After setbacks, ‘Substance’ will screen in Park City |

After setbacks, ‘Substance’ will screen in Park City

William Tyler’s film "Substance," which will have its Park City Music Film Festival premiere on Monday, May 23, emerged from the ashes of another film called "Granola."

"Two weeks before we started shooting, the production company pulled out," Tyler said during a phone call from his home in Lindsay, Okla. "I had written a dark-comedy script and we had auditioned the cast and it was suppose to be all a go."

Still, Tyler was determined to make another film. So he wrote another script based around an actor named Mark Adam Goff, who was supposed to star in "Granola."

"I told him I still wanted to make film and wanted to work with him," Tyler said. "Mark gave me a second chance and after reading the script, came on board."

"Substance," which would probably pull in an R rating because of the language, follows Goff’s character, an alcoholic named Thomas Cooper.

"He tries to reconnect with his past, even though he tries to run from it," Tyler said. "As he starts to sober up, he realizes he needs to correct some of the wrongs he has done in order to move on. While he reconciles with his past, he discovers the substances that make him who he is.

"We chose the title ‘Substance’ because it not only refers to substance abuse, but it also means something that makes up a bigger whole."

The film would not have been made if it weren’t for a book called "Rebel Without a Crew," by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, who directed "El Mariachi," "Sin City" and the "Spy Kids" trilogy, said Tyler.

"After everything crashed down with the first film, I was in a terrible state," he said. "I read the book and it pretty much laid it all on the line."

The message was basically to go pick up a camera and write a script that were about things around him.

"It said, ‘If you have a cigarette, a plant and a cup, incorporate those things into your script,’" Tyler said. "I remembered talking with Mark after one of the previous auditions and knew he would be perfect as this character I wanted to write about."

Tyler filmed in locations throughout Lindsay and ended up with 48 hours of footage.

"I edited it myself and am very happy the way it turned out," he said. "After all that has happened, I’m so glad something came out of it."

For the music, Tyler contacted Oklahoma City musician/composer Kendall Combes.

"During postproduction, I set down some music from other film soundtracks as reference tracks, and edited the film around the music," Tyler said. "Then I sent a copy of the film with the reference tracks and a copy with just the dialog to Kendall. From there, he built the soundtrack."

From the get go, Tyler and Combes saw eye-to-eye.

"I would describe, stupidly, what I want the music to sound like and two days later, he’d have this huge orchestra piece of what I wanted," Tyler said. "It was amazing."

The love of film was instilled in Tyler when he was eight years old.

"My mom took me to see ‘Titanic’ in the theater and while I didn’t really understand the movie at that age, I remember seeing the ship break in half," he said. "It looked so real and I spent the next few years of my life breaking models of the Titanic in half, trying to make it look real."

He then turned to his friends and began making videos.

"I just wanted to see what I could put together," he said.

His future in films was cemented when he was a senior in high school.

"I convinced my drama teacher to let us spend four months making a feature film for class," he said. "We filmed a movie called ‘Addicted,’ which was about high school drug abuse. We premiered it for the student body and had Gray Frederickson, the associate producer for ‘The Godfather’ movies who teaches at the college in Oklahoma City, come and watch it.

"’Addicted’ wasn’t shot in high definition or anything like that and the sound quality was awful, but as we watched it, we were amazed at how cool it was. A few weeks ago, I sat down and watched it and realized I have gone a few steps forward since high school."

William Tyler’s "Substance" will screen at the Park City Film Music Festival on Monday, May 23, at the Prospector Theatre at noon. A second screening will take place May 26, in the Santy Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 each. The Park City Film Music Festival will run through May 30. For tickets and a full schedule, visit

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