Indie Film Closeup: ‘The Blacklight’ Executive Producer Don Hatton

Five years ago, Don Hatton joined forces with a group of artists to start shooting an indie film that would eventually look like a blockbuster. Coordinating finance, locations and talent from the East Coast to the Mississippi River, the Illinois-based executive producer helped create The Blacklight, a genre-spanning feature that won some of the industry’s most prestigious awards before launching its current run on Amazon Prime, Vudu and YouTube TV

An ancient box of immense supernatural power fuels the action in The Blacklight. The artifact inspires brazen greed among criminals, cult leaders and drunkards who hope to harness its magic. Their behavior comes to life in a thoughtfully choreographed tale of action, comedy and suspense told with unique conceptual beauty and extremely high production values. 





Director Nick Snow wrote the script with Brooks Russell, who also plays the character Liam. Along with several additional cast members, the pair has spent years collaborating on projects for a New York City-based comedy sketch show called The Shorts Show. Hatton says that the collective experience elevated The Blacklight’sproduction and quality.

“Nick had cast the script as he was writing it,” Hatton explains. “As we had worked with these actors before, we knew what their strengths were and the things that they could pull off. They’re highly comedic but also have a dark side.”

The synergy helped The Blacklight earn a Best American Film nomination from the Septimius Awards and lead actor Grant Lancaster win an IndieFEST Award of Excellence for his role as Danny. 

“That’s why it took us around five years to get the film done,” says Hatton. “We had a lot of people, we had a lot of locations, and all that adds up to a lot of money. So the actors that we worked with — most of them are friends of ours, and they’re all working actors. So, part of the deal to keep the budget down was to work with their schedules.”

The Blacklight is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, Vudu and YouTube TV. It is also available on Apple TV and DirectTV.

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