NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA — A film with scenes shot in Wayne County makes its big screen debut at the NEPA Film Festival.
'The Road Less Traveled' is a horror film that has gained acceptance into seven film festivals across the United States, Canada and Italy.
Director/Producer Lindsay Barrasse is a filmmaker and co-owns the Scranton-based company Voyager Video with her husband David Corgliano.
It was Barrasse's eye that was responsible for finding an old barn to film in in Lake Ariel.
She said filming in the area she calls home brought with it a unique advantage.
“Being from and filming in NEPA not only gives (us) a home field advantage, but the area is so cinematic...It really is absolutely beautiful,” she said.
Hailing from the area, Barrasse has also lived in New York City and West Hollywood.
Speaking on the local talent, she said “...I can honestly say how outstanding and truly amazing the talent is here.
“From local theater to films and even television, we really have it going on.”
Production Designer Desiree Zielinski also has her roots in the area, making her home in Olyphant.
Functioning as a poster designer for the film, Zielinski said two of the most challenging things about working on an independent short film are planning and logistics.
“Especially if you have a low to no budget film you are trying to create, you have to find people who are willing to help you.
“Sure you can film something by yourself, but nine times out of 10 you need a couple people to round out your crew.”
Seconding Barrasse's view on local talent, Zielinski said in this area in particular “...there is a solid and talented group of filmmakers here who just love what they do and are willing to help you anyway they can.”
Wayne County's own Bridget LaMonica functioned as both the screenwriter and cinematographer for the piece, and came up with the idea for the film while earning her Master's in Film and Television at the Savannah College of Art & Design.
“My inspiration came from the countryside and woods of northeastern Pennsylvania,” she said.
“...I was restoring a beautiful 1967 Chevy Impala with my dad,” and she couldn't resist the opportunity to use the vehicle in a production.
LaMonica described the film as “...a horror story that reflects classic horror tropes while turning them on their head.
“We took the road less traveled by, and I can't be happier with the results.”
From concept to final edit, the 11 min. 30 sec. film took three years to produce.
But that's not necessarily the end of the road.
“Lindsay came up with an idea to expand what we are doing into a feature film.
“That's still in the early stages,” LaMonica said. “But we're excited to see where we could go with this.”
Currently accepted to seven film festivals, the work has garnered praise from fans and peers alike.
“The response is insane,” Zielinski said. “It's so wonderful and humbling. This is really the first film I've worked on that is getting so much traction. It is great exposure to the community...” she said, adding that hopefully it will open the door for more film work to come to the area.
Barrasse said the response to 'The Road Less Traveled' has been overwhelming.
“We took it further because we know we have a gem on our hands. ...We really had the time to see what worked and what didn't, and really get things right.
“We hope the success 'The Road Less Traveled' has had will help to create the full-length feature associated with this film.”
LaMonica said as the festivals approach, “...the attention for this little film has been really spectacular.
“We had an all Pennsylvania cast and crew...” that included cinematographers, directors and even drone operators.
“Making a film in northeastern Pennsylvania has been a joyous experience.
“Not only are people excited to help, allowing us to use locations for free or donation their time...but there's a vibe here that you're not going to see in a big city environment.
“We made a short horror film on a shoestring budget and so many people are excited to see it... It's a great, humbling feeling.”
'The Road Less Traveled' can be viewed Saturday, March 23 at the Ritz Theater on Wyoming Ave in Scranton at 5 p.m. and at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 24 at Loyola Hall at the University of Scranton PNC Auditorium.
For more information on the NEPA Film Festival, visit https://nepafilmfestival.com.
For more information on 'The Road Less Traveled', visit https://www.theroadlesstraveledfilm.com or find it on Facebook at 'The Road Less Traveled Film.'