Wait, let me back up–way the fuck up–all the way back to 1999. I went to a small liberal arts college in Western Pennsylvania called Geneva College. There’s no film program at Geneva College. None at all. Barely any video facilities. The school’s major claim to fame is that it hosted the very first college basketball game. I spent a good chunk of my time there serving as the radio play-by-play guy, which involved a lot of travel and a lot of basketball. I enjoyed the hell out of it.
The first time in my life I picked up a video camera was my final semester when I decided that, what the hell, I’d enter the school’s film festival. I won. And no, you can’t watch it.
Anyway, for one year (or maybe two) Brian Kazmarck lived on my floor. He didn’t want to be a filmmaker either. Then, he transferred and I didn’t hear anything about him until Facebook took off. I talked him into going to DIY Days last year and whenever I’m in NYC, we try and connect.
And now, I’m looking for him in the middle of Penn Station so we can get in a car and drive to the set of his debut feature TERMINAL LEGACY, in Delaware. Yes, Delaware. That mecca of indie film.
I know they’ve already been shooting, so my Day 1 is really Day 10, with a bunch of locations around the city, including a morgue where the script supervisor may or may not have found a dead body.
Seriously, I can’t be on set for that? Bad luck, I guess.
I find Brian easily enough. One by one the other people show up and 5 of us squeeze into a 2 door that thankfully has a big trunk.
Best I can tell, TERMINAL LEGACY is about a scientist (Cuyle Carvin) and some sort of airborne virus that’s killing people or making them crazy or something. It’s kind of hard to hear in the back seat.
We’re filming in the house of co-writer/actor/producer Kazy Tauginas’s parents in Newark, Delaware. It’s not a big house, but it’s big enough. There’s an upstair area that should work pretty well as a staging area for actors and whatnot, a garage to store gear, and a basement to store even more stuff.
Kazy’s parents, they’ll be serving as our craft services.
But for tonight, it’s just the 5 of us. They rest of the cast and crew are due to arrive tomorrow in a 15 passenger van. It’s nice to have a couple of hours to relax before the madness starts. And hey, there’s a bar down the street, which is something.
Sure enough, the rest of the cast and crew show up the next day around noon. There’s a lot of them in a pretty small house. It’s the first sense of just how packed this might be.
There’s not much to the day. Some blocking, some unpacking, some organization of the house. I spend a couple of hours editing UP COUNTRY on the couch.
It’s a lot of the art department making the house look right for the film, part of which involves me taking a bunch of candids of Cuyle and Whitney Kirk outside the house. Basic photos to put over the mantle, stuff like that.
Kazy’s parents rent out a townhouse closer to the University of Delaware that’s (mostly) empty. The guys are staying there. It’s near a convenience store. At least that’s what we’re told. In reality, you have to walk through the woods, then a graveyard and a construction site to get to the convenience store. It’s a little weird, a little creepy. And that’s before I found the face drawn on one of the graves.
And they say Delaware is boring.
Filmmaker Lucas McNelly is spending a year on the road, volunteering on indie film projects around the country, documenting the process and the exploring the idea of a mobile creative professional. You can see more from A Year Without Rent at the webpage. His feature-length debut is now available to rent on VOD. Follow him on Twitter: @lmcnelly.