By BRET MOSS
January 5, 2014
DURANT – It’s lights, camera, action for Durant filmmaker Tyler Slawson whose most recent motion picture, “Consecrated,” has been accepted into the Trail Dance Film Festival. “Consecrated” has received positive reception locally and will now debut in broader venues at Trail Dance, set for later this month and hosted in Duncan, Okla.
“It’s the story of a young girl who has held a dark secret from her past,” Slawson said as he described his picture. “Consecrated” is an original story conceived by Slawson and brought to life by a considerable group of dedicated members of the Durant community.
Staring Dacia Spiva as Victoria, Slawson’s flick follows the path of a youth with a jaded past who must overcome the unforgiving judgments of her peers. Through personal trials and attacks to her self-worth, Victoria consecrates her faith in God and herself to face her future.
Making its debut in March of 2013 at the Massey building to a crowd of more than 70 viewers, “Consecrated” also features original scores composted by Christopher Cannon and boasts a large cast of local talent.
“One of the best parts of what I do is audience reaction,” said Slawson, who has seen acclaim locally and anticipates receiving feedback from his inaugural festival entry.
His work will showcase at a festival in its eighth year which has twice been named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 25 coolest Film Festivals, and 2007’s Outstanding New Event by the Governor’s Conference of Tourism according the festival website. “It is one of Oklahoma’s more respected festivals,” Slawson added.
“Tyler shows true promise as a filmmaker. For a first-time effort, I was very impressed by both his storytelling ability and his visual sense,” said Director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Commission Jill Simpson in regards to Slawson’s work.
The two met in October to acquire professional feedback on his efforts and to become better connected to Oklahoma’s film industry.
Slawson describes the commission as the hub of Oklahoma’s film industry and hopes to become more involved with those associated to the organization as his resume grows and skills are honed.
“Consecrated” is not the first time Slawson has flexed his film making muscle. In 2011 he released “Consumed,” the story of a young man’s struggle with lust.
“Consecrated” represents sizable improvements in directing style, story development and technical aspects. “Every time, the production gets bigger,” said Slawson.
Fueled by the success of his past projects and his general passion for the art, Slawson is currently in pre-production for his newest project, “Fear,” set to be complete in 2015. According to IMDb, “A grieving widow loses her daughter and is forced to endure the media frenzy that ensues as people begin asking questions.”
“You learn more every time,” said Slawson. The budget is much higher, the techniques have improved and the script is more thorough, he continued. He went on to mention that the sets are more elaborate, as locations throughout the Durant area have already secured for filming later this year.
According to Slawson, “Fear” Will have a slight Christian element, as to encourage overcoming obstacles. Citing Galatians 6:9, a verse about pressing on through hardships, as his inspiration for the film, he mentions that he always tries to incorporate an aspect of faith in his work.
While his creations are not centered completely on Christianity, he does believe incorporating faith-based ideas important to the direction of the films. Stating that he avoids preaching to the audience, he makes films of various genres with a Christian base.
Slawson’s desire to include Christian elements originated along with his drive to become a filmmaker. As he sought direction in his life years ago, he realized he had always loved movies.
Upon praying for guidance, opportunities in the form of film making competitions arose. As he excelled in high school, his work took him to North Carolina and Florida and it solidified his notion toward his future path.
If you would like to know more about Slawson or track progress on “Fear,” visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/TylerSlawsonPictures or view his blog at TylerSlawson.Wordpress.com.