New Hampshire takes a star turn in Madbury writer's latest movie
Madbury resident Rick Dumont, a former journalist who penned the script for the film, "Fraternitas," said the story is largely based on personal experiences during his college years and beyond. Dumont plays the role of Ken, the film's struggling protagonist.
"The script has elements of my life inside the walls of a fraternity in the 1980s, when decadence was a way of life," he said. "I lived, breathed, drank and sometimes even slept it each and every day, until my mind nearly turned to mush."
Expected to premiere in early 2013, "Fraternitas" tells the story of Ken Dumanski, a renowned entertainment journalist known for his partying lifestyle. After a surviving a drug overdose and completing a stint in rehab, Dumanski moves in with his family to the quiet community where he spent his college years.
Hoping to pursue a better life, he accepts a position as a film studies professor at his alma mater, but his past comes back to haunt him.
Dumont founded his Durham-based production company, Sweaty Turtle, about seven years ago.
Calling on the online fundraising site Kickstarter to help meet goals for the project, Dumont's $3,000 fundraising goal for the company's third feature film was surpassed over the weekend.
"We're about halfway through shooting right now," he said last week.
Shooting has taken place all over New Hampshire, including stints in Henniker, Hudson and Dover.
Jenny Butrym is assisting in the film's choreography, and also working as an extra in several scenes. A friend of Dumont's, Butrym said she had no problem letting the film crew shoot at her Hudson home on several occasions, though the experience definitely wasn't what she'd initially expected.
"Honestly, I thought it would be one or two people showing up at my door, maybe they'd have a couple Super 8 cameras with them," Butrym laughed. "So I was a bit shocked when an entire crew walked in with their bright lights, their heavy-duty digital camcorders, the whole works."
Butrym's daughter Nina, 13, plays Ken's angst-ridden daughter.
"I loved feeling like I was part of the process," Nina said of the experience. "My character is very headstrong and outspoken; she's a sullen teenager dealing with a bad family situation."
Producer Angela Sanscrainte, of Windham, has juggling multiple tasks on the set since hopping on board early last summer.
"I kind of fell into this project," Sanscrainte said, noting she'd initially learned about the film when working on another local production. As the film's script supervisor, Sanscrainte said some of her duties involve helping the actors rehearse their lines and organizing props for each scene.
"I do a little bit of everything," she said. "The best part of this project is the people involved. We're from all walks of life, but it feels like we've known each other forever. And Rick is the glue that holds all of it together."
For more information, go to fraternitasthefilm.com.