The house lights will dim and the screen will flick to life on Friday at the Park Cinema, as one local man’s new film gets its silver screen debut.
Ryan Casey, a recent URI graduate from Cranston, wrote, directed and edited “I’ll Be Seeing You,” a light-hearted, period-piece playing at the Park Cinema in Cranton’s Rolfe Square on Feb. 9.
The film is about a young man named Charlie, who meets a beautiful woman one night while working at his family’s bar.
Casey said Charlie isn’t too “smooth with the ladies,” and is floored when the woman asks him out on a date once he finishes his shift. Charlie runs to tell his grandfather, who runs the bar, and soon learns that he and his grandmother met in a similar fashion. With a gleam of pride in his eye, Charlie’s grandfather tells him to take the rest of the night off and go to meet the girl.
But just as Charlie is re-stocking the bar before he takes off, he hits his head. As he staggers back into the bar, he finds himself no longer in 2012, but in 1933. Charlie meets a younger version of his grandfather, and a gorgeous lounge singer who looks just like the woman he met earlier in the night. Casey said “I’ll Be Seeing You” is a lot like Dorothy’s trip to Oz.
Casey got his inspiration for the screenplay from a former girlfriend – in order to forget about her, he put his pen to paper and wrote a movie filled with memories and emotions from the past.
“I thank her,” he said of the girl, who he said will likely see Friday’s screening of the film.
In addition to the romance, there’s also some action, adventure and crime surrounding Prohibition. Casey said he chose to set the bulk of the film in 1933 because he has an affinity for old things, and also because it helped push along his plot.
“Everyone says I have an old soul and I don’t belong in this era,” said Casey, 22.
Casey said everything was “simple” in 1933 – there weren’t computers and iPhones to deal with. Casey said the movie, a comedy and a bit of a suspense film, is heightened by the lack of technology and instant ability to connect.
One of the challenges of shooting a movie set in the 1930s was ensuring that everything – hair, makeup, clothes and even cars – fit into the time period, explained Casey. He said one of the things that ramped up the movie’s budget was using a 1932 Rolls Royce in one scene. It may have come with a high price tag, but the scene featuring the car turned out to be one of Casey’s favorites.
The final budget for the film was roughly $8,000, the bulk of which was raised on the website KickStarter.com. Casey was able to utilize URI’s equipment since the film was done under the umbrella of his filmmaking class.
The film was shot over the course of 10 days at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Main Street in East Greenwich and the Park Cinema in Cranston. The cast included some local actors as well as talent from the Boston area.
Casey said they’re still in post-production, and will likely be making small tweaks to the film up until it’s Feb. 9 premiere.
Casey, who graduated from the University of Rhode Island this semester, started the film as part of a school project. Eventually, he expanded it into a 45-minute movie, which went well beyond the bounds of the assignment.
“I’ll be Seeing You” is Casey’s first film, and despite the size of the premiere it’s getting at the 1,000-seat Park Cinema, he said he isn’t nervous.
“Even if people find it enjoyable or unwatchable, I think I got my satisfaction from these people working with me [on the film],” he said.
The film will debut on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 and tickets are $10. Casey has been telling people to arrive early and enjoy the bar at the theater, where some of the movie was filmed.
“Maybe if they have a few drinks, it’ll look like an Oscar award-winning film,” he said with a laugh.For more information on “I’ll Be Seeing You” and its Cranston premiere, visit www.IllBeSeeingYou2012.com.