587: The Great Train Robbery

Presentation of a DAN T. HALL FILM
Screenplay by DAN T. HALL

— On the day of The Big Race, Alex
(Nick Abeel) and his friends line up their
homemade soapbox racers at the top of the steepest and longest hill in the neighborhood. Then, while his sister Molly (Ariadne Baker-Dunn) watches from the sidelines, the starting flag is waved and the race is on!

After a slow start, Alex deploys his secret “fifth wheel” and accelerates from last place to the head of the pack. However, the incredible speed he has gained is countered by a near-complete loss of control as he rushes headlong into Dead Man’s Curve! Nothing can stop him from crashing into the old wooden fence of the RailCor scrap yard. The only question is: Will he survive?

After the dust settles, a dazed and amazed Alex discovers a fully-functional steam locomotive, The 587. Cool! Way cool!

When Alex learns that the 587 is destined for the scrap heap, he and Molly devise a plan to rescue the antique engine, with the help of an old engineer named Russell (Ran Burns), Russell’s faithful dog Sparky (Dodger), and just about every kid in the neighborhood.

Thus begins their awesome adventure — “587: The Great Train Robbery.”

Well, as you may have already guessed, “587” is a movie for kids. I co-wrote the screenplay with the film’s director, Dan Hall. The script was based on an original story he wrote for his son, Alex.

“587” is a feature-length presentation, shot on 35mm film and recorded on digital audio tape. Although it’s a low-budget independent production, the quality of “587” far exceeds its monetary cost. Credit goes to the excellent work by both cast and crew, and to the fine direction Dan provided.

Besides co-writing the screenplay, my duties also included recording some of the location sound, creating computer graphics and animations, digitizing and encoding video segments for on-location playback, making a few props, etc. But then, most of those involved in the production performed many and varied tasks.

“587” was well-received during its world debut at the Palm Springs Film Festival. And to date, the film has garnered the “Silver Togetherness Award” at the Family Favorite Film Festival, a “Telly” award honoring outstanding video productions and films in an international forum, the “Dove Foundation Seal of Approval” for family-friendly entertainment, and the “KIDS FIRST!” endorsement by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. “587” received a favorable 3-checkmark review from “The Movie Mom.” And (referred to as “Old No. 587: The Great Train Robbery”) the film has a 18-page listing in the Internet Movie Database. Hotcha! BSkyB is television broadcast distributor for “587” in Europe.

— BD

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