Quiet on the set

Madison native to film movie in hometown

Allen raising money to make ‘In My Life’

By Levi King
Staff Writer

(August 2005) – Madison, Ind., native Christopher Allen is gearing up to produce a new film, “In My Life,” which he promises will be a saga of “God, love and country.”
The story begins when Mike Rizzio, a young gangster enters the emergency room with a critical gunshot wound. An old man dying of heart failure is also in the ER, and when Rizzio flatlines, his consciousness enters the life of the old man. During the three-minute struggle to save the men, Rizzio experiences every day of the old man’s life. Once revived, the memories and values of a past time leave Rizzio a changed man.

Chris Allen

Photos provided

Indianapolis-based filmmaker Chris Allen
has been scouting locations in the
Ohio Valley area.

Allen, 34, who now lives in Indianapolis where he runs RACSO Motion Pictures and works in the aviation industry, became interested in film after graduating from Madison Consolidated High School. He moved to Melbourne, Fla., where he worked at a low-powered TV station and became familiar with cameras, lighting and other elements of production. From there, Allen moved to Orlando, became involved in several small films, and learned screenwriting.
Allen’s first screenplay was called “The Living Years,” and he moved back to Madison in 1995 to produce the movie with friends Bill Goble and Cedric Klein.
Allen wrote “In My Life” in 1997 and shot a 45-minute version on video in Madison the same year. Allen played the lead role himself and showed the video to several studios in hopes of producing a feature length version. Disney expressed interest but shelved the story, so Allen withdrew and planned to produce the movie independently in 1999.
“Logistic nightmares” plagued the project in its early phases, and Allen decided to put it aside. Allen then wrote and produced “A Certain Justice” with Indianapolis talent, where he further honed his skills.

Chris Allen

Joshua Ramsey

“In My Life” is currently in pre-production while Allen secures cast and crew and raises money. After countless auditions, Allen selected Laura Hammer of New York City and Joshua Ramsey of Indianapolis to play the lead roles. He expects to raise more than $1 million to shoot the picture on Super 16mm film. “I say this is my fourth film, but really it’s my first FILM film,” noted Allen. His previous movies were shot on video. “This story is too massive in scale to do on a low budget. I felt that I needed to give it the treatment it deserves,” he said.
Allen is employing “creative financing” to build the budget, working with venture capitalists and obtaining grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Institute of Film.

Chris Allen

Laura Hammer

Allen and Director of Photography David Cook scouted locations in the Madison area last month. Cook is a Hollywood veteran with more than 27 years of experience and credits that include “Edward Scissorhands” and “The Waterboy.” The interiors will be shot in Indianapolis, but Allen chose his hometown for the exterior scenes. Allen and Cook visited with Joe Wentworth of Milton, Ky., who offered to let them use his riverbluff farmhouse overlooking Madison as the primary location. The character of Rizzio is transported to 1937, World War II and the 1950s and 1960s. “I knew when I wrote the story that I might produce it on a small budget, so I made the setting for the central story a farm, so it could remain timeless,” Allen said.
Wentworth also let Allen shoot much of “The Living Years” at his picturesque property. “He’s been incredibly generous,” said Allen.
When the film is finished and edited, he plans to exhibit it at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif., the largest assembly of film financiers and professionals in the world, and Las Vegas’ Show West, a gathering of agents, theater owners, and distributors. Allen said the ideal outcome from these venues would be a theatrical release for his movie.

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