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Smoke Wraps Filming

The shoot included eight days in Sweet, Cascade, Kuna and Boise

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With production wrapped and cast and crew sent home, Smoke directors Cody Gittings and Stephen Heleker heaved a brief sigh of relief.

"In pre-production you've got several months and you can be like, 'Oh, I will go to the office and I will dial more things in, but once production starts, there's no changing anything," Gittings said. "Everyone is there; the clock has been punched for all the people getting paid."

The two young filmmakers just finished shooting the film adaptation of Smoke, a short story by award-winning Boise author Alan Heathcock. The duo funded the film's production through a Kickstarter campaign, which netted them more than $20,000.

Heathcock remained on set throughout most of the filming as an executive producer, ensuring his words came to life on the silver screen.

"People could tell when he was excited about what was going on and that kind of gave everyone some fresh energy," Heleker said.

After eight days shooting on location in Sweet, Cascade, Kuna and Boise, Gittings and Heleker were able to obtain plenty of outdoor footage, but the duo needed an indoor set to film the story's cave scenes.

Gittings stumbled upon an expert in the field of fake rocks, who helped construct the set in the North End.

"This guy just fell out of the sky and offered to build it. We just bought the materials and he donated his time and energy," Gittings said.

Now, Gittings and Heleker will spend the next few months hunched in front of computer screens, piecing together the mass of digital footage in time for submission to film festivals this fall.

"We have had so many people give us their time, energy and money," Heleker said. "They want to see continued movement ... and so do we."

To follow Smoke's progress, visit smokefilm.com.