Hunter S. Thompson flick will be filmed in Sil­ver­ton

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Jonathan Romeo

The town of Sil­ver­ton will be the pri­mary lo­ca­tion for film­ing a new movie about the true story of Hunter S. Thompson’s cu­ri­ous, bizarre and en­ter­tain­ing run to be sher­iff of Pitkin County in the 1970s.

Stephani Bur­ditt, of­fice man­ager for Re­gion 9 Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment of South­west Colorado, con­firmed that “Freak Power” would start film­ing in Sil­ver­ton this fall.

In De­cem­ber, it was an­nounced that di­rec­tor Bobby Kennedy III re­ceived a $300,000 re­bate from Colorado’s Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion to shoot his new fea­ture on Thompson.

The Denver Post re­ported the bud­get for “Freak Power” would be $1.85 mil­lion, bring­ing a cast of 100 and a crew of 73. It’s Kennedy’s in­ten­tion to dis­trib­ute the film in a dig­i­tal format, such as Net­flix.

But at the time, it was re­ported that “Freak Power” would be shot mostly around Aspen, the Pitkin County seat. A few lo­ca­tions, how­ever, would have to be filmed else­where, be­cause the town has changed so much since the 1970s.

Don­ald Zuck­er­man, com­mis­sioner for the Colorado Of­fice of Film, Tele­vi­sion and Me­dia, said pro­duc­ers were look­ing at nearly 24 Colorado towns to use as stand-ins.

Most prom­i­nent was a lo­ca­tion needed for Ho­tel Jerome, which was a dive bar in the 1970s but no longer re­sem­bles its for­mer self af­ter un­der­go­ing sev­eral ren­o­va­tions over the years.

Bur­ditt said she sug­gested five lo­ca­tions in South­west Colorado: the Di­a­mond Belle Sa­loon, the Gen­eral Palmer Ho­tel and the Strater Ho­tel in Du­rango; the Grand Im­pe­rial Ho­tel in Sil­ver­ton; and the New Sheri­dan Ho­tel in Tel­luride.

But it turns out that the film­mak­ers de­cided to film pri­mar­ily in Sil­ver­ton. A few other scenes may re­quire travel out­side the small moun­tain town about an hour drive north of Du­rango.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive with “Freak Power” was not avail­able for com­ment.

San Juan County Sher­iff Bruce Con­rad, who serves as Sil­ver-

ton’s film li­ai­son, said the movie is set for four to six weeks of ad­vanced prep and then three six­day weeks of film­ing this fall.

“They’re com­ing to town next week to look at lo­ca­tions,” Con­rad said Tues­day. “The ma­jor­ity of the scenes and lo­ca­tions will be in and around town. It’s a pretty ex­ten­sive lo­ca­tion list.”

The cast for “Freak Power” has not yet been re­leased, and spec­u­la­tion sur­rounds who will por­tray the charis­matic Thompson. But Con­rad said he re­cently heard the film “just stepped up the level of star­dom.”

“One of the leads could be much big­ger than they an­tic­i­pated,” Con­rad said.

In pre­vi­ous films, Johnny Depp and Bill Mur­ray have played Thompson.

The plot for “Freak Power” is said to fol­low Thompson’s run for sher­iff of Pitkin County, an ef­fort that re­sulted in a nar­row loss. One of his plat­forms, for in­stance, was to “sav­agely ... ha­rass all those en­gaged in any form of land-rape.”

Re­gard­less, Con­rad said the film­ing this fall is a wel­come boost to the com­mu­nity of Sil­ver­ton, which will likely jolt the econ­omy in the months af­ter the end of the sum- mer tourist sea­son.

“In re­cent years, we’ve had just car com­mer­cials and ex­treme sports on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,” he said. “We’d like to see big­ger pro­duc­tions here.”

In March, “The Great Race” — a true story of a dog sled team that raced to an iso­lated Alaska town with medicine to pre­vent an out­break of diph­the­ria in 1925 — was filmed in Sil­ver­ton.

The film em­ployed and in­volved many lo­cals, Con­rad said.

Bur­ditt was un­sure how many jobs “Freak Power” may bring to the re­gion, but she sent a list of job open­ings the film is al­ready look­ing for, in­clud­ing an as­sis­tant di­rec­tor, lo­ca­tions man­ager and di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy.

The full list can be viewed on Four Cor­ner’s Film Of­fice’s web­site.

“They’re com­ing to town next week to look at lo­ca­tions. The ma­jor­ity of the scenes and lo­ca­tions will be in and around town. It’s a pretty ex­ten­sive lo­ca­tion list.”

San Juan County Sher­iff Bruce Con­rad

RJ San­gosti, Denver Post file

A new film about the life of Hunter S. Thompson will be filmed in Sil­ver­ton.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.