“Handcart” Film Makes Its Way to Theaters
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Ampersand Films LC. announces the production of “Handcart”, a feature film that chronicles the courage and faith of a young family as they endure the hardships that befell the Martin Handcart Company and its rescue. The film will be released to theaters July 24, 2002.
Ampersand Films is a new company formed for the production and marketing of motion pictures. The principles of the company are director Kels Goodman, and producer Arthur Reid. Goodman has produced and directed commercials, music videos and promotional programs for 10 years.
Mr. Reid has had 20 years of experience producing and directing award winning entertainment and dramatic programming, as well as commercials, sales promotion programs and documentaries.
Two years ago, Goodman directed his first feature “Yankee 2 Kilo”, a comedy on the Y2K paranoia, which had a video release just before the year 2000 and re-edited for a theatrical premiere earlier this year.
Comparing “Handcart” to his previous projects Goodman sees this picture as being much more serious. “I have family that crossed the plains on foot with the Martin Handcart company and died at Devils Gate”. The famous rescue of the disastrous trek is the high point of the film. Unknown to Brigham Young, the company left Iowa City too late in the year to beat an early Wyoming winter. Once he got word, Young interrupted the fall general conference of the church to prepare people for a rescue of the weary saints. “This makes for dramatic filmmaking,” says Goodman.
The idea for “Handcart” came 4 years ago when Goodman worked for producer Kevin Mitchell documenting the 1997 Mormon Trail Wagon Train. The TV show “Legacy West” was made up of 13 episodes, covering the reenactment week by week, following the trek all the way from Winter Quarters to Salt Lake City.
Goodman’s job was to direct dramatic vignettes that were edited and released each week for broadcast. The dramatic spots were usually taken from journals written 150 years ago that documented events experienced by the original wagon train or handcart company.
“It was an incredible experience. As we produced one program after the other, we got more elaborate. People from the wagon train got involved, and we became friends for life,” Goodman says.
Goodman has planned to use many of the people that were involved in the 1997 reenactment of the wagon train to use as “authentics” in “Handcart” when they begin shooting this summer.
2001 Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.