LYME, NH – Kids stumbling into a horrific video and posting it on the Internet, a community theater production jumping the rails, a young man returning to the hometown he’d sworn he’d left forever, sex in the workplace, work in the sex place.
These are a few of the elements that swirl through season one of Parmalee, a web series that a quartet of local filmmakers is now shooting in Lyme and nearby towns.
“We’ve known and worked together on and off in various combinations for years now,” John Griesemer of Lyme said recently. “Last fall, we said, ‘Between us, we’ve got a lot of experience. Let’s do something.’”
Parmalee will be a four-episode series in its first season which should be streaming by the end of the year. The production will wrap shooting Season One shortly after Labor Day.
Griesemer is head writer and co-director of the project. Faith Catlin, his wife, is producer and an actor in the comic drama. Richard Waterhouse of Newbury, VT is co-directing and acting; and Matt Bucy of White River Jct. is cinematographer.
“This is a very fluid collaboration,” Griesemer said. “Those titles are pretty blurry. Faith and Richard co-wrote, Matt too. On any given scene, the directing might come from Richard or from me, but the other guy is always quietly there nearby offering advice. Faith has taken on the bulk of producing chores, but everybody’s been working the phones, asking, begging, scheming ways to get this thing done.”
Griesemer and Catlin have film and theater experience from their years as professional actors in New York. Waterhouse moved to Newbury from Los Angeles, where he acted professionally, directed an independent feature, and taught acting.
Matt Bucy, the Hartford selectman and developer of the Tip Top Building and the Legion Hall in White River, is an accomplished cinematographer with several independent features and shorts to his credit. He is also a founder of the White River Indie Films festival.
Parmalee is the intertwining stories of a small Vermont town — Parmalee — somewhere in or near the Upper Valley. The action begins when several boys in town post some dark and troubling video footage on the Internet and the video goes viral.
“No one in town is quite ready for what happens after that video hits the Web,” Griesemer says.
The series is using local performers as well as actors cast in New York. And the Parmalee producers are getting help from friends in the business. Gordon Clapp of Norwich, a regular on the series NYPD Blue; and Dan Butler of Newbury, a regular on the series Frasier, are in the cast. The show will also feature Marisa Smith of Hanover, a playwright and former actress.
Although the Parmalee isn’t even through shooting its inaugural season, the creators are already thinking about future seasons. “We’ll be working on a scene,” Griesemer says, “and inevitably somebody will say something like, ‘Hey, for Season Two, we could have them get married… or they could die in a car crash… or… or… or…’ It’s a small town. Anything can happen.”
Press Release provided by Parmalee.
Cover Photo caption:Matt Bucy, left, Parmalee’s cinematographer, readies the camera as local actors, Jack Lynch, Noah Taylor, and Pierre Mayo ponder the scene at the Lyme Country Store.