Local Thriller Gets Providential Premiere | Arts News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Local Thriller Gets Providential Premiere 

State of the Arts

7fcf9c665a.jpg

Plenty of video-store clerks dream of making movies — just ask Quentin Tarantino. Jayson Argento, 35, of Colchester isn’t quite on that level. But he has translated his experiences working at Essex’s Video World into a movie called Finding Providence. Made on the super-cheap, it will be shown at Essex Cinemas this Saturday and distributed on DVD by All Channel Films.

Argento recalls that 10 or 12 years ago, when he clerked at Video World — a store he also owned for a few years — “My friend was wigged out by this guy” who used to rent regularly. In the movie, two clerks suspect the customer, a silent gent with Orville Redenbacher-esque suspenders, of involvement in the recent disappearance of a teen. One of them, played by Champlain College instructor Eric Ronis — who directed The Trojan Women this past spring — is nursing an obsession with another girl who vanished 10 years earlier.

Finding Providence looks unusually good for a film shot on digital video, thanks to a 24-frames-per-second camera that Argento doesn’t include in his official $1300 budget — his dad funded the equipment purchase, he says. The camera “simulates the frame rate of a movie,” he explains. “Your brain says, ‘I’m watching a film.’” His friend Adam Lukens contributed a surprisingly effective lighting scheme involving two lamps from Home Depot and a sheet of muslin. Another friend, Jeff Turner, wrote the score.

Argento filmed the movie over two weeks in July 2005 with a cast and crew of volunteers. At first, he says, “My friends weren’t super-excited to do a movie without monsters in it.” (Argento and other members of his local film and theater company, Stoneworks Entertainment, have produced a bunch of horror shorts.) But they came on board.

Argento has sent Providence to “tons of festivals,” he says — from Sundance, Toronto and Montréal to October’s Vermont Filmmakers’ Showcase. “I always shoot high,” he explains.

When it comes to distributing the movie, Argento says he had no illusions about snagging a plum deal: “Technically, I’m going to get fucked. Who do I want to fuck me?” After some advice from an L.A. lawyer and a phone chat with a former Vermonter who works for All Channel Films, he sent off his movie. The company will put Providence on the domestic DVD market and take a percentage of the sales.

Argento works at Costco now, but he still has his Essex connections: The movie will premiere at the cinema there, where a scene was also filmed.

Info:

Finding Providence and the short film "Primevil" show at the Essex Cinemas, Saturday, September 1, at 7 p.m. To order tickets, call 878-7231.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Bio:
Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Arts News

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation