Labor Day weekend proved to be the perfect time for Six Guns Entertainment to shoot its new short film "The Prodigal" at Copper Canyon Ranch.

Six Guns live gun shows director David Huff teamed up with Chad Fuller of Fuller and Green Productions to shoot the movie at the western-style ranch on Saturday and Sunday. Owned by Fuller's dad Tim Emery, the ranch made the perfect backdrop for the 1880s-based film.

"We did two live shows this past summer at Copper Canyon, and we joined forces and we hit it off with a bang --- no pun intended --- and a big family is what we turned into," Huff said.

In fact, "The Prodigal" was a live show that Huff reworked into a short film.

The story follows a 16-year-old girl who escapes her dysfunctional family and forms a gang to make a life for herself. Three months later, she returns home to get revenge on her family with the help of the gang.

The Prodigal is played by Huff's 12-year-old daughter Virginia Huff, who also performed the role in the live show.

"Her whole goal is to go back home to Copper Canyon Ranch to get revenge on her mama, who she doesn't care for," Huff explained about Virginia's character.

The mom in the movie is played by Huff's wife and Virginia's stepmom, Jenny Huff.

Virginia was short on words Saturday when asked about how she connected to her role, but her dad and stepmom said she lights up when it's showtime.

"She's nervous in real life, but she's a powerhouse on camera," David Huff said.

"She does have to dig deep for this one --- both of us have to," Jenny Huff said. "In real life, she a good kid, a great kid."

Huff said although the content is heavy, most families can relate to the chaos.

"There are dysfunctional, disgruntled families," he said. "There are kids who have left home to make their own way, but my wife and I tweaked the script a bit at the end to give it a glimmer of hope."

Although they reworked the script, Huff said he didn't want to bend on the historical accuracy with props and costumes. Six Guns Entertainment historian Jamie Eiler helped with that.

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"He keeps us straight on the history and what they had and didn't have," Huff said of Eiler. "We strive in authenticity."

"It's very simple when you go to the little antique shows, you see what you find," Eiler said about scouting out props. "It's either authentic reproductions or originals, and then you go from there."

Huff expects the film to be 20 minutes long, and it should be ready for the big screen by next fall.

Once the editing is done, Fuller will enter it into film shows across the region.

"We'll enter as many as we can," Fuller said. "We look forward to a lot of tri-state shows, and we probably will have a premiere here as well."

The first morning of filming went on without a hitch. Emery even popped in and it was sort of a reunion of old friends.

"The thing is Copper Canyon and Six Guns crossed paths, and the rest is history," Huff said. "I hope this is just the beginning of many more films we make here."

Reach Zirconia Alleyne at 270-887-3243 or zalleyne@kentuckynewera.com.

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