WAMEGO A native of Wamego is filming a murder mystery in his hometown, set against a backdrop of carnival life, with a cast that includes Dennis Hopper.
And filmmaker Steve Balderson is using the very real Ottaway carnival, which came to Wamego this week. "Firecracker" is based on stories Balderson, 28, heard while growing up.
The movie will tell the story of Jimmy, an emotionally abused young man who befriends Sandra, an "oddity of nature" who works in a carnival sideshow. Then Jimmy's brother disappears.
The budget for "Firecracker" is less than $500,000, small by movie standards. But Hopper's presence puts some star power in the independent film's cast.
Hopper, known for his roles in "Easy Rider" and "Blue Velvet," was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor for the 1987 film "Hoosiers."
Balderson expects post-production work to finish on the film early next year and said two major companies had expressed an interest in distributing his film.