Michael Pisano of Boca Raton, a sound mixer, listens to a scene between takes as actors prepare for action at the restaurant 3rd and 3rd during the shooting of After Midnight, an independent film being produced in downtown Delray Beach. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
By Steven J. Smith
Delray Beach has been selected as the setting and filming has begun for a new independent film called After Midnight, produced by Delray Beach production company Brave Man Media.
Damian Fitzsimmons is directing the film, which is based on a true story, according to production manager Ian LaQua.
“The two writers grew up on Long Island,” LaQua said. “It’s based on events from their childhood to the age of about 22. It’s a kind of timeless coming of age story, with comedy moments and dramatic moments. It’s true to life, about growing up in a small town in America.”
LaQua added the film will primarily shoot at 3rd and 3rd, a restaurant and bar at 301 NE Third Ave. in the heart of the Artist District.
Other locations include Delray Beach Memorial Gardens Municipal Cemetery, several residential homes in the West Atlantic Avenue area of Delray Beach and a home owned by the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency.
Delray native Vance Vlasek plays Liam, one of the movie’s three main characters. A 2010 graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Vlasek, 26, has performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and the Broward Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs, among other venues. He said the movie will have a real Florida feel to it.
“The movie is about three friends who grow up together in a small town called Seaside,” Vlasek said. “It takes place in 1972. The friends are bumming around, not knowing what to do with their lives. They’re working lousy jobs in a restaurant. Then one of the friends gets an opportunity to open a bar up for young people. It’s a fun and touching story.”
LaQua said Fitzsimmons and former partner Tyler Ford, who now works in Los Angeles and New York, co-founded Brave Man Media six years ago.
“We mainly do commercial work, documentaries and short films,” he said. “This is our first feature film, but we’ve been steadily moving toward this for the last five years.”
After Midnight has a budget of about $500,000 and features a cast of unknown actors culled from south and central Florida talent and modeling agencies, as well as friends or people the producers saw on the street that they liked and auditioned. However, LaQua said the entire cast is very talented.
“We’ve got great principals and a terrific supporting cast,” he said. “We’re really excited to see how it all comes together.”
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “Everyone is so professional. The director is super knowledgeable. We have a fantastic director of photography. And everyone is so friendly. It’s a great atmosphere, because everybody believes in the movie and wants to get it done. They’re relaxed but focused. The perfect balance.”
The production is scheduled to film in the Delray area until the middle of September and post-production should be finished by the end of January, in time for the producers to start shopping it around the film festival circuit by next summer and fall.
“At the end of the day we’re just happy to be doing a film here in Delray, which most of us call home,” LaQua said. “We’ve been really happy with all the support we’ve had from local governments, local businesses and local talent. We’re really excited about this project.” ;