Dan Hall: Movies and More
Writer / Kara Reibel
Photography / Provided
Dan T. Hall, a BR resident, documentarian, filmmaker and commercial creator, will premiere his latest film, “Scaler: Dark Spirit,” a paranormal thriller, at the IMAX at the Indiana State Museum June 18.
When Dan began his company, his focus centered upon corporate productions. “When my son Alex was 9 years old, he asked me, ‘What do you do, dad?’ and as I tried to explain it, I realized I wanted to do more, and that’s when my creative journey really began,” reflects Dan.
Alex was obsessed with trains to the point that whenever he heard a train, Dan would drive him in the car to follow it. Dan once got a speeding ticket trying to catch up to see what type of engine was pulling the freight cars along Mass Ave downtown.
The result of the train obsession was the making of Dan’s first narrative film, “587: The Great Train Robbery.” This film is still distributed worldwide, and at the time of its release, it was accepted at the Palm Springs Film Festival where both showings were sellouts. Alex played a small role at the beginning of the film. The 587 engine used to be a fixture at Broad Ripple Park and is currently being restored at the Indiana Transportation Museum.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with my dad on projects,” shares son Alex who is now 25. “I’m really lucky to have a father like him who encourages me to pursue my passions and celebrates when I do something creative.”
Filmmaking is where Dan’s true passion lies. He has earned several national awards including an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Yellowstone Film Festival and a Gold Medal at the New York Film Festival. Dan’s work has been screened at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, The Cincinnati International Film Festival, Indianapolis International Film Festival, Showtime Cable Network, B-Sky-B and PBS as well as to sellout crowds at IMAX and other theaters.
In addition, his work has been given the Seal of Approval by the Dove Foundation, endorsed by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media (Kid’s First!) and is currently in distribution with Echo Bridge Entertainment. Dan has appeared on several local, national television and radio programs and was a featured guest on “Coast to Coast AM” with Ian Punnett.
Dan’s film “Lucky Teter and His Hell Drivers” was screened at the Indianapolis International Film Festival and broadcast on PBS. “Lucky Teter” tells the story of the famed stunt car driver.
Dan was the senior editor and contributed cinematography and creative services to the PBS documentary “Wings for Maggie Ray” which pays tribute to the remarkable life and legacy of Margaret “Maggie” Ringenberg (1921-2008), a U.S. Army Air Force WASP (Women’s Air Service Pilot) and renowned long-distance aviation racer.
One of Dan’s films, “The Lil’ River Rats and the Adventure of the Lost Treasure” starred his daughter with a portion of the movie filmed at Central State Hospital. “All sorts of weird things were happening while we were there,” shares Dan which resulted in his documentary about Central State.
Along with his daughter Moli Hall, Dan produced the narrative, “Asylum: The Lost Footage,” released through Gravitas Ventures in 2015 and is currently on Amazon Prime.
Having grown up along the banks of the White River in Broad Ripple, Dan’s childhood has influenced some of his films. “River Rats definitely has some autobiographical evidence found in the film,” says Hall. “My siblings, friends and I were always making some sort of raft and playing along the river. Every day was a new adventure.”
Dan has a wonderful imagination and considers himself a creative soul, but once he started his production company, his focus was on commercials and corporate videography and less about being an artist.
“I truly enjoy the process of creating a film,” says Dan whose other creative outlet is through music. [He plays guitar in the band Invisible Ray.]
Dan is currently working on a documentary focused on Hoosier Rockabilly Hall of Fame musician Art Adams. A portion of the filming will occur at Sun Studios in Memphis. “I am really looking forward to that,” shares Hall.
“Scaler: Dark Spirit” premieres June 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the IMAX at the Indiana State Museum. See the Facebook page for “Scaler: Dark Spirit” for more information.