SCRANTON — Hollywood may seem like the movie capital of the world, but Lindsay Barrasse has found she doesn’t need to be in southern California to make her film-making dreams come true. The Scranton-native’s most recent film, the short science-fiction story “Solacium,” will premier Oct. 16 at the Lackawanna Theater in Scranton as part of the inaugural Belin Film Festival.
“Solacium” tells the story of a man who finds himself dealing with changes in society brought on by technology. Barrasse sees it as a story that transcends its genre setting.
“If you take away the sci-fi elements and the elements of whether or not the main character should download his brain into this universe known as ‘The Singularity,’ ‘Solacium’ is about what people go through in real life, struggling to conform to the norm or being a part of society,” Barrasse said.
The project originated as a short story by Tom Borthwick, who expanded it into a screenplay with the help of Don McGlynn.
“I’ve known Don for years,” Barrasse said. “I read the script and I loved it. For something that is so low budget and with limited locations, the story is told through these great visuals. It is different from what you normally see being put out there on such a low budget.”
Tim McDermott, another local filmmaker who is working on the project as the assistant cameraman said: “What I’ve been thinking about as I’ve read the script and have been watching some of the scenes play out is that if you strip away the technology and the sci-fi aspects of it, it’s about happiness and what does it mean to be happy. Do you need a technological aspect to make you happy? Beyond that, can you achieve it yourself or do you need some outside force to make you happy? To me, that’s a big theme.”
Barrasse got her first taste of film-making while growing up in Dunmore. Borrowing a VHS camcorder from her aunt, she and her friends made her first movie. “It was called ‘Ring,’” she says. “It was about a killer clown who killed people with his laughter by calling them on the phone.”
With a degree in visual arts from Keystone College and another in marketing from the McCann School Of Business, Barrasse worked in Los Angeles providing content for Current TV, YouTube and Crave Online before returning to the region in late-2009.
“When I left here, I was very jaded,” Barrasse said. “I was like ‘I need to go to California to get what I want done.’ But I don’t need to. Everything is right here, it’s within arm’s reach. And there are people willing to help you.”
McDermott adds, “For filmmakers, if you want a city shot, there’s a city here. You need something that takes place in the country, drive 10 minutes up to Clarks Summit and you’re in the country. There’s so many looks you can find in this area.”
Barrasse said the area’s versatility can be found in footage they have shot for “Solacium.”
The film has shot at the Sleep Disorder Clinic in Dunmore and at exterior locations around Scranton.
But for all the area has provided, the film did get one shot they hadn’t planned for in the aftermath of last summer’s fire at Sandone Tire Warehouse in downtown Scranton. The rear of the Sandone building backed up against the complex where production house TwentyFiveEight Studios resides.
“There is a part in the script where the main character is walking and places he does are no longer there, business closed with signs reading “Integrate.” Barrasse said. “After learning that they were A-OK I was like ‘I need to get up on that roof. I need that shot!’
Barrasse is committed to film in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and to let the area have its stamp on the work.
“The beer bottles that a character is holding are from Three Guys and a Beard. The wine that they’re drinking is from Three Pines Winery. We’re using soap from The Post. It’s like all these little parts of NEPA are having their little cameos.”