Filmmaker and Merced County native Eli Daughdrill resides out his lifelong dream of creating films — however that doesn’t imply he’s forgotten the place he’s come from.
The 43-year-old Atwater native just lately wrote and directed a film shot in Merced County, and it’s now obtainable on streaming companies like Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
Titled “Faith,” the film was Daughdrill’s first characteristic undertaking, shot in Merced and Atwater in 2018.
In writing the screenplay, Daughdrill drew off his experiences of rising up in Atwater.
“I came from a background of living on a farm in Atwater and we attended an evangelical church in Atwater,” Daughdrill stated. “As I got older I grew apart from that, but I was still interested in the church, the people and that world so I wrote a story.”
“Faith” stars actor Brian Geraghty, who has appeared in films like “The Hurt Locker” and “Flight.” He performs a religious evangelical Christian who has his religion examined after sudden tragedy strikes.
Filming in Merced County
Daughdrill says capturing the film regionally was all the time in his plans.
“I wrote it that way,” he stated. “We shot it at the farm where I grew up. We shot at the church I went to and my the church my parents still go to.”
Many of the extras that seem within the film are native residents.
Many will acknowledge among the acquainted places Daughdrill used within the film, like Fosters Freeze and the Wilson Household Funeral Chapel in Atwater.
The Artwork Kamangar Theatre’s iconic tower with “Merced” lit up over the spectacular neon marquee may also be seen within the film.
“I think it was more fun for residents in Merced County because it’s such a novelty,” Daughdrill stated. “Not many movies are shot there. It’s different than when a movie is shot in Los Angeles or New York because people are used to it.”
“Everybody in Merced County was nice and accommodating,” he added.
Daughdrill has all the time been excited about making films — a calling that led to finding out movie at San Francisco State College and later Loyola Marymount.
“I had no social life in high school so I ended up watching a lot of movies,” he defined.
He graduated from Atwater Excessive in 1995 and Merced School in 1997.
Daughdrill has beforehand drawn on his private expertise in movies. He made a documentary known as “Jonas” about his brother’s life with schizophrenia. He’s additionally made a number of brief movies.
He’s additionally serving to different aspiring filmmakers understand their goals, working because the division chair of the Visible and Media Arts Division at Lengthy Seaside Metropolis School.
Daughdrill wrote Religion’s first draft 10 years in the past. After many rewrites, he discovered Mike Ryan, a New York producer who has been behind different small, impartial movies.
Collectively, they have been capable of elevate cash, seek for a solid and get the wheels in movement.
The early response to the film has been good. “I’m proud of it,” Daughdrill stated.
“It’s not perfect. It’s like anything, when you watch it again there are things you’d like to tweak or fix. It’s kind of like music. It’s good to have it out there in the world. It’s nice that it exists so people can see it.”