Independent film wraps at Adventure Mines

Published: Jun. 2, 2016 at 3:07 PM EDT
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On Tuesday, an independent film wrapped up production in Greenland, Michigan underneath the Adventure Mines.

The film, Dwarves of Demrel, is a steampunk fantasy adventure that surrounds three dwarves; characters similar to what you would see in The Lord of the Rings.

After searching online for a location to shoot, the creators moved the crew to Upper Michigan at the beginning of April to take advantage of the Adventure Mine due to its authenticity. Adventure Mine was an active mine for 70 years before becoming privately owned, and the operators have kept it in authentic condition by offering guided tours without lights or guard rails. The filmmakers said one of the best parts about being able to film in the Upper Peninsula was that they were able to use a real mine instead of having to rely on special effects.

"The mine is so adventurous and cool within itself,” said Zachary Amundson. “I love taking the members of the crew to different parts of the mine and its unique locations. There’s everything from a rope bridge, to an abyss, to even a tiny hole that we've had to put an actor through. It's just been a lot of fun filming here and I'd do it all again in a second."

The film takes place after the dwarves’ mine collapses, and the audience follows the story of their battle with hopelessness, individuality, and having to come together to survive. The plot thickens though, when they discover another creature lurking about the mine.

For most of the talent and crew, it was their first time in the U.P., and besides the original storyline and unique location, many were attracted to working on the film because of its independent nature.

"It's not a huge studio production, it's very intimate, and so you get a chance to really contribute a lot to what the script already is, and to what the director wants,” said Rob Morgan, an actor in the film. “It was a really worthwhile project to spend a beautiful month inside a mine in Upper Michigan."

Filmmakers say it's difficult to predict exactly when the film will debut, since it's self-financed, but they're looking to release the film to festivals this fall and winter. Then, they hope to have it released to the public via DVD and all the main streaming websites by next spring.