Three ring circus hits Edwards |

Three ring circus hits Edwards

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyJonathan Bricklin, writer and director, and Chagai Bolle, director of photography, envision a shot in "Minimum Wage."

Primarily an inexperienced lot of well-wishers, the crowd also included aspiring screenwriters, cinematographers and actors. Hollywood fever seemed to touch everyone, making the mountain folk preen good naturedly for each other. Many were downright giddy.

Chatter between takes included how stars should treat their fans, why the Coen brothers are simply the best, and wholehearted approval for all independent films.

“I’ve never seen a movie being filmed before,” said Dawn Mackedanz.

Mackedanz, an Avon resident and a friend of Bricklin, showed up partly out of curiosity for the whole process, as did one of her Fiesta’s! co-workers, Markus Haverlandt.

“I want to see the behind-the-scenes-type stuff,” he said.

Behind the scenes got a little hairy for Bricklin and his crew, who didn’t expect this number of people willing to stand around at 11 p.m., all in the name of art. Stephanie Pottruck, the film’s producer, even ran out of release forms and had to make more.

Camera difficulties plagued them for the first two hours, and one of the shots Bricklin had banked on was elusive.

“I was looking for this special moment between them,” he said, referring to Chris Elwood and Jenni Pulos. “They have this really cheesy dialogue, and I thought if we did it like 20 times, it would look good. I knew it would suck for the most part, but I thought that moment would happen eventually. It did, but the first time we weren’t recording, and then I was laughing the second time.”

A silver lining appeared with unexpected close-ups that were especially good.

“Everyone who came and signed a form will get a screen credit,” said Bricklin. “Unless of course they don’t want to be associated with the film, and then they should tell me so. But I can’t tell you how much I appreciated everyone who came and stayed. I owe them way more than Pez.”

By turns chaotic and relaxed, the shoot tested the organizational skills of the crew and the stamina of the cast. Problems arose and were dealt with, such as a pressing need for hairspray.

“Steph, Steph, Steph – we need scrunchy hair. Hurry,” called Cassia Hoffman to Pottruck, who dashed over.

Brady Becker of Eef Productions and Colin Gill of Videographic West came out of professional curiosity. Becker met Bricklin at several film festivals, such as Sundance and Telluride, so he wanted to see him in action.

Gill appreciated Bricklin’s affinity for David Lynch films. He looks for writer-director combos, rather than actors, to dictate his film viewings.

Becker and Gill have shot several independent films in Eagle County, and it was interesting for them to see some of the same locations used in a different film. Gill is particularly fascinated with the Vail area.

“It’s such a transient place,” said Gill. “Everyone has their own right to the sidewalk – we’re all here for different reasons.”

Brandon Brock, a cook at Sweet Basil, admires David Lynch, too. He used to live in L.A., but “Minimum Wage” will be his first film credit.

“It’s the off-season,” he said. “There’s nothing else better to do.”

Wes Haut, a hospitality specialist at the Pines Lodge, arrived for purely mercenary reasons.

“I wanted the Pez dispenser,” he said. “I also wanted to see the midgets.”

Of the 60 locals who showed up to help, about 20 of them stayed to the bitter end at 2 a.m., when Rick Glende ushered everyone out of the theater. Glende, the assistant manager of Cascade Village Theater, was a believable ticket seller, having practiced just such a role for years.

“It was a rough night for me, but I’m recovering,” said Bricklin.

Pottruck, who has been in the business for several years and amassed an impressive list of credits, got her start in Vail. When in high school, she interned at Eclipse Sports Marketing, which produced the Jeep Eagle King of the Mountain races.

“For someone 16 years old, it was an amazing opportunity,” she said. “They’d fly me to races and put me up. I got to follow around a producer. The best part was being treated like an equal by everyone I worked with.”

She has since fallen in love with the process of filmmaking and the accompanying adrenaline rush. It is fitting that she returns to Vail for her first feature.

“The end is sad,” she said. “Especially this project, where we’re all friends.”

Bricklin and Pottruck are looking for a make-up person to do touch-ups during the shoot. They also seek a prop master. For more information, call 748-9748.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.

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