Film scripted by Asbury University grad now in theaters

Dark Was the Night playing at Kentucky Theatre tonight

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — After nine years, “Dark Was the Night”—a screenplay by 2008 Asbury University graduate Tyler Hisel—has come full-circle.

Begun in his parents’ basement, developed in an Asbury classroom and refined in the off-hours of an internship in Los Angeles, the script launched Hisel’s career in 2009. Last week, it opened in theaters across the country, including the Kentucky Theatre in Lexington— Hisel’s hometown.

Tyler Hisel, left, on set with actor Kevin Durand

The final showing of “Dark Was the Night” at the Kentucky Theatre will be at 9:30 tonight The film is also available for rental on iTunes, Amazon and GooglePlay.

“This has been a long journey,” Hisel said. “This was the script I had in my back pocket when I went to L.A. for my internship. It established me as a screenwriter in 2009, when it landed on the Black List—a list of the industry’s top 100 screenplays in a given year. After that, doors flew open for me. Suddenly I had legitimacy as a writer, based on that list and based on this script. It’s great to see this script get its day, and it’s great that it was able to open in Kentucky so my hometown can see it.”

Starring Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas, the film tells the story of a small town terrorized by a monster in the nearby woods. Hisel says that, while the story has elements of a thriller, it defies easy categorization.

“For years, I’ve jokingly called this a family drama that happens to be a creature film,” Hisel said. “At heart, it’s the story of a guy who doesn’t believe himself to be what everyone else thinks he is, and to overcome the obstacles in his path he’s going to have to re-establish himself. The creature storyline just facilitates what we’re trying to do on the character level.”

Hisel says his Asbury education gave him top-notch preparation for the media industry, combining creative freedom, hands-on experience and professional guidance.

“The expertise and resources Asbury offers are unparalleled in this area,” Hisel said. “I had opportunity to head up a department film one time, and that’s the kind of chance I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere. Another thing I really appreciated about my time at Asbury was the ability and freedom to practice my craft. I thought at the time I wanted to direct, but the program at Asbury also gave me the opportunity to strengthen my storytelling muscles. I began writing scripts out of necessity so that I would have something to shoot. What I didn’t realize at the time was that screenwriting would be the avenue that paid off for me.”