Stepping Behind the Camera: Writing and Directing Locally Sourced (2019)
This January, I had the opportunity to make a short film. For our last month in college, my dear friend Anna Lueck and I, alongside our new friend Matteo Moretti, gave over our lives to preparing, filming, and editing a 20-minute project. Entitled Locally Sourced (2019), it is a comedy that follows big city reporter Scott Durbin (Sam Martin) and his begrudging camerawoman Carrie (Maddie Stewart-Boldin) as they investigate the hijinks and misadventures of the Middlebury Co-op election for president. Along the way, they encounter a collection of characters, from the out-of-state couple Liz (Leah Bracken) and Dean Gekko (Peter Dykeman-Bermingham), who want to franchise the co-op, to Big Ed (Silas Keeter), the farmer who wants to take control and keep the co-op community-based. Locally Sourced explores the ways that small town and big city America overflow with dysfunction.
The idea came from a conversation Anna and I had with our then-suitemates Monica and Paige as we sat outside the actual Middlebury Foods Co-op last spring. We saw a goofy little sign for, well I guess I really don’t remember what, but the conversation resulted in the idea for a co-op election gone wrong. As someone who has always loved pieces that plumbed the depths of small town and American absurdities, I turned to favorites like A Fish Called Wanda (1988), Twin Peaks (1990-1991, 2017), and Hot Fuzz (2007) for inspiration. I had never before tried my hand at writing comedy, but with a few committed editors and plenty of friends and family to bounce ideas off of, I pulled together a screenplay during the fall, and over the past three and a half weeks we have miraculously put together a complete short film.
The process was equal parts exciting and challenging and has allowed me to grow as a filmmaker, a critical viewer of film, and even as an actor (at Anna’s suggestion, I stepped into the role of harried priest Father Brian and had a grand time). With a cast composed almost exclusively of dear friends who are all disgustingly funny on and off screen, after a few days locked away in the basement editing it all together, I walk away from the process more committed than ever to the hope of being a part of the filmmaking community throughout my life.
So, without further ado, I present to you Locally Sourced, a project near and dear to my heart that I am quite excited to share with you all.