No vacay for B-N movie-makers

Okay, we bristle at the colloquialism “vacay” (and, even more so, “uptown Normal”) as much as you do, but it is true the other twin cities connected with Champaign-Urbana via I-74 will witness indie filmmaking on their own turf during the warmer months of 2013. We have the first scoop on both projects and initial notes on how we might help our neighboring producers in those neighboring college towns to take their narrative escapades to successful fruition.

Later tonight, Saturday, June 1, from 7 p.m. to midnight, a fundraiser for the horror-comedy THE GRAVEYARD MENACE will take place at the Main St. Bar & Grill, 517 N. Main St., downtown Bloomington. Producer and director Chase Cavalera, who also stars as the titular fiend brought back to life by wayward teens in a Midwestern cemetery, will show footage shot previously in B-N and Chicagoland as well as new teasers introducing cast and crew. Chicago rock band My God, the Heat will perform with other bands to fill out the evening, and cost will be $10 with a 21-and-over entry age. More generous benefactors can contribute extra in exchange for an on-screen thank you or producer’s credit. Below is the trailer we included in this year’s New Art Film Festival which is absolutely nothing but grisly Menace, a quality that will be tempered in the final product per Cavalera:

Rocking on a different wavelength is WE HAD THIS BAND, a debut feature project from the Los Angeles-based producing team of Andy Wagner and Andy Steadman, the latter a B-N native and Illinois State University alumnus. As you can glean from this Pantagraph profile, Steadman has already lived a jack-of-all-entertainment-trades in his young life, including eight years’ worth of West Coast stints as actor, comedian, art department assistant, and Universal Studios tour guide, which will hopefully lend to this endeavor. The movie will star Steadman, Wagner, Jane Noseworthy, and Julie Carlson as hometown friends who attempt to revive their indie band, Burn Daylight, a decade after its peak in popularity.

Amongst other unique aspects in preparing to shoot WE HAD THIS BAND, the progress of which you can follow through Facebook, Twitter, Kickstarter, and Tumblr, is the quartet playing out as Burn Daylight in various L.A. rock clubs. These warm-up gigs will help them get ready to perform alongside several local and regional acts on July 7 at The Castle Theatre in downtown Bloomington during a real-life benefit concert, the Tornado Belly Rock Festival. Of course, their appearance will be captured for use in the feature and extras will be solicited to fill the Castle auditorium that evening!

Filming for WE HAD THIS BAND is scheduled to commence mid-June, while THE GRAVEYARD MENACE will resume production shortly. Watch C-U Blogfidential for further updates on both projects.

~ Jason Pankoke

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