“Suits” director speaks to BYU students

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    By Scott Thompson

    “Suits on the Loose,” the latest film in the “Mormon Movie” genre is not part of the usual fare provided by Halestorm Entertainment.

    Rodney Henson, who wrote, directed and produced “Suits,” spoke to a group of film students in the Museum of Art auditorium Feb. 2, 2006.

    Henson, accompanied by colleagues Dave Broberg and Alan Williams, discussed the current state of LDS cinema, emphasizing the opinion that there is a lot of room for improvement.

    “I get embarrassed and offended watching a lot of those films that poke fun at ourselves,” Henson said. “Is this what we have been reduced to?”

    Henson said he realized LDS cinema had greater potential than the movies currently being produced.

    “We are very educated film goers now,” he said. “The LDS audience is not going to take it anymore.”

    After one miserable experience with acting, Henson said he decided that was not the life for him.

    “I had no interest in that side of the camera. I wanted to be behind it, telling stories and making a difference,” he said.

    After writing screenplays during an internship at Disney, Henson said he knew the only way for a director to get his start was to direct his own film.

    Henson, however, did not maintain total control of his first project “Suits on the Loose.” Halestorm Entertainment titled and marketed the film, following the same model they have used in the past, never having distributed a more serious film.

    “”Suits on the loose” is a title that I hated, and it is not what the film is about,” Henson said. “My original title was ”Lost in New Harmony” because it is about these kids coming of age and making changes in their lives. It is not this wacky, zany comedy that Halestorm wanted it to be.”

    Alan Williams, who composed the music for the film, discussed the spiritual aspect of any creative endeavor.

    “Inspiration is part of the creative process,” he said. “There are times when I feel like a conduit for creativity coming from a higher source.”

    Dave Broberg, who has worked as an editor on such films as “Titanic,” Father of the Bride Part II” and “Phenomenon,” related how he felt guided, not only to his profession, but also to his current career with Sony Pictures.

    The three BYU graduates were the only members of the church who worked on “Suits on the Loose,” wanting to utilize all the talent and resources Hollywood had to offer.

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