Film Title: West Virginia Stories
Three stories, examining what it means to live, rather than exist, set in the rural landscape of West Virginia.
A. The Samaritan
LOGLINE Two hunters must make a life altering decision when they witness a murder in the remote woods of West Virginia.
SHORT SYNOPSIS Doug has been living alone in the remote woods of West Virginia as he deals with personal demons. When his brother-in-law and polar opposite, Ryan, comes to visit on his very first hunting trip, the two men witness a crime that forces them into a life-changing decision, forming a bond they would have never expected.
B. Father & Son
LOGLINE A young D.C. lobbyist returns to his hometown in rural West Virginia for what may be a final confrontation with his dying father.
SHORT SYNOPSIS After months of avoiding the inevitable introduction with his father Grant, Mitch brings his new girlfriend home for a late Thanksgiving getaway. During the trip, Hannah learns that there is far more to Mitch’s unstable relationship with his father than he had told her. Through their mutual stubbornness, Hannah realizes that Mitch truly is his father’s son, when they fail to see eye to eye on Grant’s imminent passing.
C. The Mayor
LOGLINE Accompanied by a young student on Career Day, the Mayor of a small West Virginia town goes about his usual duties and discovers elements of potential corruption.
SHORT SYNOPSIS In a small town, Joe is the mayor, handyman, snow-plower, and even Sheriff. Leah, an elementary school student, chooses to follow Joe as her subject for Career Day. When they embark on an ordinary day, Joe deals with the every day issues of a West Virginia mining town while Leah tries to learn as much as she can for her report. At day’s end, Joe discovers trouble that not only affects the town but himself.
Key People (cast, crew, etc.):
Writers/ Directors: Preston Peterson & Jason Boesch
Producers: Colleen Kelly, Richard H Moon, Isabel Junie Hildebrandt
Cinematographer: Akis Konstantakopoulos
Editor: Ben Caro
Composer: Christopher Thomas
“Joe” Peter Van Norden
“Doug” John T Woods
“Grant” William L Thomas
“Hannah” Meagan English
“Ryan” Zachary Ray Sherman
“Mitch” Ryan Stone
“Leah” Lindsey Hull
Why did you decide to submit to FirstGlance?
FirstGlance has an excellent reputation among the independent film community for great screenings, wonderful promotion/attendance, and a high-quality staff with a keen attention to detail. Being an LA based production team, we are thrilled to share “West Virginia Stories” within this community of filmmakers.
Will someone from your team be attending FirstGlance?
Absolutely! Since a large portion of the production team is based out of Los Angeles, West Virginia Stories will be well represented. Besides the writer/ directors and the producers, several members of the cast and crew will also be in attendance.
What is something you feel is important for our readers to know about your film?
MoonHill Productions: West Virginia Stories is a film about people and relationships. It’s about striving to make the world around them a better place. Sometimes they have to work with what they are given but there are other times that they push back against the limitations that society has put around them.
Director Preston Peterson/ Jason Boesch: The plot of each storyline is based on real events for the most part, while nearly all the main characters are inspired by real people in Davis, WV. We based Doug’s character loosely on my [Preston] grandfather who came home from the Korean war, suffering from PTSD and decided to live in the woods for a couple of years, not far from where we filmed. He just needed to get away from the world for awhile. Mitch is based on my mother, who left the town at 18 vowing to never return, because that way of life didn’t suit her. But she loved the town and the people and ultimately came back there to live out the rest of her life. Mitch very much wants to sever his ties with people he feels have nothing in common with him, but ultimately he will do anything to protect them. Grant’s character I somewhat based on my dad’s personality. I think if my dad were diagnosed with a terminal illness he might very well handle it the way Grant did. Joe is almost exactly based on the real mayor of the town. Many of the things his character says are nearly verbatim to things he’s told us about his outlook on life. He’s a man who understands what it means to serve his community and truly loves it deep down.
What should viewers expect from your film?
One of the strongest themes in the film is ordinary people confronting life-changing adversity. We don’t offer all the solutions, but we show how some people might attempt to take back control of their lives, and often without much time to think on the matter. We hope that people will walk out of the theater and think “I’m not sure what I would have done in that situation either.” Another major theme is an examination of the old world vs the new. Each storyline has a main character that represents an old fashioned way of living: Doug who lives in the woods and doesn’t use a scope on his rifle, Grant who realizes death is a part of life and isn’t afraid of it, and Joe who always wants to fix things himself and has a very simple, yet ideal perception of how politicians should work. They’re counterparts (Ryan, Mitch, Leah) all have more modern ways of living and looking at the world. Hopefully the audience will see the merit in both perspectives.
Do you have any production stories our readers might enjoy?
We filmed in a wide variety of climates during our 14 day shoot. The resilience of the cast and crew was amazing. While filming our first segment, The Samaritan, we worked in 3 feet of snow using teamwork and sleds to move the equipment. On the last night of the that storyline it was so cold that the camera got ice on the computer chip, resulting in a strange hexagon shape around any light on screen. Our DP, Akis Konstantakopoulos, had never seen that before and we had to shut down for 45 minutes to warm up the camera. In addition, it was so cold that night that our actors had real ice on their beards.
What are you looking forward to most at FirstGlance?
We are really looking forward to watching the film for the first time with some of the cast and crew who have yet to see West Virginia Stories on the big screen!
Where can our readers find more information about your film?
To learn more about West Virginia Stories, feel free to check us out via our website or on social media…
For more information on the FirstGlance Film Festival, or to buy tickets, visit their website.