Filmmakers expect to shine spotlight on Putnam County
Get ready for your close-up, Putnam County ...
Putnam people, places and things will be co-mingling this summer with Hollywood actors in scenes to be shot in the Greencastle area for the independent film "Reparation."
But one of the uncredited stars of the movie is expected to be Putnam County itself.
That's what filmmaker Kyle Ham, a 1994 DePauw University graduate who co-wrote the script for "Reparation" with DPU theater and communications professor Steve Timm, told city officials this week.
"We're hitting all corners of Putnam County," Ham said while appearing before the City Council to request a street closing to facilitate filming on Saturday, June 28.
"To us," Ham added, "the community itself is really one of the characters in the movie. We want to do justice to it."
The rest of the world, he reasoned, "needs to see the covered bridges, the courthouse, Four Arches ... and Dairy Castle."
General filming is due to begin on or about June 21 in various locations around the county.
In addition to filming on the courthouse square during and after the June 28 Greencastle Farmers Market (which has necessitated the approved street closing of Franklin Street between Indiana and Jackson until sunset that day), moviemakers will spend a couple days in Roachdale.
Meanwhile, the lead character in the psychological thriller will be using Hobbit Gardens near Fillmore as his on-screen home, location manager Gigi Jennewein Fenlon of Greencastle told city officials.
The filmmakers were granted permission by the City Council to shoot their scenes during the Farmers Market and in the Columbia Street parking lot behind Chief's as well as in and around Almost Home on the north side of the square.
"Gail Smith is excited about us being out front and shooting scenes there," Fenlon said of the Almost Home and Swizzle Stick owner.
The southern half of the Columbia Street parking lot will be closed beginning at 8 o'clock that morning to keep vehicles from parking there and then trying to leave as the film crew is in the process of shooting scenes involving that location.
Meanwhile, Franklin Street between Indiana and Jackson will already be closed for the market that morning and will stay that way until sunset to utilize maximum daylight for filming the scenes downtown.
Ham was asked about the need for a rain date for the filming.
"We'll have to cross that covered bridge when we come to it," he smiled.
The City Council approval of the street closures includes allowing the mayor to authorize the same closures on a different date if necessary due to weather issues.
Ham, who has worked in films and TV for 20 years on movies such as the 1999 teen comedy "She's All That" starring Freddie Prinze Jr., will direct "Reparation" in his feature film debut.
As an adaptation of "The Activist," a play written by Timm, the indie film will star Jon Huertas (Det. Esposito on "Castle" also with a role in HBO's "Generation Kill" to his credit) and Marc Menchaca (who plays Lauder Wakefield, a disabled, alcoholic ex-Marine in "Homeland" and also has a role in a "Generation Kill").
"Reparation" is described as a psychological thriller revolving around Bob Stevens (Menchaca), a veteran-turned-vegetable farmer who has a three-year hole in his memory.
His past comes back to haunt him, the filmmakers explained, when a stranger (Huertas) shows up claiming to have been his best friend in the Air Force security police. Stevens and his family must then determine the truth before it's too late.
Besides Ham and Timm, a number of DePauw alumni are part of the film crew, including casting director and producer Matthew Lessall, DPU Class of 1996, and Kaitlin Klose and Olivia Carmel, both 2013 grads.