Sunday, April 4, 2010

'Gripped' promises West Texas touch

'Gripped' promises West Texas touch

Tuesday, 06 October 2009


Staff Writer

Lights. Camera. Action.

While Hollywood may be more than 1,000 miles away, these very words could be heard soon in the Crossroads area, as Big Spring native and Midland resident Deborah Thompson Allen and several other West Texas natives prepare to film “Gripped.”

According to Allen, who is the creator of “Gripped” and is serving as screenwriter for the film, the movie will be shot in Austin and throughout the West Texas area.

“Producers on the film are Rene Ross Garza, a Midland native and 1990 graduate of Lee High School, and Don Tynes of Florida,” said Allen. “Together, they have formed Vision Chaser Productions in Orlando, Fla. Previously they filmed a comedy with Gordon Tynes, “National Lampoon's RoboDoc,” which is due to be released to DVD Nov. 10 of this year. Also on board is Angel Light Pictures of New York, N.Y., including Antonio Saillant, a veteran of the film industry. Together, Salliant, Garza and Tynes will be producing this thriller.”

Allen, who previously published a mystery romance novel entitled “The Prey of the Shadow,” said she and Garza are hoping to bring the film industry to the doorstep of West Texas.

“Casting and crew calls will be announced,” said Allen. “We're very excited about being able to film in Austin and West Texas. For me and Rene, this is a tremendous opportunity to bring something special to West Texas, and we're very much looking forward to it.”

And make no mistake, Allen is no stranger to West Texas or Big Spring, having attended both Big Spring High School and Forsan High before graduating in 1976. She went on to attend Howard County Junior College, and after publishing her novel in 2001, began screenwriting, winning first place with “I'll Always Be With You” in the WriteMovies A/Exposure competition, a true-based story on dealing with Alzheimer's in a family.

Allen said “Gripped” is currently in the research and development stage, and already sports a tremendous amount of talent.

“Don Tynes, our executive producer, has more than 10 years of experience in television and film production, most recently along with Rene Garza, when they produced National Lampoon's Comedy Night School,” said Allen. “The show aired on WKMG-TV, the CBS Orlando, Fla., affiliate for three successive summer sessions on the National Lampoon cable network.

“After graduating from Midland's Lee High, Rene Garza went on to attend Metropolitan Film School in Orlando, Fla. He then went on to work with Don Tynes on the National Lampoon's Comedy Night School and was the associate producer on 'National Lampoon's RoboDoc.'”

Antonio Saillant of Angel Light Pictures in N.Y. is also onboard as co-producer, and according to Allen, brings with him many years of experience in the film industry.

“He's acted in movies and television series such 'Blood Cauldron,' 'Expendables: Soul Harvest,' 'Angel's Blade' and many more in the preproduction state,” said Allen. “In television he has appeared in several episodes of 'Rescue Me' and 'All My Children.' Taking the seat as producer on films such as 'Pumping UP' and 'Blood Cauldron,' he has continued to broaden his field of expertise.”

Allen said Saillant's list of accomplishments is lengthy, including work as a stunt man and stunt coordinator.

Contact Staff Writer Thomas Jenkins at 263-7331 ext. 232 or by e-mail at

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 October 2009 )

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