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GPS . . . the Movie (You So Knew It Had to Happen)

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Inside GNSS, September 2006

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This is what happens when the grandchildren of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland go out and “rent the old barn and put on a show!”

First, there was an independent Seattle, Washington–based filmmaker named Eric Colley and a screenwriter named Hallie Shepherd who knew about the 150,000 actual GPS-guided scavenger hunts now taking place in 200 countries.

With all those geocache-crazy types, an opportunity must be out there somewhere. So, enter ...

GPS THE GAME
So, they designed the GPS website game (you can play it at work and it’s not too late to register and log on). It launched last July and will end on October 31 with a Grand Prize drawing for the top players, although Shepherd says they’re considering keeping the site going.

Treasure hunts can take place in the physical world or on-line, with scoreboards maintained for both real and virtual competitors. The gamesite has thousands of players, including “an entire floor at Microsoft competing against one another,” says Shepherd. Colley says the website is averaging a million page views per month.

The game features live treasure hunts, online puzzles, prizes, a mystery, and character cards involving the same folks you will learn to know and love in ...

GPS THE MOVIE
Colley and Shepherd’s full-length indie thriller, filmed in 2005 at five Washington state locations, wrapped in August 2006. Cast and crew members reflect a group of up-and-comers in their 20s and 30s with growing portfolios of cinema experience.

Colley is also the creator of IndieClub.com, one of the largest networking organizations for filmmakers, actors, and cinema crafts-people with more than 30,000 members and 80 chapters around the world. The film company put out a call through the network and received more than 20,000 submissions for cast and crew positions, says Shepherd.

GPS the Movie is about a Pacific Northwest treasure hunt involving users of rival handheld GPS units. (Fans of Seattle coffee, grunge, and the 1990 ABC series “Twin Peaks” will recognize Washington state in the trailer, now online at the movie website.)

But instead of the (stolen) $2 million they seek, the college-aged heroes and their pals find photos of a woman in terrible danger and GPS coordinates that lead them deeper, ever deeper, into the Northwest rain forest and the Green River (dumping spot for a notorious 1980s serial killer).

Enough about the plot. What about the equipment?

Shepherd says that actors used Magellan and GARMIN GPS handhelds during the filming, although they’ve been talking with a number of GPS equipment manufacturers about sponsorships.

To see screening times and locations, visit the movie website.

Copyright 2006 Gibbons Media and Research LLC

Copyright © 2006 Gibbons Media & Research LLC, all rights reserved.

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