BEMIDJI-With the goal of reaching one of the country's largest film festivals, a handful of people have teamed up to make a video project that will feature a former household name from the Bemidji arts community.
Filmmaker Mike Bredon and former Bemidji theater icon Greg Gasman met in town recently, along with a handful of colleagues, to make a short film. They intend to submit the film for the "shorts" category of the Sundance Film Festival. Once it's all said and done, Bredon said the film will be about 14 minutes long.
Titled "Appropriate Notice," the film will tell the story of a man who works in a grocery store, who is involved with the local theater, and who is dealing with his wife's death. According to Bredon, the plot is based on element's of Gasman's own life.
"It is a drama, sci-fi comedy," Bredon said. "It's a short film following a man through a very dark, narrowing of his own life."
Armed with a cast and crew of 15 people, they jumped around a few different Bemidji locations during a recent weekend filming the project. With a script that was emotional at some moments and laughable at others, it was a packed filming process for those involved, Bredon said.
While many of those involved with the film were already in the area, Gasman drove up for the film from Indiana. Bredon drove from the Twin Cities. They shot the film over the course of three days.
Gasman originally came to Bemidji in 1982, and throughout the following years became a prominent name in the local theater community. He was one of the founders of the Bemidji Community Theater, which is still active today.
It hasn't been the first time Gasman and Bredon have worked together. More than a decade ago, they won a national competition hosted by the company Frito Lay that encouraged filmmakers to make humorous advertisements for Cheetos.
Although the current project was made for screen, a lot of it harkened back to a previous time when many of those involved with current film worked together on stage.
"It really was eclectic; It was a real collaboration in the same vein that community theater is," Bredon said. "All these people have been in Greg's plays."