Caitlin Clouthier (left) as a teacher and Dan Butler, as her school principal, ponder their conflicts of interest in Parmalee, the web series premiering Nov.10.

Parmalee Hits the Web on Thursday


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Parmalee

A quartet of Upper Valley filmmakers is about to release a saga of a teenage Internet scandal, small-town perfidy in Vermont, and general digital mayhem everywhere, when their web series, Parmalee, goes live online November 10th.

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Shot in 2015-16 in the Upper Valley, the web series will premiere as a pilot episode for Parmalee’s Season One. Links to the show (after Nov. 10th) and other information are at Parmalee’s website, parmaleethewebseries.com.

The series is the collaboration of Faith Catlin and John Griesemer, actors and writers from Lyme; Richard Waterhouse, an actor and acting teacher from Newbury; and Matt Bucy, cinematographer and film editor from White River Junction, VT.

Curious? Here's the trailer:

The show features the intertwining stories of a fictional 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,” Griesemer said recently. He is head writer and co-director of the project.

Among the leading actors in Parmalee is Suzy Jane Hunt, who appears regularly on the FX series The Americans.         

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.

“We’ve known and worked together on and off in various combinations for years now,” Griesemer said. “Finally, we said, ‘Between us, we’ve got a lot of experience. Let’s do something together.’”

Faith Catlin (left), as Aggie Pennington, and Brian Johnston as Guy Hemenway get ready to do a take on the set of Parmalee. Catlin is also the series producer.

Catlin, Griesemer’s wife, is producer and an actor in the dark comic series. Waterhouse acts and co-directs; and Bucy shot and edited the show.

“This is a very fluid collaboration,” Griesemer said. “Those titles are pretty blurry. Faith and Richard added to the writing, Matt too. On any given scene, the directing might come from me or from Richard, but the other guy was always quietly there nearby offering advice. Faith took on the bulk of producing chores, but everybody was working the phones, asking, begging, scheming ways to get the thing done.”

Matt Bucy, cinematographer, lines up a shot.

Griesemer and Catlin have film and theater experience from their years as professional actors on and off Broadway, on TV and in both independent and studio films. Waterhouse moved to Newbury from Los Angeles, where he acted professionally, directed an independent feature, and taught acting.

Bucy, the former 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.

Shot on a budget of “mid-five figures,” according to Griesemer, the series used locations in Lyme, NH and Newbury, VT.

“If you look around the Internet at web series, the majority of  the good ones tend be set in LA or New York and are about urban concerns,” Griesemer said. “Nothing wrong with that, but we wanted to go in a different direction. We had no choice, really. Plus, we thought we could show a side of the north country that doesn’t quite fit what people elsewhere think they know.”

Patrick McCarthy as the town mechanic and hothead.

The team has been looking beyond the first season of Parmalee. Griesemer says future episodes are already on paper.

 It will take some fundraising or moneyed interest to pitch in once the series appears for the Parmalee saga to continue.

 “The cast has said, ‘Let’s do more,’ the towns where we shot were totally helpful, plus there’s a growing cohort of filmmaking talent in this area of Vermont and New Hampshire,” Griesemer said. “If the money comes, we’re ready to go.”

#pdv #pdn

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