On Friday, October 15 at 7 p.m., Gene McCarthy’s Irish Pub on Hamburg Street will be hosting the premier of Beerobics: A Less Than Stout Comedy.
The film is the product of an experimental journey into the world of filmmaking by a tight-knit group of Buffalo writers. According to Paul Rehac, the film’s director, the Buffalo Writers Group has been getting together for over three years to critique and encourage each other’s writing. They have contributed to the Herd About Buffalo Anthology and many literary readings in the city. However, their experience with filmmaking before this endeavor was non-existent.
“Keep in mind they called it Buffalo Writers Group and not Buffalo Filmmakers for a reason,” Rehac said. “It may or may not be common knowledge that the species known in scientific circles as Buffalopagos Writicus Domesticus is not known for its drive to get up off the couch and get things done. I believe the scientific term is slothful.” Eventually, the group’s interest in writing and making a film overpowered their “slothful” instincts and the project started to take shape.
They began with co-writer and director Bill Metzger’s concept that he wrote about in a book titled “The Beer Diet.” The storyline of the film is fairly straightforward. It all starts when a beautiful aerobics instructor mistakenly walks into the bar. The men at the bar, who seldom see an attractive woman come in the place, decide to make her feel at home by combining their respective areas of expertise–beer and aerobics. Hence the name, “Beerobics.”
Though the concept seems simple enough, this film turned out to be quite an endeavor for the group. “Everyone involved in this movie was learning,” said Rehac. “None of us had any real movie-making experience and that includes the actors, the writers and the crew.”
Despite their lack of experience, the film’s actors are the force that brings it all together. “No one had any prior acting experience, but they look so natural and funny on camera,” he said. “You are not going to be wowed by our filming technique–it’s the actors that carry this film and make it hilarious.”
According to Rehac, over thirty people were involved in the making of the movie. Having so many helping hands was critical, as making a movie on a low budget is no simple task. “I am sure there are other cities with similar arts communities, but I cannot imagine being able to take on this kind of endeavor without a ton of people who were willing to freely give their time and talent, and I don’t think this film could have been made anywhere else but right here in Buffalo,” he said.
One of the simpler decisions in the whole process was choosing the venue for the film’s premier. “If you are looking for a place with history and an authentic Buffalo watering hole vibe, I can’t imagine a better place than Gene McCarthy’s,” Rehac said. Not only does McCarthy’s provide fine craft beers, but they also welcomed the group to host the movie premier there, “against all reasonable expectations.”
The group was fortunate enough to have connections with a handful of local bars through Bill Metzger, including Gene McCarthy’s and Cole’s on Elmwood Avenue. While McCarthy’s agreed to host the premier, Cole’s allowed them to use their upstairs facility for the shoot. “Again, people who were willing to trust their property to a group of knuckleheads with cameras and lights,” Rehac said. “Are you sensing a theme here? Only in Buffalo.”
Tickets for the premier will be $10
presale and $15 at the door.
Presale tickets can be purchased at www.brewingnews.com/beerobicsthemovie. The ticket price includes appetizers and one free drink. There will be a cash bar with drink specials and door prizes. All proceeds from the event will support future productions of the Buffalo Film Co-op. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.