Some kids will stick together no matter what confronts them. At least that's what Utah's Lyman Dayton portrays in his new film "On Our Own."
The movie, an adventure about four children determined not to be separated and placed in foster homes, premieres tonight at the Scera Showhouse.A number of the "On Our Own" stars and production crew will be at the world premiere gala. Alan Osmond - writer of the film's title songs, which were performed by his sons, The Osmond Boys - will also attend.
"It is kind of rare to have a world premiere here, but this area represents a big family market," Dayton said. Scera was selected because most of the actors and crew members are from Utah.
Branden Miller, marketing director at Scera, said the Orem show house is a leader in the nation for ticket sales to family films. "People here appreciate family films. In other areas they want sex and violence," he said.
In the movie, the four youngsters from California run away in search of an Uncle Jack in Arizona after their mother dies. Their father had abandoned the family in earlier years. With no money, and the child welfare officials on their trail, the children encounter trouble everywhere they turn.
"The idea of people merging into their own family and kids being on their own intrigues me," Dayton said. "Under all costs they'll stay together."
The producer's past credits include "Where the Red Fern Grows," "Seven Alone," "Against a Crooked Sky," "Baker's Hawk," "Pony Express Rider," "Solo" and "The Red Fury."
Leigh Lombardi, the star of the film, has appeared in several major films including Mel Brook's "Spaceballs" and Henry Winkler's "Midnight Moon." The child stars, all from Utah, are Stephanie Kramer, Scott Warner, Thomas Dayton (Lyman's son) and Amy Allred. All five will be at tonight's gala.
"The kids are good," Dayton said. "They have qualities of untaintedness here. We had our choice of kids in Los Angeles, but these kids are good."
Because "On Our Own" was put together on a tight budget more emphasis is placed on the story instead of special effects, he said. "It is more of a contemporary film."
Clio award winning musical composer Merrill Jenson wrote the score for "On Our Own." His credits include scores to "Windwalker" and "Cry of the Wild."
"In a way `On Our Own' is a story I thought people would care about and identify with without using a big budget," Dayton said. All music was done in-state and includes some live orchestras and synthesizers.
The movie was filmed in four states - California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah - with most of the backroad scenes taking place in the St. George area, Dayton's hometown.
"On Our Own" will open Friday at about 30 theaters in the Mountain West area as part of a test market to see whether the film needs improvement and justifies distribution, Dayton said.
The film is the first of five films in a joint venture with Commonwealth Cinema Ltd. Project and the Dayton Film Corporation. Dayton puts together the production, and Commonwealth provides the funding.