GE Theatre to screen duo’s feature
Petrequin and Ferrara’s ‘Frankenstein GPS’ includes slapstick, sci-fi elements
Jess Petrequin isn’t that concerned about his first feature movie being less than perfect.
“We made a few mistakes, but we left them in on purpose to give the film some character,” said Petrequin, who owns and operates Goose Hill Barber Shop on Van Vranken Ave. “It’s a slapstick comedy. It’s meant to be so horrible that it’s good.”
Petrequin and close friend Rocko Ferrara worked on and off for two years to make “Frankenstein GPS,” a 43-minute film that will have an advanced screening in Proctors’ GE Theatre Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
“There are two different stories going on that connect at the end,” said Petrequin. “We have a couple of astronauts that get sent out to retrieve a piece of satellite that’s been sucked into another Earth-like planet. There’s an earthquake, there’s a terrorist cell, and it’s set in modern times, but then we cut to many years later.”
Ferrara, who works at Ellis Hospital, wrote the script while Petrequin directed and produced the film, and served as the primary cameraman.
“We both have jobs, so while it took two years we did it on a sporadic basis,” said Petrequin. “We had a total of 13 actors, our friends, and we had a guy that did the sketches. My brother is a bluegrass musician so we used some of his music, and I did most of the special effects on my computer.”
Schenectady is prominent
There are plenty of Schenectady landmarks to be seen in the film.
“You’ll see plenty of businesses along Van Vranken Avenue in Goose Hill, and we also used Steinmetz Park, Vale Cemetery and sections of Erie Boulevard, including a very important landmark, the General Electric,” said Petrequin. “Jay Street is in the film and you can also see glimpses of City Hall. For most of the interior shots, we used my house on Gerling Street.”
The movie was shot with black-and white-film.
“We wanted to make it look like an old movie, so we put in digital effects that make it look like an old scratchy film,” said Petrequin. “It’s along the lines of an ‘Ed Wood’ movie. I think people will get it.”
“Ed Wood” was a 1994 movie directed by Tim Burton that told the story of a legendary director of notoriously bad movies and his strange group of friends and actors. It was filmed in black and white and starred Johnny Depp, Martin Landau and Sarah Jessica Parker.
After the movie, Petrequin will show a 13-minute reel of outtakes.
“We’re taking the audience behind the scenes with our gag reel, and that might be even more amusing than the movie,” said Petrequin. “Then we hope to answer a few questions from the audience.”
“Frankenstein GPS” isn’t Petrequin’s first movie, but it is his most significant.
“I’ve made a few short films that were in some minor film contests, but nothing longer than 15 minutes,” he said. “This is our first feature, and we hope to start on another one. We’re talking about it now, and it could be a prequel or a sequel. We’re not sure yet.”