Now Entering Anytown, USA: Filming The Tide Days 1 & 2


(Darek Kowal) #1

Hi! I’m Darek Kowal, creator of the comedy/horror web series ANYTOWN, USA! My show tells the story of an every-day, All-American, modern family … of cannibals, living in suburbia and dealing with rude neighbors the best way they can … by eating them. Our first 10 episode season is available at our Official Site and Episodes 1, 2, & 3 are streaming on Amazon Prime!

To start off, Happy New Year to All! I sincerely hope all of your creative goals come to life in 2018! I’ve gotten off to a fast start with mine, as I’ve recently moved into a new home AND begun production on my new show, The Tide.

This past week (12/27 & 12/28) we had back to back shoot days to kick off our six part series. The original plan was to film both days OUTDOORS and wrap up a surreal nightmare sequence for our 3rd episode.

Then weather happened. As I write this, the Weather Channel is telling me it feels like -22 in Chicago, and last week wasn’t much better. I wasn’t about to lose any actors to head colds, frost bite, or … you know … death … so I chose to move everything in doors and film 3 other scenes. There was just one problem …

Those scenes weren’t written yet.

Needless to say, I had a few long days/nights last week, constantly switching hats between Producer/Writer/Director and actor.

On Monday the 26th, I made an endless string of phone calls between actors and crew to coordinate travel, call times, costumes, equipment, and you know, let everyone know what we were filming. Since the new scenes weren’t finished, I stayed up until 2 am on the 27th hammering out the pages (and discovering new elements of my story), before getting up and out the door in time for our 11am start.

On the 27th, we filmed with our wonderful actress Olivia Wilder, who plays Charlotte, the missing girl at the center of our mystery.


Olivia Wilder as Charlotte. Darek Kowal as Asher.


Strips of light and dark paint a story of conflicted emotions.


ECU at the emotional peak of the scene.


A bruise wheel was used to create the black eye.

The scene transcends time and space, and the lighting needed to follow suit, blasting moonlight in through the blinds, covering each actor in strips of light and darkness to match the theme of the story. We filmed for 5-6 hours, and everyone was home by 2 am.

On the 28th, we filmed even more. Madelyn Murphy, who plays Dana, Charlotte’s sister/ the second lead character of the show, arrived at 9:30 am. Quick turnaround, but we were filming day and night scenes, so there was no time to waste.


Early morning filming.


ECU to create tension.


Madelyn Murphy as Dana.

We filmed for 12 hours, wrapping around 10:30pm and surviving a heavy snow fall that actually added some production value to our final shots.


Snow blowing across the background. Adding ambience …


… and a mix of romance and terror.

We’ve got a ton left to film, but it’s a start. Most importantly, we didn’t have to cancel any days. With low budget filming, it’s important to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling. I’ll be posting more updates throughout production.

Until then, I look forward to seeing what everyone else is up to in the new year!


(Bri Castellini) #2

Congrats!! I’m filming a horror short at the end of the month so I’m also getting a kickstart on my year with a tenser project than normal. Can’t wait to hear how the rest of yours goes!