Idahoans: Your beard could land you a ‘miner’ role in a sci-fi movie

Staff Writer

Wanted: Men over 18 with beards, or at least some facial hair.
A film crew working on a science fiction thriller needs dozens of hairy extras for scenes that will be shot near Shoshone from Sunday to Tuesday.
“They don’t have be professional trained,” said Ben Schile, a Boise native who is one of the producers of the film, titled “Mischief upon Mischief.” “We need 20 to 30 each day.”
A number of other roles need to be filled by volunteers, including one male acting part (African American or Middle Eastern), production assistants, hair/makeup and art department professionals.
This is an alien-abduction movie. The opening of the film is in Idaho, where a man is snatched on the night of his engagement party. The bearded extras will play men who are slaves in the Darovingian Mines on an asteroid on the outer edge of the galaxy.
Filmmakers chose Idaho as the setting for the small-budget independent film because of the volcanic landscape in parts of the state such as Craters of the Moon and Black Magic Canyon, Schile said.
One of the executive producers and stars of the film, Jeff Decker, grew up in Lewiston and earned his degree in business from the University of Idaho in 2010. He was focused on accounting in college but took some acting classes as electives.
“I kind of stumbled into theater,” said Decker, who played basketball for Walla Walla Community College before transferring to the University of Idaho to finish his degree. He was always shy and took acting because he thought it would help him be more successful in business.
After college, he acted on the side while working as an auditor in Las Vegas but came to the realization that he really wanted to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles.
Decker was the one who put a bug in the ear of film writer/director Ken Gamble about the merits of Idaho.
“He basically told me all about the wonderful resources that Idaho has to offer,” said Gamble, who is from New York by way of Houston. “I had never been here before, this is my first time.”
Gamble wasn’t just wowed by the scenery. He connected with longtime stuntman Jerry Buxbaum and writer/director Amanda Steen, who recently launched the I’D Film Here initiative to provide incentives for filmmakers to bring their projects to Idaho. Buxbaum said they are creating a database of Idaho businesses such as hotels, restaurants and caterers willing to provide discounts to film crews.
“We try to be liaisons,” Buxbaum said.
Buxbaum and Steen, who moved to Coeur d’Alene from Portland this year, own a film ranch that has a large stage with a green screen and 5 acres of woods that are excellent for shooting spooky zombie scenes. He said Gamble will be using the stage for a shoot next week.
Gamble and Decker are the lead male roles in the film. Actress Doris Morgado is one of the female leads.
“We’re going to have a lot of local actors,” Decker said. We’re working with U of I, BSU and ISU. There are opportunities for people to come on as production assistants (and) lots of extra opportunities. We’re trying to make this a homegrown thing.”
Gamble said he plans to take the rough cut of “Mischief upon Mischief” to the Sundance Film Festival in January. They plan to meet with reps from Netflix, Amazon and major studios.
If you’re a man 18 to 60 years old with facial hair and want to be an extra in this movie, email a headshot, name, age, height and availability to with the subject line “miner.”