Record Staff Writer
“Roswell FM,” a locally filmed movie about a paranormal radio show starring Brendan Fehr, will debut at the White Sands Film Festival in Las Cruces today.
Fehr, who played Michael Guerin in the “Roswell” television series from 1999-2002, plays the lead character, Jay Rathbone. The independent film was written by Dave Spence and directed by Steven Griffen. Producers include Griffen, Spence, Alan Trever and Carl Lucas.
Ot her main characters are played by Jason London, of “Dazed and Confused,” and Mirelly Taylor.
The movie is centered around Rathbone, a radio host at the station.
“He’s the most normal and best one on the air,” Spence said. “He is the one who is keeping the station afloat. He loves his job and they love him.”
Rathbone is staying with his sister and her odd-ball son. When her son is accepted to a good college, the three of them have to find the money to pay for tuition. Rathbone decides to take a job to help out his nephew, Spence said.
“It’s about him trying to do the right thing to help his nephew,” Spence said.
The story that follows is about Rathbone’s struggle to make a personal sacrifice that could not only crush his dreams, it also may put the radio station in peril.
“I wrote the script about eight years ago,” Spence said. “I was really fascinated by paranormal talk radio. I thought it was really interesting. I wanted to write a story about friendship, sacrifice and helping a family out.”
“Roswell FM” is the crew’s first attempt at a full-length feature film. The movie is 94 minutes.
While in Roswell, the crew shot scenes at a house on Main Street near Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. The crew stayed in the dorms while filming, Griffen said. ENMU-R Media Arts students and teachers helped produce and assist with the filming.
Another location included an old ice-cream shop that was closed at the time. A production team was brought in to turn the place into a fully functioning shop. Another crewman’s house doubled as a location.
The movie was filmed mostly in Roswell, with some scenes of a radio station taken in Artesia and some pick-up shots filmed in Las Cruces. In all, the crew shot for five weeks and was in Roswell for a total of two to three months, Griffen said.
“We had a really awesome cast in general,” Griffen said. “When he came on board, he didn’t really want to be known as the Roswell guy. But, he came on board and he was a really cool guy. It was one of our first experience for directing and writing for Hollywood actors.”
Fehr took the role seriously, preparing and rehearsing often, Griffen said.
“He really brought a lot to the table,” he said.
But Fehr’s presence in the movie does not mean the movie is an extension of the television series.
Though the paranormal aspect of the movie is “most interesting,” Spence said, the story is more about relationships.
“Roswell the (television) show is about aliens,” he said. “Our movie is more about the relationships.”
The producers have no firm plans as to how they will distribute the movie. “Roswell FM” has been submitted to several film festivals and a schedule is currently under review.