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Hollywood starts filming script by Yorkshire Dales writer
FROM the Yorkshire Dales to the Hollywood Hills, filming has begun in the US on a movie scripted in Coverdale.
Writer Ray Russell returned last week from the States where he met the crew who will be producing feature-length thriller Backgammon.
The film is based on Mr Russell’s book Bloody Baudelaire, which he wrote two years ago.
American writer, Todd Niemi, contacted the author after reading the novel and deciding it would make a good film.
Although initially sceptical, Mr Russell agreed to work with Mr Niemi and the two men adapted the book into a screenplay.
This was then spotted by director, Francisco Orvananos, after details were posted on-line.
Filming has now begun in Maine, in New England.
Mr Russell runs a small publishing company, Tartarus Press, with partner Rosalie Parker and their son Tim in Carlton-in-Coverdale, near Leyburn.
He said: “I really didn’t expect it to be picked up. It’s a low-budget film by Hollywood’s standards but they are going to some serious trouble to put it together.
“It’s strange to think of 40 people standing around in Maine working on something I thought up in my mind in Coverdale.”
The film, which has been described as a “sexy psychological thriller”, tells the story of college freshman Lucian who visits his roommate’s decaying family mansion during the holidays.
He falls for his roommate’s sister, only for things to go very wrong.
Although the writer imagined that the story was set in Yorkshire, he said the producers had done well to adapt his idea to New England.
He added: “It didn’t really seem real until they flew me out to Maine and put me up in a hotel to meet the crew.
“We spend most of our time up in Coverdale so to go out to the US was very nice.”
Mr Russell said he was not being paid “mega-bucks” for the script, but would receive a small percentage of any profit the film makes.
He is hopeful the film will be premiered at next year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah, founded by Robert Redford.
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