Film Director Roger Slagle
By Billy Pilgrim
Indie King of the Silver Screen
By Billy Pilgrim
Photo by Caitlin Osborne
To know him is to love him. And to know him is to be fascinated by this wonderful friend of mine who loves deeply and fully and speaks directly from the heart. Meet Shasta County’s own Roger Slagle. He comes to us via Hollywood, India and Alaska, and is raising his daughter Amanda and St. Bernards at his home in Shingletown. Slagle is currently filming the movie “Rude Dog,” featuring local actors, our semi-pro soccer team, and a 184-pound-dog named Ruger. I spent some time on the set recently, and was fascinated by his intense, yet joyful directing style. It was pretty wild! I have a very brief appearance in this film, and the excitement of the movie set was exhilarating. Rude Dog is scheduled for completion this fall. The final scenes will be shot in the cooler weather of autumn, when temperatures are under 84 degrees, so the film can receive the “no animals harmed” stamp of approval.
You may have heard of the indie films “Sparrow Hawk,” “The Secret of Wilson Hill” and “Divia.” These are some of Slagle’s most recent films, and he has written, directed, and acted in all of them. “Divia” is an amazing film about the forgotten children of India and their fate at the hands of cartels dealing in human trafficking. My introduction to Slagle’s work was through a short film entitled “KARMA” - adult themed, adult language and very compelling.
The common denominator in all of Slagle’s work is the “community film” concept, much like the volunteer theater groups we see in our town today. “Community film” is a relatively new concept and it may have had its debut at the Valley Eleven Cinemas with the premiere of “The Secret of Wilson Hill.” Slagle’s films allow local talent to be immortalized on the silver screen, and Slagle has helped to develop a large and vibrant community of actors, composers, editors and film production crews who believe in the movie-making process. Slagle deserves the credit for introducing the idea to this part of the entertainment world. If you are ever approached by him to be part of one of his films, go for it. You will be amazed by the process and richer for the experience.
Slagle has been called one of the best screenwriters in the business, and writes daily. Here’s what Trevor Hughes, winner of the New York Film Festival of 2010 had to say: “Roger is a special person. He not only writes with his heart, he is a director who directs with his heart. That gives him a place in my heart.” He has a place in my heart, too. Roger Slagle is one of our own unique treasures.