Part of independent film shot in Miami County


By Sheryl Roadcap

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TROY — “Everybody, get to high ground! Get as far away as you can from anything that comes from underground! I repeat, get to high ground!” an actor yelled, from the top of the stairs on the Water Street side of the Miami County Courthouse during the filming of an independent horror film that is currently being produced.

The November scene was eerie when you walked up to it, even thought it was clear a crew was filming, as well as several people were looking on from the courthouse lawn. A pale pink light shown upon a male (actor) who appeared to be dead laying on a podium from the platform at the top of the stairs on the rear side of the Miami County Courthouse during a scene of the independent horror film called “Bunker Heights.”

It was full circle moment for Pleasant Hill native Deryk Wehrley, who has traveled all over the country and also outside of the U.S. working on independent films, to come back to Miami County to film part of “Bunker Heights,” which is the most recent movie he is producing.

“This is just a cool and interesting film, I thought you guys would be interested too,” he said when speaking to Miami Valley Today about the film. “When I sent (the Director Drew Fortier) that first photo of the (Miami County) courthouse, I’ll never forget, he just sent me a text back with explanation points. And, I was like, ‘I take it, you like it?’ and he said, “Yes, very much so, let’s get it.’”

Wehrley is producing and created the special effects makeup for the horror film they planned to wrap up filling on by year-end. Wehrley’s creative energy is immediately noticeable upon meeting him, and is confirmed with a brief look at his social media, which gives regular updates on his passions and projects, including “Bunker Heights.” However, he is quick to note that although the film is a collaborative effort made on a shoestring-budget, compared to other films he has worked on, “Bunker Heights” is actually Fortier’s baby.

They have filmed part of “Bunker Heights” in Knoxville, Tennessee, Cleveland and Cincinnati, but also in people’s homes, yards and public streets and alleyways in Wehrley’s hometown of Pleasant Hill, as well as in Troy.

“In this industry, it’s like a small family, but people come from all over; some people came from Connecticut,” Wehrley said of making the film.

He called on actors from Cincinnati and Dayton to show up as extras for the Troy shooting at the courthouse.

“It felt good to be able to secure this location. We were absolutely thrilled with the look of the location in Troy; it’s beautiful,” Wehrley said.

He looks forward to presenting the finished product to the world. Wehrley said they would finish up filming around November and then Fortier would be editing “Bunker Heights” during the spring and with the hope for release date being summer 2024.

For updates on the “Bunker Heights” or other projects Wehrley or Fortier are working on, follow them on social media, including Facebook; Wehrley’s page is — Fortier’s Facebook is

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