TV Movie | | Drama
Partially based on the true events surrounding a rural religious cult in the American Midwest, and how the members' children suffered for their parents' fanaticism.
Producers Laurence Schiller and Paul Monash with the Art Director Hub Braden scouted the ghost town location in the Spring of 1981, deciding to film the NBC-TV MOW in Utah. The actual Short Creek was located South of Hurricane approximately 40 miles. Art Director and Construction Coordinator Jerry Esposito established their base in the only motel in Hurricane six weeks prior to photography. Esposito hired construction carpenters and painters at the St George Unemployment office for his crew. They established Short Creek Productions with a local bank, with a sizable account for credit purposes, for purchasing lumber and materials prior to construction. The producers, cast and production department followed establishing their group in several motels in St. George Utah for the filming and wrap. The distance from St. George to the ghost town location was about 30 miles. The construction coordinator built a foot bridge over the shallow creek bed adjacent the ghost town and main road. Otherwise the travel time to reach the town was an additional 20 miles; ten miles to reach a creek crossing bridge, and another ten miles back to the ghost town. The actual Shortcreek Mormon-Polygamist group in Colorado City and Hilldale township had knowledge of the intended filming. The production was advised that a rumored possible raid of the filming location by the Polygamist male leadership might occur. The local Sheriff, Glennwood Humphries, became a major contact for the construction department, making his presence established prior to and during filming. Filming was neither delayed nor prevented during the production schedule. Two brothers, from Tooele, Utah, were hired to live in their parents house trailer located adjacent the creek, the bridge, and the location, acting as security both during the day and night from first day of construction, till end of filming. The two boys also became town extras during their security detail.
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