Prey featured in Telegraph Herald

Feb 22, 2021


Republished from Telegraph Herald with permission

Mar 4, 2020

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — Dyersville might soon make its way to the small screen thanks to creators of a new TV show who picked the Dubuque County community as a filming location.

For about two weeks, actors and crew members have been filming the pilot episode of the show “Prey.” The new series, which has not yet been picked up by a streaming platform, tells the story of a morally dubious pastor who brings his sidekick, a 7-year-old boy named PJ, to Dyersville.

The two miscreants then will attempt to swindle local residents out of their hard-earned money.

Joanna Koss, the co-creator and producer of the show, said she came to Dyersville to find the “Field of Dreams” movie site and, hopefully, inspiration for a farmhouse suitable for her project.

“When we were writing the script, we actually inserted the town Dyersville in there because there was a reference to Kevin Costner and ‘Field of Dreams,’ so we came to the location to scout and find a spot,” she said. “We blindly came here to find a farmhouse.”

Koss said she wanted the episode to feature not just the city, but local Dyersville residents as well.

Crew member Ben Palmer, of Dyersville, Iowa, prepares the camera to shoot a scene for “Prey,” a series, on a farm in Dyersville, Iowa.

Cindy Willenborg was one of the residents chosen for a role. She played a person making a bid on an auction item during a scene filmed last week.

“It was interesting,” she said. “I was an extra in three of their scenes. They gave me a little speaking part as I got there. It gives me a whole new appreciation for my day job. The work that goes into making a film — it’s unreal.”

Willenborg said she enjoyed being able to meet the actors, who came from all over the nation.

“It was fun,” she said. “You meet new people. One little girl was flown in from Dallas. These young actors (work) long, long days. “

Gunner Jennings, 7, of Davenport, plays PJ in the show. His mom, Lindsey Jennings, said they found out about the series while in Los Angeles, and thought it would great to try out for a show that would film so close to home.

Koss said the cast and crew loved the time they spent in Dyersville getting to know the city and its residents.

“Everybody was really helpful,” she said, adding, “The goal is hopefully revive the film production in Iowa because there’s a lot of potential here.”

An Award-Winning Short Film

During a military patrol, past and present are blurred by a horrifying transgression.

RAW aims to address sexual assault inside the US military. In order to convey the most realistic perspective, the production team interviewed real women of war prior to shooting the film. The acting lead is a 4 year Marine veteran who brought her own insight to the role and in order to capture the crippling dissonance created from these experiences, drew upon her past incorporating accounts of those she served alongside. Together these soldiers tell a compelling tale of trauma & abuse at the hands of those whom they were taught to trust with their lives. The aim is to confront audiences with a tragic epidemic that is virtually absent in cinema and have further attention brought to the issue of MST in hopes of strengthening preventative measures.

Written and Directed by Drake Shannon Produced by Joanna Koss


An Original Series

A little girl's search for heaven becomes hell.

Written and Directed by Joanna Koss and Drake Shannon


Postmark Dyersville Poster

A stranger confronts a family in a military graveyard.

Postmark Dyersvillle examines a veteran's search for connection to his dead comrade's family. Racked by PTSD, his innocuous desire proves beyond his reach.

Written and Directed by Joanna Koss & Drake Shannon