SHAMOKIN — A film for which 90 percent of the footage was shot in Shamokin — and that features a few lines written by former Phillies catcher Darren “Dutch” Daulton — makes its world premiere Saturday night at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center, Eighth and Arch streets.
Filmmaker Matt Spade, a Shamokin native who now calls Philadelphia home, spent more than two years creating “Vanished.”
“’Vanished’ is a throwback to the old thrillers — no blood and guts, just some good, old-school, edge-of-your-seat thrills and popcorn-spilling scares,” he said.
Footage from Shamokin or close by includes scenes at the Shamokin-Coal Township Public Library, City Hall and The News-Item. The other 10 percent was filmed in Philadelphia.
Also, most of the cast and crew are from the area, “from young kids, to high schoolers to their moms and dads and elder residents,” Spade said.
Admission is $5, doors open at 6 p.m. and the film starts at 6:30 p.m. Coal Township singer Marla Kane will host a question-and-answer session and there will be a reception in the Fine Art Gallery downstairs following the premiere.
A short beginning
Spade’s screening of six short horror films, three of which were shot in part or completely in Shamokin, drew more than 100 people to the arts center in June 2017. He’s also known locally for “Strange Meats,” his documentary on Soupies.
As to “Vanished,” it actually debuted in March 2016 are the career and arts center, but as a 7-minute “short.” Spade recalls people discussing with him “what happens next.”
“That was really the influence to turn it into a feature film,” he said.
A Phillies connection
The first half of “Vanished” takes place in 1993, when the Phillies are in the World Series (they actually were that year).
“That is a side story in the film, and several kids go missing,” Spade detailed. “An 8-year-old boy, Tommy, survives all of this and, midway through the film, he is seen as a grown man, living in Philadelphia. He is sent back home to fight to save lives of those who have become ... vanished.”
The involvement of Daulton, who died in August 2017, came about through one of the film’s actors, Shamokin native Matthew “Chu” Charnosky. Discussion of a Phillies game was already written into the script when Charnosky, about two summers ago, learned the beloved Phils’ catcher was going to sign autographs at a bar Charnosky frequented. He introduced himself that day and showed Daulton the script.
“Chu calls me and says, ‘Hey, I just met Darren Daulton. He signed your script, and he also rewrote a few lines, if you don’t mind,’” Spade recalled with a laugh.
“(Daulton) reworked a few lines to make it more accurate,” Spade added.
The red carpet
Those attending Saturday can have their picture taken in front of a large poster about the film that features the mausoleum from the Shamokin Cemetery as a backdrop, Spade said. His wife, Morgan, even acquired a section of red carpet to roll out that night in the arts center.