Dixie State University film studios won’t be an empty hangar on the edge of a dusty red cliff for long. In March the building will be transformed into a motel room for a feature film.
DSU film studios are being rented out as the set for an an independent film, complete with an Emmy award winning production coordinator.
“Room 10” is an independent feature film with indoor scenes being filmed inside DSU film studios. Kristi Shimek, co-founder of the independent film production company Escapology and lead editor of an Emmy award winning short film, will be the production coordinator of this film. She is known for her work in “Nocturne,” “Once I was a Beehive,” “Random Acts” and “Turning Point.”
Communication professor Phil Tuckett said the producers have invited students to be a part of the shoot, and they will be paid a daily personal assistant’s wage. Tuckett said even if students aren’t able to help, they can come observe and take notes on the production process.
“This was always the plan,” Tuckett said. “Now that we have leased [the hangar], we can put the plan into motion where we teach students and bring in professional companies to use our space. It benefits the students and also our program so we can provide students with what they need to get a good education with high-quality equipment.”
As an empty and insulated 14,000 square foot room, DSU film studios could be a blank canvas for many productions to follow. Tuckett said he hopes more companies rent the space in the future, and he is excited to have “Room 10” filmed so quickly after DSU obtained the hangar space last semester.
“I would love to see more and more production companies use the hangar,” said Tyler Peterson, a junior digital film major from West Jordan. “It will help spread the name of DSU as well as possibly help the film program gain more investors in the future. Also, it is a fantastic way for film, audio and other communication students to gain contacts.”
Peterson said the hangar is still pretty new and needs a little work. However, he said St. George is a beautiful place to film, and production companies love the idea of a hangar right on the cliff edge and that they can hire DSU students.
“Every lighting course I took at Dixie taught by David Malykont was an amazing experience,” Peterson said. “But [the classes] were limited to the tight space that our on-campus studio allotted. We were limited to how far back we could set up lights. So, to have this giant hangar is a great experience.”
David Malykont, school of business adjunct, said lots of filming in Utah has moved from St. George to Salt Lake City, and he has been trying to figure out why for the past two years.
“The hangar has unlimited potential with the inside as well as the outside” Malykont said. “The location on the tarmac and the scenery [are appealing].”
Cade Colling, a junior integrated studies major from Idaho Falls, Idaho, said “Room 10” could help bring some of Hollywood to Saint George.
“I think ‘Room 10’ will be a huge benefit for the school,” Colling said. “Between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, this would be a really good medium spot for big-time producers to come out and make another base.”