MOVIE SHOW

Utah’s a unique place to film, Sundance filmmaker says

Jan 31, 2020, 12:39 PM | Updated: 12:39 pm
2021 Sundance Film Festival...
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, the Egyptian Theatre is lit up on Main Street during the first night of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)
(Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Scott Chester is no stranger to film-making. He’s been working in the industry since 1985 and several of his projects have been premiered at Sundance. He’s worked across the country, including some projects in L.A.

But, the filmmaker says Utah is a unique place to live to create movies.

Chester first came to Utah as an independent worker, offered a spot on the movie “The World’s Fastest Indian.” Parts of the movie were filmed on the Salt Flats, which Chester said were a beautiful sight.

In fact, Chester fell in love with the place — moving to Utah just six months later.

Being entered into the Sundance process is kind of a mystery, Chester said. While he’s based here in Utah, people will come from all over to film and he’ll interview and get hired to work for them. Occasionally, they’ll be selected for the film festival.

Often, he’ll be working on a film set in Utah when the Sundance Film Festival Director will make visits to the shoot. That’s when it all becomes real, he said.

“I don’t have a lot of creative input on what happens,” Chester said. “But, when you’re working on them and John Cooper from Sundance shows up on set you go, ‘Oh, maybe this movie has a chance.'”

Chester said living in Utah presents advantages in the filmmaking process, especially when it comes to Sundance submissions.

“It’s cool to live here,” he said. “You don’t have to fly in to go the festival.”

He said living in Utah helps to save money on lodging and hotels, allowing those funds to go toward the set and other budgetary needs. Utah also attracts the right kind of workers for films, making it easy to build a crew.

Chester’s film “Nine Days” premiered Monday at the festival, which he worked as a filmmaker and production manager for the project. In that position, he said he is the general contractor of the film: building the film schedule, creating a budget, hiring a crew, setting deadlines, etc.

He said working so closely with the film, you don’t get a holistic view until it’s finished. While he’s working, he said he can think something looks really good — but when he watches it, he thinks it looks bad.

“You hope to make movies to move people, that actually leave an impression,” he said. “So, I’ve been fortunate to be able to do that.”

Chester said Sundance is also unique in the way that he gets to sit with the audience while watching it on the big screen.

“It’s rare you get to do that.”

He said that as a filmmaker, he wants the audience to like it. He wants them to react well. Which, he said thinks he got at “Nine Days” which brought a packed theater and concluded with a two-minute long standing ovation at the end.

Filmmaker and Production Manager Scott Chester joins the Movie Show to talk about his current Sundance film, Nine Days. Chester has been in the industry from 1985 working on familiar favorites like ‘Pee-Wee’s Playhouse’ and Sundance films, ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Damsel.’ He discusses the joy of filming in Utah, and the process of being involved in the  Sundance Film Festival.

You can listen to the full episode below:

The Movie Show with Doug Wright and Steve Salles. Listen Fridays 9 am to noon at 1160 AM & 102.7 FM, kslnewsradio.com, or on the App. Follow us on Facebook at @TheMovieShow. Join The Movie Show Club for exclusive perks! Text “Movie” to 57500.

The Movie Show podcast is sponsored by Megaplex Theatres, Utah’s premiere movie entertainment company.

Today’s Top Stories

Movie Show

Pinocchio (voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) in Disney's live-action PINOCCHIO, exclusively on Dis...
KellieAnn Halvorsen

FAN EFFECT REVIEW: Disney’s latest version of ‘Pinocchio’ is a nostalgic dose of CGI magic

"Pinocchio" gives a modern touch to the animated classic with CGI-infused magic, a handful of updated plot points, and a diversity of players.
23 days ago
FanX 2022 welcomes 'Scream Queen' Neve Campbell....
KellieAnn Halvorsen

FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention to have some ‘Scream’ingly cool celebrity guests for the 2022 convention

This year's FanX event will welcome four "Scream" cast members to its list of celebrity guests.
5 months ago
Nicolas Cage as “Nick Cage” contemplates his career in Mallorca, Spain in “The Unbearable Wei...
KellieAnn Halvorsen

FAN EFFECT REVIEW: “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a hilarious grown-up comedy with an emphasis on grown-up

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a wonderfully weird, insightfully intelligent, and absolutely hilarious grown-up action-comedy. 
5 months ago
Cesar Revero, 6, looks at a display of the Infinity Gauntlet seen in the film Avengers: Infinity Wa...
KellieAnn Halvorsen

William Shatner is coming back to FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2022

Actor William Shatner is returning to FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2022 in September.
6 months ago
Cyrano (Peter Dinklage) and Roxanne (Haley Bennett) meet for a confession in Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pi...
KellieAnn Halvorsen

Fan Effect reviews musical adaptation of “Cyrano”

It is a tricky feat to take a beloved classic, give it a twist, and present it to audiences.
7 months ago
Death on the Nile...
KellieAnn Halvorsen

FAN EFFECT REVIEW: “Death on the Nile” is a glamourous mystery that diverts from the book

Branagh's "Death on the Nile" is an enjoyable ride with enough twists and turns to keep even the most devoted Poirot fans guessing.
8 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Utah’s a unique place to film, Sundance filmmaker says