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Lebanon Native Premieres ‘the Creek’
Staff Writer
Lebanon Daily News

The dead seek revenge in Erik Soulliard’s first feature film, “the Creek,” a dark treatise on friendships and the afterlife. Soulliard, on the other hand, wants only a successful showing when the 85-minute movie premieres Thursday at the Allen Theatre in Annville.
The 33-year-old Cedar Crest High School graduate, who is now married and lives in Clifton, N.J., has worked toward this moment for some time. Soulliard, an administrative assistant at CBS television, earned a degree in speech communications at Millersville University. While a student there he wrote his first movie script, “Syncopation,” a character study about growing up in a small town. Seven years ago he moved to the New York City area to pursue acting and film work and has since appeared in more than 30 student and independent productions while continuing to write film scripts.
Production on “the Creek,” which was shot entirely in Lebanon County at a Cleona auto dealership and a cabin in Lickdale, began in the fall of 2005. After photography was completed on June 3, 2006, Soulliard spent the next nine months editing the project in his home production studio.
A cast of 10 — at least four with Lebanon ties — were enlisted to tell the tale of six friends who lose touch with each other after the death of one of their number. Five years later, however, his ghost draws them to the cabin where he died.
“In order to set things right, they decide to go (there) to put his spirit to rest,” Soulliard writes in a synopsis. But when another dies “they all realized they’re trapped together in the woods without any means of escape and no clue as to who or what is after them ...”
According to Soulliard, he spent some $30,000 on the low-budget endeavor, which he deemed “not your normal thriller horror” movie.
“They return five years later and all those little things they didn’t address before now arise in conflict,” he explained. “I show those conflicts, which was fun ...”
Soulliard, who directed and acted in the film, chose Lebanon County locations because “we love the area and the support of family and friends on a low budget, independent film can’t be overestimated.”
“We shot the movie with the intent of going directly to DVD,” Soulliard said, adding that a distributor has not yet been found. He noted that he was seeking broad exposure for the movie and has submitted it to some 30 film festivals across the country.
“This was an all-consuming endeavor,” Soulliard added. “I learned a lot of patience (but) the dedication of people who are doing something they love is just amazing. ...”
About four years ago Soulliard also wrote and directed the film short, “Interrogation,” in which the interrogator and the person being interrogated turn out to be one and the same. He is currently developing a script entitled “12 Bells,” about a man who returns home after
vanishing for a decade. Filming on that project is expected to begin within the next several months.
“That thriller-horror genre has some of the widest avenues for distribution,” Soulliard said, “and I also love them, so the two together made it a no-brainer that my next would be in that vein.”

“the Creek,” a film by Lebanon native Erik Soulliard, will premiere Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Allen Theatre, 36 E. Main St., Annville. Admission is by donation