Movie has been quite a scene for Port

Film that will include some familiar faces to give local residents one last chance to appear on screen when producer with local ties calls it a wrap Saturday

THE CAST AND CREW of the movie “Intoxicated Rain” shot a scene outside the Chocolate Chisel in downtown Port Washington in early October, on the first day of filming in the city. The scene featured actress Laura Lawrenz, who portrays a worker at the chocolate shop, and lead actor Dominic Reeder (wearing the motorcycle helmet). Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

John Reichert and his wife Elizabeth MacCrimmon enjoyed their time in the spotlight this fall as they were tapped to be extras in “Intoxicated Rain,” an independent movie being filmed in Port Washington.

“We really had a good time with it,” Reichert said. “It was a lot of fun, and it was really interesting.”

Other area residents have one last chance to see themselves on screen as the film by Port Washington native Miles O’Neil is set to shoot the last scene of the movie during and following the Port Christmas parade on Saturday.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. Saturday on Franklin Street. 

“It’s a great atmosphere, with a lot of good cheer,” O’Neil said of the city’s annual holiday parade. 

O’Neil, who wrote the script, said he plans to have three groups of actors in the crowd during the parade, with filming at the spots where they are standing.

“We’re going to tie them back into the movie, show them having a good time at the parade,” he said.

After the parade and the fireworks that follow, O’Neil plans to set the final scene of the movie — a scene showing Santa on the last float in the parade as it travels between Jackson and Pier streets.

“There’s a little twist at the end,” he said, calling it a key plot point that makes it impossible to just film the actual parade for the movie. “We want to replicate the crowd, make it look like a crowd is there lining both sides of the street.”

He hopes to begin filming by 8 p.m., adding because they will shoot from a number of angles and do a number of takes, “it could take a few hours.”

Those hoping to be part of the film are asked to show up after the city’s parade to sign a waiver form allowing O’Neil to show them if they’re filmed.

Because it’s likely to be cold out, O’Neil said he hopes to have hot beverages for the crowd during filming.

“Some snow would be nice,” he said. “But no matter what, we’ll be shooting it.”

Saturday’s filming marks the end of the main portion of movie-making in Port for O’Neil, who said his crew shot much of the movie during 30 days in October and early November.

“It’s a process,” he said.

While most of the filming is completed, he and his crew will return next year for what he termed “filler scenes” and to reshoot a couple of scenes, such as one in front of Port Washington State Bank. They weren’t done filming when the street lights in front of the bank came on, he said, so they’ll have to finish shooting next year.

“It’s a continuity and lighting thing,” O’Neil said.

“It really went by pretty fast,” he said of his time shooting in Port. “It was a lot of fun.

“Regardless of whether this movie is a success, the whole journey is fun for me.”

O’Neil said about a dozen local residents have lines in the film, and numerous others will appear in the background.

O’Neil said that once the final scene is shot, he will “dive into the editing process.”

Then there’s sound design and mixing, graphic effects, color correction and credits to add in a process that he said will take much of next year.

By 2020, he hopes to have the movie completed.

“Then we’ll try to get it into some really good film festivals,” he said. “Or find an agent to get it into festivals or sold to distributors.”

He plans to enter “Intoxicated Rain” into the mix for such festivals as Cannes, Sundance or Toronto.

“It’s a real long shot to get into those, but we’ll try,” said O’Neil, who should know — this is his third, and longest, film production.

“I think it’s a pretty relevant movie — it’s a coming of age story set inside a family drama, and it deals with race relations as well.”

Reichert and his wife were filmed shopping at Bernie’s Fine Meats, and their Chocolate Chisel shop was the setting for the first scenes filmed in Port. He said he was surprised at how nonchalant local residents were about the filming.

“I was surprised more people didn’t stop to see what was happening,” Reichert said. “I thought there would be a little crowd, but there were fewer curiosity seekers than I expected.”

He said he’s excited to see the completed movie.

“When you go to a movie, everything’s cohesive,” he said, but during filming, it’s anything but cohesive. Scenes are shot out of order, and they’re filmed over and over again.

“It’s a lot of waiting and standing around,” he said. “I’ll be interested in seeing how the whole thing comes together.”

He’s hoping Port shines in the film, Reichert said, adding, “Maybe it’ll bring someone else here to film. We have a beautiful city.”

He’s sure O’Neil will arrange a local showing of the movie, and he and his wife plan to be there.

But when asked whether he’s hoping his 15 seconds of fame will lead to more screen time, Reichert had a quick response.

“I’ll stick with chocolate, ice cream and art,” he said.

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