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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “‘Coyote’ required ingenuity, tight budget”

    Brian Petersen and Devin Colvin spent two years making Coyote, the controversial new local film about a group of friends who decide to start smuggling illegal immigrants into Arizona to make a few bucks.
    Brian Petersen and Devin Colvin spent two years making ‘Coyote,’ the controversial new local film about a group of friends who decide to start smuggling illegal immigrants into Arizona to make a few bucks.

    Local filmmakers spent two years making movie about human trafficking

    While most movies are shot in exotic locals with white beaches and bikini-clad women, a few local filmmakers have chosen to go back to their roots in the hopes of making an entertaining political statement. Producer Devin Colvin and co-writer and actor Brett Spackman’s two-year film project “”Coyote”” is set in locations such as Tucson and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and focuses on the complex ideas of friendship and immigration.

    “”It’s always fun to recognize different places you may have shopped, eaten, partied. … ‘Coyote’ definitely has a Tucson feel to much of it. The colors, locations, music and people are all totally unique to Arizona,”” wrote Colvin in an e-mail to the Daily Wildcat.

    Filming in a familiar location also had its perks, he said.

    “”We had cheap places to stay, people who helped feed the cast and crew, great locations to shoot at and got really good production value for our money,”” Colvin said.

    Coyote focuses on two friends who begin a “”kinder, gentler human trafficking business,”” that involves smuggling immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border.

    “”Brian Petersen (director, co-writer) and I really liked the spirit of the Ben Mezrich novels – young professionals in morally ambiguous ventures – and we wanted to do something in that genre,”” wrote Spackman via e-mail. “”Various plot points in the film were taken from true stories we heard from immigrants, people smugglers and Minutemen.””

    While the writing may have come quickly, “”Coyote”” required a full two years to complete the filming, editing and re-writing process, all while working on a tight budget.

    “”There were about 10 of us on the core crew. We couldn’t afford much more than that,”” Spackman wrote. “”We had to get very, very creative and we’re quite proud of some of our solutions.””

    Most of the actors in the film were either part of the production crew (like Spackman) or were friends of the filmmakers.

    “”Brett and Brian both wrote and acted in it. This was mostly for convenience’ sake and because they were willing to put in long, long hours for no money at all,”” Colvin wrote. “”We demanded a lot of them.””

    Colvin said the key to a low-budget film is a strong plot and good characters, since “”you can’t afford huge explosions or gigantic movie stars.””

    Now that the film is showing, the duo is excited about the feedback they are receiving.

    “”The response has been much better than I had expected. I have to admit it caught me a little off-guard,”” Spackman wrote. “”What’s been most exciting for me is how varied the points of view have been; people are taking away many different things from the film.

    “”People tell us it’s funny, they tell us it’s provocative, some say it’s tense and suspenseful, it’s certainly a unique experience,”” he wrote.

    Colvin said he is hoping to continue working with the “”Coyote”” characters in future scripts, as well as exploring new projects.

    While “”Coyote”” has been shown at various film festivals, the duo are bringing it home this weekend; “”Coyote”” can be seen at the Arizona International Film Festival, this Saturday at 5 p.m. at Grand Cinemas Crossroads 6. For more information, visit

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