News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

August 19, 2013

It happened one night in the gallery

Hepp Katt Productions films familiar Terre Haute locations

TERRE HAUTE — Lights! Camera! Action!

Cast, crew and extras gathered Saturday evening at Halcyon Contemporary Art Gallery in downtown Terre Haute for the filming of a new movie by a local production company.

 Terre Haute-based Hepp Katt Productions shot the “gallery scene” of the upcoming movie, “The Painting House” inside the gallery.

“The Painting House” is a movie about an art/painting graduate student named Kari, who experiences the pressures of graduate school, particularly from her painting professor. But she is also haunted by the ghost of a former graduate student who mysteriously died in the house where she sets up her studio.

A series of events involving the ghost, the professor and her own internal struggles lead Kari to take her own life.

 It’s a “psycho, supernatural thriller” said director and writer Daniel Tice.

The gallery scene, Tice said, is the climax of the movie. The scene reveals what is going on inside Kari’s head leading up to her death.

Her “life flashes before your eyes,” Tice said.

The scene reveals her aspirations for being a successful artist, fantasizing about what people would have said about her success.

There were about 11 extras, mostly from Terre Haute’s art community, who participated in the scene.

The movie, currently about 40 minutes long, may extend to 90 minutes for a possible Netflix distribution, Tice said.

Although an opening date is not yet set, Tice said the movie will premiere in Terre Haute.

And many parts of the movie are recognizable to Terre Haute residents.

“The house is the actual studio of grad students on Elm Street,” Tice said.

There have also been scenes shot at Wise Pies Pizza on Sixth Street.

“We’re trying to incorporate as much of Terre Haute as we can,” Tice said.

 All actors are residents of the Wabash Valley, mostly from Terre Haute.

One of them is Gina Virgilio, who plays the lead role, Kari.

“It’s been really fun,” she said, adding that this is her first time doing an actual film. She has performed in community theater.

She said she doesn’t have a lot of acting experience but “on a whim” decided to try out.

“It’s really cool because it’s local,” the journalism and media student said.

Like Kari, Virgilio said she is also creative.

“I can identify in that capacity,” she said.

And she has learned a lot from this experience.

Virgilio said acting “gives you an opportunity to … get away from yourself ... shape and create that character more than what’s on the page.”

Hepp Katt Productions is a visual arts company specializing in digital cinema and photography. For more information about the movie, visit www.heppkattproductions.com.

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@tribstar.com.

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