As some followers of my columns may recall (and it’s unconfirmed if I have “followers”), I have discussed about the transition of moving back home to Greenville, OH after living in Chicago, Ill. for five years. I explained how wonderful it was to be home, even with the set-backs of student loan debt or the crushing of my ego by having to move in with my family at 25 years old. After being back for over a year, I have realized several things were missing.
I’ve recently realized everyday, I was waking up to go to work just to come home and visit with family, or I went to my room to play Words With Friends until it was time for bed – then repeat. Not only does that get monotonous, but it’s not healthy. I wasn’t engaging with other people or being creative; I figured, writing stories and helping to build a newspaper from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. five days a week with my amazing coworkers and being home with family was all I needed, but what I really needed was a game changer.
When I was in Chicago in my early 20’s, I was so creative, motivated, and social. It helped that there was always someone to meet or collaborate with for a project. Chicago is basically a giant, outdoor gallery where you turn your head left and see a sculpture and turn your head right and see a street performer.
Although First Fridays on Broadway bring a lot of artistic talent to light, art is not experienced as frequently as it is in Chicago. It has been like a reverse culture shock returning home, trying to find where I fit and what to do with my time. Most everyone I know from high school has moved away, except a couple of close friends.
As if it were planned, I reconnected with one of those friends, Christopher Chapa, who has always been active in theater in high school and continued acting in civic theater in Greenville. He told me about a friend of his that is making a film and thought with my background in multimedia, I could help as second camera. Apprehensive at first, I agreed to meet the director and the cast to see what this was all about.
I came to realize I was working with a group of talent. The movie we are working on is called “Four Walls” in which Christopher wrote, and is directed by Alexander Stewart. The film focuses on four adopted kids that were alienated from each other after the death of their adoptive father. Each sibling has their own struggle that is brought to fruition in the film.
The cast includes: Trevor De Schepper, Christopher Chapa, Nicole Scott, Savannah Royster, Connie De Schepper, Kelly Snyder, Abby Kindley, Heath Marker, Amy Gessler, Bethany Foster, Logan Hummel, and Lacey Snyder.
The film crew is Director Alexander Stewart, myself, and Matthew Cline, helping with sound.
Alexander told me what he wants the outcome of the film to be. “I hope that (the film) makes people remember that family is the most important thing in life, no matter where you come from or how different you are. Family can help you get through anything,” he said.
Alexander is currently studying film at Wright State University and this film is a project he wants to add to his portfolio, and will be his first full-feature film. The goal is to have the film finished by late September, and it will be posted on YouTube.
We have been working on the film since last Wednesday, and will continue every Sunday and Wednesday until it is finished; and I have been looking forward to every film day since. When we filmed on Wednesday, it was during a night scene. I got carried away shooting B-roll of cars driving by on Broadway at a low angle and lit “open” signs reflecting on store fronts. I lost myself, in a good way.
The film crew and cast are my kind of people too; unapologetically weird. Whether we make the tallest of the group, Matthew, curl his arms up and make a T-Rex impression or make constant references to the Internet’s finest of memes, there is never a dull moment.
Being a part of this film has filled all that has been missing; friends, creativity, and art. I am looking forward to seeing the final product that encompasses the talent of everyone involved.
Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To see sneak peaks of the film or behind-the-scenes photos, follow Amy on Instagram, @amybargerphoto.