Trent-based comedy wins film awards

A movie filmed in Trent is scheduled to be released on Amazon this summer.
The comedy “Deery: Off the Wall,” by writer and director Todd Magnuson, has won awards in four international film festivals so far.
“Deery” is a campy comedy featuring a woman named Jan and her pet deer, Deery. When Jan’s aunt leaves the city for a visit, things take an odd turn and the cast relies on Deery to save them.
Magnuson, who lives in Trent, describes the film as a comedy/parody that’s a combination of ’60s animal TV shows and the worst ’60s movie he’d ever watched.
“It was kind of based on “Lassie,” but we used a mounted deer head. It’s really silly,” he said.
Magnuson and Terri Lawrenz, the co-producer who stars in the film and is from Marshall, Minn., are best known from the TV show, Nature Adventures, which ran for about nine years on PBS in South Dakota and went nationwide. They also did “The Cariboo Show,” on FOX and KDLT, ending that run in 2006.
Magnuson, 56, worked at Citibank for 20 years but when jobs were downsized, he was paid a severance for nine months, time that he spent relearning film technology after studying it in college.
“We filmed most of the indoor scenes in my house. I turned my garage into the cave we used in the movie,” he said. He also drove around Trent with the camera out the window, shooting driving scenes.
He started filming on weekends in October and finished in late November, editing as he went. “Everything was completely done in mid-January,” he said.
He’s surprised at the response “Deery” has gotten and how well it has done in film festivals.
“Even though it’s extremely silly and campy, the production values are high. It’s shot in 4k quality and the sound is great, the music is incredible, and the actors, all local talent, couldn’t have done a better job.”
The film has won awards for “best in its category” from the Los Angeles Film Awards, Festigious Film Festival, New York Film Awards and for creativity at the Canadian International Comedy Film Festival.
“Deery” made its debut at a premiere in a Sioux Falls theater in January and is being prepped for the Amazon release.
Magnuson has ideas for other movies, too. “It was fun. I loved it. I want to make another one. I want to make fun of those old surfing movies.”


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