Italian movie shot here
Published: Thursday, October 11th, 2012
“Quiet on set! Rolling! Action!”
Those words were heard nonstop on Thursday, Oct. 4, when an Italian film crew shot part of a feature film at Carson Drug. “I Found America” is a comedy about friends traveling through South Dakota.
The part of the film shot in and outside Carson Drug in downtown Custer revolves around the female lead of the movie, who simply wants to have a prescription filled. What would be an easy trip to the drug store turns into mayhem when a guy decides to rob the cashier. However, in keeping with the comedy, the person refilling the prescription doesn’t know the store is being robbed and pushes the robber out of the way to pay for her medicine. The robber then flees the scene just as the police respond to the robbery call.
Most of the morning was dedicated to the police response scene, in which a cop car speeds through town and skids to a stop in front of the drugstore. Two officers rush out of the car and run into the building with guns drawn. Many people gathered along the opposite sidewalk to watch the scene unfold.
“This scene was originally filmed in Arizona but producers really liked the look of the drugstore here,” said Duane Lammers, owner of DJ Lammers Co., a Rapid City film office specializing in animal handlers and wranglers, line producers and unit production managers and location scouts and assistants. “The location also helped since we group shot in other areas in the Black Hills.”
Those other areas included Rapid City Regional Airport, Custer State Park, Deadwood and Mount Rushmore. The film was also shot in Arizona.
Lammers has been working in the movie industry for 22 years. His first involvement with movies was “Dances with Wolves,” where he served as a buffalo wrangler. He also assisted in another Kevin Costner movie, “Wyatt Earp,” and many more movies, documentaries and commercials. He now does much more than wrangle animals, including scouting locations and helping with production. Lammers showed producers location spots in the Black Hills, including Custer, in early summer.
“We loved the look of Custer and it worked perfect with bundling other locations,” said Katie Carmichael, producer of the movie. “It’s been a great shoot.”
Lammers has been a part of many documentaries and films, including those shown in Europe, Asia, South America and Russia.
“A lot of the crews are international,” he said. “We don’t have too many feature films like this so it’s been a lot to coordinate.”
As part of his job, Lammers had to select filming locations and get the necessary permits from the correct agencies, including the National Park Service, the Department of Transportation, the city of Custer, the city of Rapid City, Pennington County, Custer County, Custer State Park and even TSA for the scenes filmed at the airport.
“There’s been about a week’s worth of film time,” Lammers said. “They wanted to shoot in the casinos at Deadwood, so we were there a day. There’s a lot they have to fit in for a week’s time.”
With the threat of snow on Friday, crew members had to get two days’ worth of filming in on Thursday. After spending most of the daytime filming in front of Carson Drug, crews filmed the store scenes after the regular closing time.
“I Found America” stars famous Italian actors Vincenzo Salemme and Ambra Angiolini and is directed by Carlo Vanzina, a very famous director in Italy who releases a movie almost every year. In addition to Italian crew members, many local people are working behind the scenes.
“There’s a fair amount of talent here in South Dakota,” Lammers said. “We have plenty of local people who are knowledgeable and understand the basics who are willing to help. It’s great to be able to use that talent.”
The film is set for release in Italy next month and it may come to the U.S. next year via movie streaming sites like Netflix or even YouTube.
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