A locally made independent film will have its big-screen debut in downtown Jamestown this month.
On Saturday, Aug. 16, a screening of Paul Schermerhorn and Don Hill's "Midas Legacy" will be held at the Willow Bay Theater to display the loving efforts of a small, but dedicated, local cast and crew in creating a feature-length film.
Described as a psychological drama, "Midas Legacy" is the culmination of a nearly yearlong endeavor which saw the expansion of a four-minute short film into a full-length movie with a run time of slightly more than an hour. The plot revolves around a man - portrayed by Schermerhorn - who has experienced great loss, but receives the ability to change his life circumstances at will; raising the question of whether this new-found ability is ultimately a good or a bad thing. The "gift" of these abilities is physically represented by a light bulb suspended in the midst of Potters Alley, which has become the unofficial poster object for the film.
Paul Schermerhorn is pictured during filming of the locally made independent film “Midas Legacy,” which will have a screening at Willow Bay Theater on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m.
The story of "Midas Legacy" was conceived by Schermerhorn last year, when he wrote and produced - along with several other individuals - a 4-minute short for the 2013 Insomniac 24-Hour Film Competition. The competition is an annual community event in which teams of area filmmakers, actors and screenwriters compete to write, shoot and edit a short film with random elements provided at the contest start all within a 24-hour time span. The films are then judged and prepared for a public screening, held the same weekend as the filming. For more information, visit www.southerntierfilmcooperative.com.
Although Schermerhorn's film tied for third place in the competition, Schermerhorn and Hill, who had previously collaborated on another short film in 2012, began brainstorming ideas about how they could expand and develop the story into something beyond what could only be contained in a short film.
"It was a bigger story than what we could work with in that timeframe," Hill said.
"Typically, I don't go for a short two-minute YouTube video story, I try to build something that's a lot more expandable and has a lot more depth to it," Schermerhorn said.
Schermerhorn and Hill assembled a team to help them achieve this mindset and tap the limitless potential contained in the concept of the short film. Operating on a modest budget of approximately $650, most of which went toward food and other amenities during the filming phase of the project, Hill said the creation of "Midas Legacy" was founded entirely on "talent and time, of which we had both." In addition to Schermerhorn and Hill, the cast and crew is comprised of: Tom Filsinger, Laura Carnes, Teal Weatherly, Dick Narvett, Dylan Freedman and Steve Johnson.
Plot aside, the film also contains a certain local appeal due to the fact that it was principally shot within a three-block radius of downtown Jamestown. Viewers will likely be familiar with many of locations in which key scenes were filmed, including: The Q, Babalu Cafe, Jones 212 Bakery, The Spire Theater, various locations along Pine and Cherry streets and the aforementioned Potters Alley.
Hill praised Jamestown and the surrounding area as an ideal backdrop for independent filmmaking, saying it has practically everything one could need in the way of architecture, landscape and climate.
"It's our hope that people can see Jamestown through our eyes, and that they will get a completely fresh take on what you can do here; how beautiful it is to live and work here. I don't think you'll see downtown Jamestown look quite like this," Hill said. "There is just something about the look down here that just fit this film. And this film would not be the same in any other city because of the unique architecture and beautiful brick roads that we have."
Admission to the "Midas Legacy" screening at Willow Bay Theater on Aug. 16 will be $5. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the movie will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. An afterparty will take place a Brazil Craft Beer and Wine Lounge, which is, fittingly enough, adjacent to Potters Alley. Additionally, Hill said a fundraiser for the 2014 Insomniac 24-Hour Film Competition - scheduled for Aug. 22-24 - will be held at Brazil on Wednesday.
For more information, visit www.midaslegacymovie.com, search "Midas Legacy" on Facebook, or find the Facebook event page for the screening by searching "Midas Legacy Movie - August 16th screening."