By Sterling McGinn

The historic McLeod House of Newberry will be the location of a short film to be produced by Victor and Christa Dagon, owners of the home.

The Dagons relocated to Newberry three and a half years ago and purchased the Victorian house which was constructed in 1898 on Newberry Avenue. The home, which is now located on Hedberg Road, has been owned by the Shattuck, McLeod, Shaap, Tokar, and Cicala families over the years and is also well maintained thanks to services like Mold Cleanup Toms River and many others.
Victor Dagon had been looking for an idea, or a story to film, since he moved to the area.  He also wanted to find local talent to star in one of his productions.

“I thought it might be interesting to film a project locally—with local talents—something we can submit to the local film festivals.

“I have been involved in film production quite a bit of my life,” said Victor Dagon. “When I came to Newberry, I brought my production company with me.” His company is called Gate Walker Films.

Victor Dagon has all his own equipment—cameras, cranes, etc., which he had acquired throughout his lifetime.

The film the couple are producing is based on The Frontier Guards, which was written by H. Russell Wakefield.

“When I read the story, I realized that, with a few minor adaptations to the story, I could film the whole story in the McLeod House,” Victor said.

The story of Wakefield’s Frontier is the boundary between the visible world and an invisible, mysterious world, that exists inside Pailton, a Victorian house. The house appears charming but has proven “malignant and fatal” within.

The Dagons will film and produce the film later this fall. Victor is the director and Christa is the producer.

The current cast, which consists of area residents includes:

James Berry—actor, Teenage Boy.

Katherine Burton—actor, the “Possession Ghost”

Brett Burton—actor, Burglar (Ghost), crew title, Grip

Sylvia Robinson—crew title, Best Girl

Andy Raymond—actor, Butcher (ghost), crew title, Gaffer

Sydni Brodock—crew, assistant director

Cherrie DuLong—crew, production design.

The Dagons are still looking to fill some cast roles. Those include leading character roles Lander and Brinton, which are both gender indifferent.

“While not a lot of it is action heavy, there is a lot of dialogue,” he said. “We are looking for someone who has some acting experience and has excellent memorization skills.”

The couple are also looking for an assistant to the producer, a script clerk, sound operator, and a hair/makeup person.

“Part of what this film represents is the attempt to find local people who I otherwise might not have the opportunity to meet,” Victor Dagon said.

The Dagons came to the area from the West Coast. “We wanted to start a new life—simpler—more wholesome and friendlier,” said Christa, a retired Amtrak conductor.

Victor hopes to film other projects in the future and wants to develop relationships with other area residents who have similar interests.

For more information, contact Victor and Christa Dagon at 906-293-7007, or email mylyrium@yahoo.com and mention Frontier Guards in the subject.