Actors, filmmakers celebrate Saints and Soldiers franchise with roundtable discussion

Published: Thursday, Aug. 14 2014 6:35 p.m. MDT

Crew members prepare to film a scene on the set of "Saints and Soldiers: The Void."

Provided by Saints and Soldiers: The Void/Go Films

It was finally time for Jasen Wade to tell the truth about Corbin Allred.

Seated at a table with his director, fellow actors and producers and surrounded by a small audience with cameras rolling, Wade revealed how his co-star in "Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed" would occasionally steal his lines.

"If you have ever worked with Corbin, it's pure manipulation. He'll make you think it's his idea," Wade said as the audience laughed. "Maybe you have nine lines and he has three, but by the time you shoot the scene, he has the nine and you got the three."

"None of that is true," Allred said, playing along and sparking more laughter. "I would steal lines from other people and give them to you."

It was one of many fun and memorable stories related in a taped roundtable discussion featuring representatives from each of the three Saints and Soldiers movies. Those seated at the table included Allred, who had roles in the first two films; Wade ("Airborne Creed"); Danor Gerald ("The Void"); director Ryan Little; producer Adam Abel; and Jeff Simpson, Deseret Book president and founder of Excel Films.

The event, which took place at Fort Douglas Military Museum in mid-July, was recorded for the future release of "The Void" on DVD. It was also intended to give fans a chance to meet the people behind the films, celebrate the franchise and pay homage to veterans.

"Saints and Soldiers: The Void" stars Gerald and premiers in theaters on Aug. 15.

It's been a rewarding experience to make the films, Little said.

"After the first film, we would have veterans come and thank us and we would say, 'You are thanking me? I should be thanking you,' " Little said. "I realized these films were our way to thank them. That has been extremely fulfilling."

The films honor the finest generation, Abel said.

"We wanted to give families the opportunity to experience the greatest generation, what they have done, and to carry on their legacy, hopefully having that same determination of character and commitment," he said.

The roundtable was broken into segments with short clips from the movies and included questions from the audience. Along the way, the group shared interesting facts and behind-the-scenes details about the three films:

The genesis for "Saints and Soldiers" came to Little as a college student. He thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if a German soldier and an American soldier were forced to spend the night in a barn together and had to learn to get along. The short film’s budget was $2,000. It won several student awards and even turned a small profit.

Little and Abel said the original title for the first film was “Saints and War.”

Allred's grandfather, William Weston Garrett, was in the Army and served in World War II. He was also awarded the Bronze Star for service rendered in the Korean War. Allred honored his grandparents by carrying a copy of the photo his grandfather carried of his grandmother during his military service.

The first movie was shot in January in order to take advantage of Utah’s snowiest month. “But in 2003, that wasn’t the case,” Abel said. “There were a lot of potato flakes involved.”

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