BOISE -- Some talented actors from the Treasure Valley could soon be gracing the big screen. A short film written and directed by three Boise men held auditions Saturday.

It all started with a story. Boise State professor and writer Alan Heathcock wrote a book of short stories called, Volt. Two of Heathcock's former students approached him about making one of the stories into a short film.

We would talk about 'Smoke,' and how we thought it would make a really great short film, said Director Stephen Heleker about himself and his co-director, Cody Gittings.

Heathcock says Smoke is based on a story his grandfather told him.

I just took his story and did my best to try to understand why he told me the story, to make sense of the event itself, said Heathcock. That's fundamentally what the story was, is me asking questions, not to put it out in the world, but just to make sense of things for my own self. And I've been fortunate that it's gone out and enabled other people to have that same conversation.

Then two of his former students came to him with the idea to make his story into a short film.

They were just two of the brightest students I'd ever worked with, so it was an easy answer, said Heathcock, on Stephen Heleker and Cody Gittings, the film's directors.

All they needed was funding. So, they turned to Kickstarter.

We, about a month ago, completed a successful Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is a crowd-funding source for creative projects, said Heleker.

Heleker and Gittings, raised a little more than $21,000 through the site. They commissioned local artists to design movie posters they gave to some contributors. They are making an effort to keep Boise part of the film.

We're huge fans of Boise. I think it's a very interesting artistic climate unlike any others I've really seen, said Gittings.

Their visions started to come to life Saturday, as hopeful actors gave the words a voice at auditions.

Just being here and seeing these young actors try their hand at the lines and bringing them to life. It's a thrilling process for me to see the stuff that was in my imagination out actually in reality, said Heathcock.

Shooting and editing for Smoke will all happen this summer over just a few months. They want to get it finished in time for film festival deadlines in late August.

This project is now featured on Kickstarter's website as one of the success stories.

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