By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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The pilot episode of “The Olympians,” a proposed epic series based on early Olympic Peninsula history and legends, will be shown at 1 p.m. and
3 p.m. at the Peninsula College Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Entry to the premiere is a suggested $10 donation.
“I wanted to show that this could be done entirely on the Olympic Peninsula,” said Ryan Herring, a Sequim-based independent filmmaker who completed the pilot on a $14,000 budget funded by donations from the public and out of his own pocket.
Many of the actors are from the Peninsula.
Titled “Shanghaied,” the pilot episode introduces the main characters: a former lawman in search of free land, a family trying to get a new start in the woods and a young Native American on a spirit quest.
They face challenges in the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula and from each other and earlier settlers who see newcomers as a threat — or as targets for theft or worse crimes.
And maybe from Bigfoot.
Herring said the episode is the first in an epic adventure series.
He said he has entered the pilot episode into three film festivals to start getting the word out.
He said he plans to pitch the show to television networks and cable companies that produce historical dramas.
“I'm hoping someone sees the potential,” he said.
However, if the intent of a buyer is to take the show and move it to Vancouver, B.C., or elsewhere for filming and production, Herring said he intends to keep the show and continue making episodes himself.
“The Olympians” is unrated but contains scenes that include strong language, graphic and bloody violence, and sexual content.
Herring said the show probably would be rated TV-MA — for mature audiences only.
More information is available at www.olympianstv.com, including still photos from the filming, a behind-the-scenes documentary and a trailer.
“The trailer was entered in a contest for trailers and won second place,” Herring said.
After the pilot is shown, Herring and actors Tommy Ruddell and Kayla Stapleton will be available to answer questions about the series, Herring said.
Although many of the actors, extras and crew members are Peninsula residents, others were brought from farther afield because they had training or skills that weren't easily found locally.
Ruddell, who plays Jacob, a former lawman, is the brother of Port Angeles auto dealer Howie Ruddell.
He is a Los Angeles-based actor who attended Port Angeles High School and Peninsula College, where he performed in several productions in the Little Theater.
Stapleton, an actress from Bothell, plays a hooker in a brothel in the logging camp.
Among the extras and secondary characters are several members of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, who wore traditional cedar dress during filming to help recreate the feel of the time and place.
Local history buffs and costume makers provided props or created period costumes for the show.
A group of 15 North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center students — from Port Angeles, Sequim, Joyce and Port Townsend — worked as assistants on the set under the eye of instructor Lisa Hitt.
They worked on actors' makeup, lighting, still photography and scene continuity, and post-production editing and special effects.
Herring and his crew shot the film at several locations on the Peninsula, including Lincoln Park's log cabins, Bar N9ne in Port Angeles and on a 96-acre private plot of second-growth forest near the Sol Duc River.
The original soundtrack was created by area musicians at Dungeness Records in Sequim.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.