Having spent the past five years working for SLAMjamz, Chuck D.'s record label/production company, Youngstown-born filmmaker David C. Snyder has made plenty of short films and music videos. Now the Pittsburgh-based director has made his first feature-length film. He wrote a screenplay that, much like Fargo, involved a kidnapping and ransom, but he gave it a twist. The narrative is told out of sequence, so you have to piece together what happened and when.
"I thought if I tell this story from beginning to end, it's not that interesting to me," says Snyder, who shot the resulting film, The Quiet Arrangement, in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Youngstown. "I thought I could do it in sections, so that you see the same events from different people's perspectives over a certain period of time and reveal information gradually."
There are so many crossings and double-crossings in the film, you almost need an outline just to keep things straight. But the movie's narrative is intriguing, and it's so meticulously made it hardly looks like an independent production.
The film shows at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, at the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd., 216.321.5411, clevelandcinemas.com). Snyder, along with cast and crew members, will be on hand to introduce it and answer questions afterward.
Featuring a screenplay by Scene contributor Bob Ignizio, The Spookshow, the fourth release issued by the local production company Old School Sinema, is now out on DVD. Director Joe Ostrica describes the movie as a "supernatural/rock 'n' roll/slasher/exploitation/revenge thriller."
"Basically, most of the movie takes place in one night at a rock show on Halloween," he explains. "There's a legend that a girl had died at the club and that her ghost is possessing the place. A group of college-aged kids goes to the show, and one of the girls gets possessed by the ghost and goes on a killing spree." Shot mostly at Peabody's where, Ostrica says, "there's a lot of places to stash dead bodies," the film was made entirely in Cleveland.
The audience favorites from this year's Ohio Independent Film Festival will screen during midnight shorts programs on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18, at the Painesville Party in the Park. Each program will feature different films. For more information, go to parkpartyinfo.com.