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Filmmakers descended on Jay's Drive-In in Oregon

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 2:33 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014 2:43 p.m. CST
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When filming at multiple locations over a month, having camera setting consistant is required to get a quality product. Here Andrew Smith adjusts camera settings while Trevor Kelly holds a white, grey, and black sign to ensure the consistant settings. Photo by Chris Johnson
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Director Megan St. John and camera operator Trevor Kelly examine test footage to determine if the scene is staged and ready for action. Photo by Chris Johnson
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Actor Andrew Klass and actress Elizabeth Stenholt share a laugh while Trevor Kelly and Andrew Smith set up the camera for the scene at Jay's Drive-in July 13. Photo by Chris Johnson
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Sound man Michael Hickey, holds a boom mic over actor Andrew Klass, actress/director Megan St. John, and actress Elizabeth Stenholt, while preparing for a scene at Jay's Drive-in July 13. Photo by Chris Johnson

A small group of dedicated filmmakers descended on Oregon Sunday morning to gather footage for a new short film.

Jay's Drive-In was the setting of a scene for film "Broiled."

Actor Andrew Klass has a role in the film.

"I am playing the character Tank," he said. "He is sort of a loser that does not know he is a loser. He thinks he is a lot smarter than he actually is."

The motivation for Tank is simple and was easy for Klass to grasp.

"He honestly thinks the key to happiness in his life is getting a used truck," Klass said. "That is his motivation throughout the movie."

Klass said working on the film has been fun because of who he is working with.

"Everyone here is committed 100 percent," he said. "Everyone has their heart in it. The days are long and exhausting but it is like totally worth it."

When filming is complete, Klass will have to wait to see the finished project.

"I am not behind the camera, but it is going to be awesome to see it come together," he said.

Klass became involved in the project because he has knew Megan St. John, the writer/director for the film and executive producer of Third Wheel Entertainment, Chicago.

"Megan approached me about being a part of it," he said.

The movie is set in rural America, the plot is the story of two girls and two boys who coincidentally rob the town bank on the same day.

"The story is interesting and it is different," said St. John. "It is dark and twisted and funny."

Using a drive-in in a rural location was a natural fit for her since she grew up in Montana.

"Whenever I write, I set it in a rural kind of environment. It is very American," she said. "I would love to come back and film something else. I love this kind of rural environment."

The weather over the weekend proved difficult for St. John and her crew.

"We are trying to get into Sundance," she said. "The deadline is September, but with the weather there have been a couple hiccups . We may not make it this year. It is totally okay, because there is a list a mile long of festivals."

The crew was filming at a farm in Malta on July 12 and rain caused delays in filming.

While at Jay's the weather shifted from overcast to full sun. The crew just finished setting up the shot when the weather changed.

This is difficult for the filmmakers because having consistent lighting throughout the process helps with editing different clips together.

When completed, St. John said the film will be playing in festivals.

"We may look at distribution online also," she said.

Photos from the production will be posted on the Third Wheel Entertainment Facebook page.

Despite challenges, St. John is enjoying the process of making a film.

"It is really exciting," she said. "We are working with a low budget which makes me a nervous wreck."

One aspect that has encouraged the crew to work harder is the people they are meeting along the way.

"We have met a lot of nice people, it makes me happy that everyone is as equally excited as we are," said St. John.

The staff at Jay's was watching the filming take place and enjoyed seeing the process.

"It is very exciting. This sort of thing does not happen everyday in Oregon," said Jay's co-owner Terry Wilken. "It is fun to be a part of it."

He said St. John contacted him by email and Wilken had a simple request.

"One of the requests we made was to get a copy of the film when it is finished," he said.

"Broiled" is being filmed on weekends in July at locations near Oregon and Sycamore.

The script was written by St. John and she is directing and acting in the movie.

Cast and crew in Oregon included Klass, St. John, actress Elizabeth Stenholt, boom operator (sound man) Michael Hickey, and camera men Trevor Kelly and Andrew Smith.

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