Talon News - Good Local News

By Debra Mayeux
TALON 

GRITTY WESTERN PREMIERS - BY FARMINGTON NATIVES

 

Mark Gould left with Lance Henriksen.-RIGHT

A western movie written and directed by two Farmington High School graduates will premier March 16 at Allen Theaters in Farmington and March 17 at Allen Theaters in Durango, Colo. Gone Are the Days stars Lance Henriksen, Tom Berenger and Danny Trejo and it is being distributed by Grindstone and Lionsgate Entertainment Corporation.

When Mark Gould left Farmington after graduating in 1988 from Farmington High School, he set out to become a filmmaker. Living in Los Angeles, he has had the opportunity to direct television shows and music videos, but his greatest accomplishment thus far is in the making.

His latest project was collaboration with former San Juan District Attorney and businessman Greg Tucker, who wrote the raw and sometimes brutal tale of a cowboy outlaw with a heart of redemption.

"It was really good – something we could develop," Gould said. "Once we said this is what we're going to do, it came together fast."

The screenplay was loosely based on Dante's Inferno, according to Tucker, who had submitted it to Project Greenlight in 2000. He later approached Gould with it and the two took off on a rollercoaster-type journey consisting of a 15-day shooting schedule. "People look at me like I'm nuts, and I am. I shot a western in 15 days, working 14 hours a day ... with five to six hours of sleep," Gould said.

Gone Are the Days was filmed at the Paramount Ranch in Santa Clarita, Calif., with a moderate budget provided by Oculi Entertainment as the production company. Oculi came on board, after casting director, Mary Jo Slater, signed Academy Awards nominee Tom Berenger to the part of Will.

Having an A-list actor such as Berenger on board, Gould said, "We were able to talk to other people. Most of the actors will jump aboard because another actor is on – they are more apt to read the script."

Lance Henriksen, of Aliens and Millennium, took the lead role of Taylon, and then Danny Trejo signed on. "We thought this is actually going to happen," Tucker said.

Gould referred to the budget as a "shoestring" and said the actors were gracious to accept the roles. "I had a great team with great spirits, and the cinematography is beautiful," he said. "This is shot in anamorphic. It is so pretty of a film, like an old-school film they used to do back in the day. It's really wide-screen, pretty."

This is exactly what Tucker wanted. He didn't want to just make a movie. He told Gould, "If it looks like an independent movie, I don't want to do it. ... It was important to me with Mark, I wanted to make it look good."

The acting also was amazing, according to both men, who especially enjoyed working with Henriksen, best know for Aliens and Millennium. "It was absolutely amazing to see Lance completely inhabit and become this character," said producer Richard Hocutt. "A master of his craft, at the top of his form, this performance is truly a tour de force."

Henriksen said Gould "really took him on an adventure," with the filming of Gone Are the Days. "This was not an easy movie to do. We had time restraints and money restraints. We had a lot to do in a very short time."

Gould said he warned Henriksen about the role. "I told him, I'm going to put you through hell, and he said, 'Let's do it.'"

Henriksen plays the lead character Taylon Flynn, a notorious outlaw struggling to come to terms with the man he has become versus who he once was. He faces several demons, including an abandoned daughter, a friend he left for dead and a wife murdered for his crimes.

Award-winning producer Richard J. Cook describes Gone Are the Days as a unique, character-driven western, with all the elements of an Old West Film, "like a gun fight, bar scenes, guys in boots and chaps but it's a different tale. It also has the elements of Dante's Inferno. It's a hybrid. It's unique, and we need unique westerns to set them apart."

Gould and Tucker are excited to bring it to their hometown for the March 16 debut and a week long run at the Allen Theaters. "This means a ton to me. I remember watching my first films at the Allen Theater. .... As a kid, you don't realize this is going to be your dream. You get to come to your hometown to see your dream," Gould said.

He was humbled and honored by the fact that Grindstone and Lionsgate Entertainment acquired the film for release. "It's super cool. It's crazy because I spent close to 20 years doing TV shows trying to build just to do a film," Gould said.

He is proud of Gone Are the Days, which he describes as "kind of gritty," and he hopes all who see it will appreciate and enjoy it.

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