What happens when you think you’ve reached rock bottom and then you find out that things can get worse? When everything you love is stolen away? What happens is “Nothing Left,” a feature horror film shot in El Dorado County.
“Nothing Left” recently won Best Feature in the horror category at the 2012 International Action on Film Festival in Monrovia. One of its director/producers is Al Cacioppo, a 27 year resident of Placerville. The former general building contractor has been acting, writing scripts and producing films for 15 years, ever since he signed up with an extras casting company and got his first part in an HBO movie.
With fellow film-maker Bryan Martin, Cacioppo began production on “Nothing Left” as an episode for a Web series featuring the acting students from Martin’s acting studio.
“We realized that this was too good just for an Internet episode, so we stopped and rewrote it as a feature film,” said Cacioppo.”We started shooting last November and just finished a few months ago. Then we premiered it at the Action on Film Festival and we won for best horror feature.”
The film is about a rebonding camping trip that goes horribly awry when the main character’s wife and sister-in-law are kidnapped by a pyschopath. As Luke Pitts fights to save his family before they become part of the killer’s body count, he faces his own demons and need for survival.
“Nothing Left” is the second of Cacioppo’s films to be filmed in El Dorado County. Parts of the “The Magic of Christmas II” were also filmed here.
The Camino/Pollock Pines area was chosen as the location “because the topography matched the script, ” said Cacioppo. “The woods and mountains, a freeway chase through the mountains — we even used the abandoned, foreclosed house across the street from my house because it looked so derelict.”
Scenes were filmed primarily at Sly Park with chase scenes filmed on Highway 50 from Point View Drive to Sly Park and some scenes at the Apple Café Restaurant.
“The rangers and maintenance people at Sly Park were very helpful. It was pretty quiet up there in the winter — we were the only thing happening,” said Cacioppo. “It was freezing cold, but usually very clear with blue skies, blue water and just a little snow around the edges of the lake. It was really pretty — in fact, the director of the film festival said that if he could have given awards for scenery, we would have won, hands down.”
Next up for the film is its commercial premiere.
“We have five distribution offers,” said Cacioppo and if the film follows the typical distribution pattern for independent films, Cacioppo said it will likely have a commercial premiere on a cable channel like the Sy-Fy Channel and then become available on Blu-Ray and Video on Demand.
“Nothing Left” is not yet rated, although Cacioppo thinks it might receive a PG-13 or R rating, and it won’t be available to the public until late winter or spring of 2013. “We may screen it locally in Sacramento at the two film festivals held there,” said Cacioppo.