
The core of the film lies in how the characters interact with a strange device and its influence on their normal everyday lives. In this world of cell phones and GPS, today’s science can seem like magic to the average person, which is how the characters view their experiences with the device in the film as it changes their lives. With limited understanding or preparation, their individual experiences are what lead them to different ends.
Read more about the national accolades for The Wonderland Express, the improvisation techniques used by actors, and a focus on simplicity and skill; the full article is available and tickets are on sale NOW.
The Wonderland Express will screen as part of the FilmDayton Festival on Saturday, August 25 at 11 AM at the Neon.