After years of working in the film production business, Dan Campbell and his business partner, Jude S. Walko, finally created their own film production company in Grand Rapids.
“[Jude] kind of brought me under his wings. We started joking around about having a film company,” said Campbell. “That’s kind of how Blue Falcon Productions came about. This is what we do and this is what we had been doing.”
The pair started to brand themselves as a production services company back in 2012 when they started the company, providing contract services for other funded films and helping other companies with projects. That was primarily the stepping stone for Blue Falcon Productions.
“In addition to that, another primary objective of the company is to produce our own original content,” said Campbell.
They have been producing their own content since the company started but just last year, they finished the company’s first feature length film, “The Incantation,” which will be available to rent or buy beginning on Tuesday, July 31.
“‘The Incantation’ is what we like to call a paranormal thriller,” said Campbell. “It’s in the horror genre and is a throwback to some classic films. We like to compare it to other inspirations we had. Think ‘The Shining’ meets ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’”
Campbell, who has his undergraduate degree in film from Grand Valley State University, helped to produce the film and Walko wrote and directed it. Writing a horror film motivated them because it’s not as expensive as the other movie genres.
The idea for the film came about when Walko was working on a film in Georgia. He noticed photos of a castle in the house where he was filming and asked the owners about it. They had bought the castle a few years back, wanting to turn it into a bed and breakfast.
“They had jokingly said creepy things happened there at the castle,” said Campbell. “That’s how [“The Incanation”] came to conception. Here is this beautiful location, An exotic area of the world that they are giving us the opportunity to film there. Let’s write a story around the location.”
From there, Walko and Campbell developed a script. Campbell said Walko did a lot of research about the castle. He got photos from the owners, Gary and Julie Sullivan, who are also executive producers on the film and huge supporters of filmmaking. He researched the occult and witchcraft in the area and intertwined it into the film to give it an accurate backstory.
“The movie is fiction but it’s rooted into historical things and the building itself,” said Campbell.
The film pays homage to an older genre of films known as “hammer films.”
“These [films] were made in studios back in the 1950s and 1960s, where they would shoot a movie around a location and that location could be almost like a character in it,” said Campbell.
“The IncanTation” is about a young American girl who gets a notification overseas that her great uncle has died and that he owned this estate and she heads there for his funeral. When she’s there, she starts to uncover and unravel deep, dark secrets of her family’s past.
Campbell said that it’s not a slasher film and it’s not graphic but of course, you have your seat jumping scares.
The film stars Sam Valentine as Lucy Bellerose and Dean Cain as Abel Baddon. Campbell and Walko completed the first draft of the script in January 2016, shot the film in June and July of 2016, and completed the whole picture in June 2017. Principal photography of the film took 25 days on location in France at Dunderry Castle. It is a truly independent film and was privately financed.
“I would say our greatest accomplishment so far [of Blue Falcon Productions] is ‘The Incantation,’” said Campbell. “Not only is it our first original film but it’s a calling card of us flexing our creative muscles. We built our entire careers so far in making other people’s dreams happen and this is our dream.”
The film has been sent to many film festivals and has won and been nominated for a number of awards including winner for Best Narrative Feature Film at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, winner for Best Direction at the 7th Annual Eclipse Awards and winner of 5x Awards of Excellence for Direction, Writing, Supporting Actor (Dean Cain), Cinematography and Feature Film at IndieFEST.
“The Incantation” will be available at Redbox, iTunes, Amazon, Family Video, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and more on Tuesday, July 31.
For more information visit Blue Falcon Productions.
*Photos courtesy of Blue Falcon Productions