‘The Other Side of Darkness’ finds a huge audience on a budget of $15,000

Adam Deierling leaned out the window with a video camera as the vehicle he was in made its way down Route 7 along the Ohio River.

Filming a scene in “The Other Side of Darkness,” the 33-year-old Stark County native was living his dream of making his first feature film.

But he did not enjoy the romanticism of making movies. No time.

“I was more worried about the camera falling on the road than anything else at that particular moment,” the Jackson High School graduate said in 2004.

“I probably shouldn’t have, but any of the shots where you see us going down the road or the highway, it’s usually me hanging out the car window, going down the road filming 55 miles per hour, which It’s not the safest or the most recommended,” Deierling said of filming in 2020.

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Risking his own safety for the sake of the film is one of the many sacrifices Deierling has made to bring “The Other Side of Darkness” to viewers. He wrote and directed the movie.

The efforts have paid off. Released on streaming platforms Amazon Prime Video and Tubi, the 120-minute independent film has garnered more than 2 million views on YouTube alone since its July release on that platform, an impressive feat considering a meager production budget of approximately $15,000. .

A project of Saturn Entertainment Studios and Villagers Pictures, the film is also available to purchase as Blu-Ray and DVD at https://www.othersideofdarkness.com/.

“It’s great to think that there are people out there, and I have no idea who they are, all over the world, watching the film,” said Deierling, who learned about the art of filmmaking while completing an intensive 12-month program at The School. Los Angeles Film.

“With the resources we had available to us, I think we could have done a lot worse,” he said of the film. “But there’s certainly room to grow, and that’s part of the experience. You’re always learning new things.”

Deierling’s next film is in its early stages.

“I’m currently writing right now,” he said of the script. “It’s going to be different; it’s not going to be the same kind of movie. We’re going to take what we learned from this one.”

Here are five other things to know about Deierling and his action-adventure movie:

1. Adam Deierling made a feature film for $15,000.

“A lot of it has to do with getting favors from people who let you on their property to shoot, getting cast and crew for reasonable amounts of money, and one of the most important things is all the equipment, because I do the production of videos for weddings. for a day job,” Deierling said. “I pretty much had the whole team to go and make a movie.”

“We didn’t have a lot of money, but we both enjoyed making movies and…we didn’t want money to stop us from doing it,” he said.

“I took care of what I had. Between me and my producing partner (Vinny Sisson), we had everything we needed to do it… We weren’t paying ourselves to do this. It was out of pocket.”

2. Guerilla cinema is part of the fun.

“There was one day we were shooting on a gravel road and it was a public road (but)…one of the ladies who lived on the street didn’t particularly think it was a public road, so she called the police.” us and she yelled down the street that she was doing it. We just needed to finish one drink and we left.”

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Scenes were also filmed in a tunnel near a power station along the Ohio River.

“There were some trucks that didn’t like us slowing down in their lane, but they got over it. We just went down the highway. We had two vehicles. I was in the producer’s car and (the actors) were in the Jeep, and we had cell phones to tell them what to do… and we were in the left lane and they were in the right lane, and I… filmed it.”

3. The movie was shot in Steubenville, West Virginia and Stark County.

“That’s one of the things we wanted to do, show a lot of the wonderful resources that we have in our own state that we tend to take for granted… The opening scene was filmed on my street in (Jackson Township), but mostly great part of the movie takes place outside of town, so we went to shoot a good part, 10 or 12 days, in the Norton area… and one of our actors had property that he let us use.”

“We went to Steubenville…to ride a lot of hills and highways along the river…Because of our budget level, we were forced to keep the action (scenes) to a minimum…and it actually pushed us to do a story more personal with the characters and stuff, which we would have wanted to do anyway.”

Filming also took place at East Liverpool and Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville.

“People were excited to be a part of this,” Deierling said of the filming locations. “You wouldn’t get that in LA; everyone wants a couple bucks or you need to get a permit and all that. You could never make an independent film like this in LA, not on this budget.”

4. ‘The Other Side of Darkness’ is about massive blackouts and a 16-year-old girl’s mysterious birthday present.

The film stars Maggie Callahan, a Cleveland native and former college soccer player who received a degree in theater arts from Case Western Reserve University.

Against the backdrop of the nation’s largest power outages, a teenager named Taylor Jo receives a mysterious birthday gift that sends her “on an adventurous collision course into a plot to take down America’s power grid,” says the synopsis of the film.

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Deierling said the film appeals to viewers who are “looking for something a little different, (and) if you want to see something that has a more personal story, something that might intrigue you with the drama of the situation and what the characters have to go through. “

5. Adam reads both the positive and negative reviews.

“It’s always hard to listen to people being nasty…about their comments and stuff. A lot of times the way I see it, people tell you not to read the stuff…but I like to read the positive or negative (comments) because oftentimes there can be something in those negative reviews where I’m like, ‘You’re right…I probably should have done something different’, (and)…I’ll grow from it, learn from it, and other times, I’m like, ‘This guy is really crazy,’ and I’m not going to care what he says.”

“That’s something I think is important, especially for young people (who want to make movies),” Deierling said. “What makes you stand out is whether you can own up to your mistakes and learn from them, or are you just going to keep making them.”

Contact Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected]. On Twitter @ebalintREP.