About ten years ago, I wrote a script called Last Seen at the Screaming Buddha. It was the second script I ever wrote, and it was the first incarnation of what would eventually become Last Seen in Idaho. That first draft was awful. I was an inexperienced screenwriter and I couldn’t seem to settle on what genre my story was. It was supposed to be a thriller yet I kept inserting witty (and not-so-witty) jokes. If you’re wondering why I don’t just write a comedy, well, I have. It just so happens that thus far only my dramas and thrillers have been produced.
Throughout an entire decade, the Last Seen in Idaho script went through three different page one rewrites, which means it wasn’t simply revised but it was totally scrapped and written again from the blank page. On each page one rewrite, I only kept the main concept, a few key characters, and a couple critical scenes.
That original script is fun to look at now for laughs. I do that every third Tuesday. Just kidding, of course. Though I did skim it once just before beginning my last and final page one rewrite of the story in 2015. Sometimes I do miss that original title, Last Seen at the Screaming Buddha…. but the story changed and the main character was no longer last seen at a bar called The Screaming Buddha, plus that’s a six word title. Not near as long as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but still, a bit long-ish.
Because this story was a decade in the making, it was especially exciting to me when we finally made it. The film was produced by Fireshoe, the production company that I own with my husband Eric Colley. The film was directed by Eric, and it has an amazing cast: Wes Ramsey (Charmed, CSI: Miami, Latter Days), Shawn Christian (Days of Our Lives, Famous in Love), and Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Sleepy Hollow, Tarzan and the Lost City)…. oh yeah, and me!
We have a distribution deal, which means that Last Seen in Idaho will be released sometime later this year. I’ll write more blog entries leading up to the release about the making of the movie, but I’m going to keep this one short. Enjoy the trailer and stay tuned…….
Hallie Shepherd is a writer, actress, and film producer. Follow her on Instagram where she celebrates the stories we tell.