Westport Filmakers wrapped up shooting of the indie film Fort Apache on July 4, after shooting in several towns in the North Country.
“The process was incredibly challenging but a lot of people in the area are willing to help make it happen,” Westport Central school graduate and New York University film student Addison Mehr said. “It was a big story and I had a crew of about 30 working tirelessly to bring this film to life. We shot for 11 days in 12 locations.”
The project began in November when Mehr pitched the story idea for the film as his senior thesis at New York University. Mehr said preproduction began shortly after and a crew of 30 people shot their film based on the short story by Alan Heathcock published in, Volt.
Fort Apache is the story of Walt Freely, a 14-year-old who lives in the small town of Krafton, and is emerging out of the naive world of children and into the savage world of adults, a world of indifference, sexuality, and destruction.
The film is set in a small town of Krafton. Mehr said while reading the story, Krafton reminded him of growing up in Westport and other Adirondack towns.
“It was a really unique experience to bring the cast and crew to the Adirondacks and I hope ultimately that it makes the film more personal as a kind of direct reflection of the way I see the world,” Mehr said.
The film was shot in several locations including Moriah, Westport, and Lake Placid.
On Main Street in Westport, the filmmakers transformed the street’s store fronts into versions of their former selves on July 2.
Mehr said the sets were all designed by him and his colleague Auriel Rudnik.
“We spent months researching both archival and creative photos as well as pulling references from numerous films,” Mehr described creating sets and preparing for the film.