Dan Rizzuto, who has worked many film-industry jobs over the years has recently moved to the Shuswap wants to see the area’s scenery represented on the silver screen. (Photo Contributed)

Filmmaker sees role for Shuswap on the silver screen

Movie business veteran Dan Rizzuto inspired by surroundings of Salmon Arm

A film industry veteran who recently started living in the Shuswap full time sees the area’s cinematic potential and wants to bring it to the silver screen.

Dan Rizzuto has worked in many movie business roles, from bodyguard to the stars to stuntman and fight co-ordinator. Most recently, he was in the director’s chair for the production of Torn, a thriller which tackles racial tensions. Rizzuto co-wrote the film with Joshua Mazerolle, who has also done extensive work as a stuntman.

Rizzuto’s career has seen him share film sets with movie stars like Nicolas Cage and renowned martial artists Tony Jaa, Iko Awais, Jean-Claude van Damme and many more.

Read More: Salmon Arm actor, writer takes stab at thriller for silver screen

Read More: In photos: Salmon Arm Silverbacks Pro Am game nets large crowd

As he works to get Torn distributed, possibly through a streaming service such as Netflix, Rizzuto is developing a film which he hopes will be able to take advantage of the scenery in the place he now calls home. He is working on the project with Todd Scott, another stuntman who is originally from the Salmon Arm area.

He described the fledgling project as a story set in the outdoors and based on a local Shuswap legend he has heard since moving to the area.

Rizzuto said because the plan is to write the forthcoming film with the Shuswap in mind as a location, last minute adjustments to make story conform to the realities of the location it will be shot in won’t be necessary.

“We’re writing for the environment, so our story is based on what we have access to, what’s around and what’s the most beautiful. We’re going to write to that so we don’t have to change it and can take advantage of what’s here,” he said.

Both Torn and Rizzuto’s future projects are being developed through Cerebral Monkey Entertainment, a company he started four years ago.

“It was founded by a stuntman, it’s being run by a stuntman, right now it’s being funded by a stuntman and it’s all Canadian. Everybody involved right now is Canadian which is something we want to focus really heavily on.”

Read More: Planning proceeds on Sicamous-to-Armstrong rail trail

Read More: Mr Mikes restaurant opens doors in Salmon Arm

Although many of the key players in the production company have made their living performing the stunts that bring adrenaline-soaked action movies to life, Rizzuto said Torn defied some people’s expectations by delivering a story dealing in thought-provoking subject matter— he wants future projects to do the same.

“Authentic stories are what I want to do, I think that’s kind of lost in the world today.”

Rizzuto said technology, such as drones and less expensive cinema cameras, has made it easier for smaller-budget filmmakers to achieve results worthy of the silver screen. It has also helped with getting films distributed. He said it’s much easier to get an independent film onto Netflix than it is to get it distributed to a studio.

Rizutto is unsatisfied with the present order of things, where the film industry in Vancouver and the rest of the province largely serves American productions. He said his wants to showcase the B.C. Interior and get more Canadian stories told on film.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prolific South Okanagan criminal will be freed for time served

Afshin Ighani pleads guilty to assault charges but will be set free for time served

Alleged veteran impersonator removed from Okanagan Legion Wall of Honour

The man had appeared at events including Remembrance Day in 2019.

Two-month-old Kelowna boy diagnosed with rare heart disorder returns home from treatment

Arel spent two weeks at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering multiple cardiac arrests

Waste transfer station now open at Apex Mountain

The site comes after more than a decade of consultation.

City of Penticton names new director of development services

Blake Laven replaces Anthony Haddad as director of development services.

WATCH: Cougar caught on doorbell cam in Vernon

Glenn Gorham shares footage of late-night visit from wild cat

Compost comeback in North Okanagan

City of Vernon councillors approve $27K Compost Bin Pilot Program Phase two

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

Former Shuswap resident killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

Off-duty B.C. Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

RCMP to review fatal B.C. train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Family hopes Britain can get pregnant B.C. woman out of China’s coronavirus epicentre

Lauren Williams, who is about 35 weeks pregnant, has been stuck in Wuhan

Most Read