Earlier this month, prospective actors walked the streets of downtown at noon looking for the “Thug Mansion” behind an old Pizza Hut at the corner of Meeting and Line streets. “I assure you we’re casting,” was scrawled in white lettering on the building’s outside wall, and a thin arrow pointed to the doorway.
On June 9, casting calls began for the independent film A Place to Stay. Written by local filmmaker Henry Snyder, the movie is a drama/comedy scheduled for shooting between July 14 and July 30. Snyder, in conjunction with Terrible Parrot Films and Seamless Pictures, will also be directing the full-length feature.
Snyder is known locally for his film Randall, a short he wrote, directed, co-produced, and entered into the Charleston International Film Festival this year. Also on crew are Terrible Parrot Films co-owners Barret Burlage and James Tilden. Burlage, who also co-produced Randall, has worked on various studio television and film products. Tilden is currently a production assistant for Army Wives. And Owen Hamilton, co-founder and co-owner of Seamless Pictures, is known for his short The Dust that Floats Behind the Sky, which won an award at the Charleston International Film Festival.
Snyder says that the dynamic between members of the crew has been great. After meeting at a film festival, “we all got talking and it looked like everyone was going to have a bit of a window this summer," he says. "I had a script I was working on, and I sent it out to everyone.”
A Place to Stay centers on the inner struggle of protagonist Danny, a regular joe who teaches high school during the day and bartends at night. While he lives and cares for his girlfriend, Tina, he feels stuck and ultimately unhappy with where his life has ended up. Things change when Danny meets restaurant co-worker Sonia, forcing him to make a decision between who he is and who he wants to be.
“Like most first and second projects, it’s a modified, thinly veiled autobiography,” Snyder says. “It’s a delayed coming-of-age story.”
Earlier this month, the group launched a page at indiegogo.com, a site designed to help people campaign for money to fund various projects. The filmmakers hope to raise $7,812 by Sept. 23 to purchase food for the crew, better equipment, promotional materials, and festival entry fees. In return for donations, the crew will give out custom-made T-shirts from Artisan Tees, acknowledgements, props used in the film, chances at small speaking parts, and invitations to the cast and crew parties.