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The Last Great Army

AKA "The Stripling Warriors"

~Media coverage~

The following are articles from the original shooting of  The Stripling Warriors.

Thursday June 24th, 1999 - Standard Examiner

Book of Mormon Stories filmed in Kaysville, Utah.

By Ruth Malan

Kaysville - People who looked like they just stepped out of the Book of Mormon have been wandering through the Happy Hollow neighborhood for a couple of weeks now as Dreamland Productions films "The Stripling Warriors".

But they need help from the community. At least 250 and as many as 2,000 extras are needed in this low-budget film by Saturday.

The productions is one of a number of companies filming in the Top of Utah this month. The biggest production is a made-for-TV movie CBS is filming in Ogden this week. "Anya's Bell" is also using extras to help turn 25th Street in Ogden into a  1940's community.

The Dreamland movie is going a lot further back in time.

The story comes from the Book of Mormon and is about Helaman and the Stripling Warriors.

The opening sequence will be filmed Saturday so some families and older people are needed as extras. And according to the Director, Danno Nell, there are some speaking parts for extras too.

"The ides is for it to be released later this year into local theaters," said Nell  who also wrote the script and is one of the producers.

Nell has been writing scripts for the past two years and hopes this one will attract a lot of people.

"It is written in such a way that it will appeal to anybody," Nell said.

It wasn't Nell's idea to make this particular film. Former LDS Missionary Cary Derbidge came up with the idea and will also play the lead character Gid.

"I have known since I was a young that I wanted to do movies," said Derbidge. "No one has made a feature length movie of the Book of Mormon. My goal is to make inspirational films."

Some of his inspiration came towards the end of his mission in Taiwan, when late at night he looked up and at the stars and decided to go home and make inspirational movies.

"Everything fell into place. Now it's a team effort, people become leaders," Derbidge said. Originally, the plan was to shoot the movie quickly, within three weeks - but that has expanded to six weeks.

The story takes place in and around the city of Helaman which has been constructed in set form at 500 East.

Everyone working with the production company is volunteering their time and talents.

"This is being done to fulfill people's dreams," said Nell. "Everyone is donating their time. Nobody gets paid until we find out how the movie does."

The director had three locations suggested for the filming, but Happy Hollow was chosen for its jungle-like atmosphere.

"Once I walked back into there, I knew this must be the place," Nell said.

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