Newton Falls – In the creative world, at any given time, there are countless aspiring actors, writers, musicians or dancers hoping to one day see their name in lights so to speak (or on a byline, CD cover or playbill) but not all of them are able to watch their respective dreams come to fruition. For one local hopeful, filmmaking is the route of choice for personal expression and bringing his own special brand of storytelling to the world.
Independent filmmaker Tom Denvir is currently immersed in turning his goal into a reality through the production of his debut movie which is being captured on camera throughout this month. The film, Accidental Heroes, is described as a buddy comedy with some character hints of the writer’s own personality. A 1997 graduate of Windham High School, Denvir admits quite a bit of the inspiration for the antics and dialog of the on-screen cohorts comes from his interactions with his own friends. “There’s a part where one of the guys says his graduating class only had 56 students,” he explains. “That’s straight out of my life.”
After completing high school, Denvir attended the Ohio Center for Broadcasting where he learned about radio broadcasting and how to use a camera. Otherwise a mostly self-taught aspiring filmmaker, Denvir originally intended to be a standup comic as a way to satisfy his love of being a storyteller but ultimately decided behind the camera was a better vehicle for showcasing his talents. Aside from his own experiences, Denvir mentions he is heavily influenced by the work of Kevin Smith as well as Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, citing in particularly the movie Clerks. “If they can do it, why not me?” he said. Approaching his 36th birthday in the coming weeks, Denvir intends to not waste any time following through with his dream. “I want people to see I’m a former Bomber making something of himself.”
To a point, Accidental Heroes does mimic the style of these comedians but, according to Denvir, though his script pushes the limits a bit, it is definitely “not as vulgar” as what his idols have produced. In addition to writing and directing, Denvir is funding the entire project himself, utilizing area connections to help him stay on budget with set locations as well as incorporating local talent to make on-screen appearances. In a way to “give back” for his experiences during broadcasting school, he plans to invite current students to participate in some scenes so that they will gain experience and the film itself can benefit from the skills they are learning as professionals-in-training.
Shooting is expected to take place on weekends at various locations around Newton Falls including a private residence near the Community Center and the Budget Lodge near the turnpike exit on Route 5. If all goes well, filming should be wrapped within seven working days so Denvir is doing everything he can to make the best use of each call time. With an expert film crew and nearby actors running lines of the main roles, even the normal house where the project completed its first scene seemed instantly morphed into a mini movie set. As the key players crowded into the kitchen for an important encounter between the boy-meets-girl portrayal, the living room doubled as a viewing area where, just like a big name Hollywood director, Denvir was able to watch a live feed of the filming to ensure each frame translated to the screen exactly the way he envisioned.
Starring Tim Wolfe (a standup comic from Warren) as the main character of Tom, and Cleveland native Engy Ayad as his love interest, Julie, Accidental Heroes also features Akron native Steve Haas playing the role of Steve. Adding one more responsibility to his résumé, Denvir himself is stepping in as Tim’s sidekick, Dave. With strong language and a certain kind of humor, it’s definitely not a family movie (chances are due to content it will be rated R when it hits the big screen) but fans of Smith and company will appreciate the awkward situations Denvir’s characters find themselves trying to escape.
When production is finally wrapped, Denvir knows it’s only the beginning to actually getting his work into the world. Though it’s not quite the right fit for the famed Sundance, the hope is to release it at the Nantucket Film Festival in June. A crowd-funding campaign has been set up through Indiegogo to alleviate associated costs. To read the synopsis or if you’d like to help a local creative turn his dream into reality, check it out by searching for “Accidental Heroes” at www.indiegogo.com or find “T&D Films” on facebook and you may see your own name in lights in the end credits.