Matt Wilson and Sean Pilcher have wrapped up production on their first short film together, “Among the Dust of Thieves.” It is set to show at Cineport 10 in Las Cruces Jan. 11 - 17.
It’s a movie about Colonel Fountain – a Las Cruces figure known more for his mysterious disappearance than anything else.
Matt, the cinematographer for the film says he brought the movie up with Sean on a trip.
“We were sitting out actually in a swimming pool on the rooftop of this hotel and we were just messing around and we had gotten rumors of this Fountain story…and right from there we started reading the books on the plane,” said Wilson.
That was three years ago.
About four years before that, members of Colonel Fountain, LLC first started talking about wanting to make a movie.
Tom Hutchinson is one of them. He’s also the owner of the Fountain Theater and one of the film’s executive producers.
“As our thinking evolved…we decided it was more of a Lonesome Dove series,”
One part of the story was left out to keep the focus on Fountain.
“We wrote the son out of it…there’s an interesting story with the son, but that’s not what we wanted to tell,” said Sean Pilcher, co-producer of the movie.
It took a lot of work for Matt and Sean to get their movie to the big screen. There were setbacks.
“Day one was perfect everything went nicely the weather was perfect, but then day two we had to shoot some interiors thankfully but there was a snowstorm happening outside so day one completely clear next day snow.”
They shot the film on location in New Mexico…outside Santa Fe, in Truth or Consequences and for a day in Las Cruces.
Even though the alleged murder occurred over a century ago, descendants still feel tied to what happened.
Tancy Bird is the Colonel’s great-great granddaughter.
“One of my friends started crying. She said ‘I did not realize you were a part of Colonel Fountain’s group.’ And I said ‘Why are you crying?’ And she said ‘You know who I am?’ and I said ‘Yes.’ Then she said, ‘How can you stand me.’”
Three alleged conspirators were found not guilty of killing Fountain in a trial that lasted a few minutes – thought rigged by many -- but the boy’s death has never been tried.
And since there’s no statute of limitations on homicide, the case remains open to this very day.
A movie seven years in the making is complete. But the story of Colonel Fountain and his son’s disappearance is still an open book.