Twelve months ago, Martin Whittier was still hammering out the script for his most ambitious project yet—a high school wrestling film called "The Hardest Six."
The young filmmaker and owner of Brumar Films is inching closer to the film's premiere, expected in January 2013. The editing is complete and a composer is finishing the film's music, Whittier said.
"I'm really happy with it. It's been a long time, almost exactly a one-year round trip," Whittier said.
The 32-minute film is about a teenage boy who moves in with his grandparents after his soldier father is deployed to the Middle East. While adjusting to his new life, he faces challenges on his school's wrestling team.
But while characters refer to the school as Patrick Henry High School, locals will recognize shots of the school's interior as Perry Hall High School. Nearly all of the school's existing "PH" signage and decorations were left up during filming.
For two days at the end of June, in the aftermath of the violent summer derecho, production crews, as well as hundreds of volunteer extras, converged on the school.
"The school was great. They went above and beyond what they needed to do," he said. "With the storm and everything, there were downed power lines and outages, and extras still stayed longer than expected."
The storm was one of many challenges faced during production, in addition to actor injuries and higher-than-expected costs. The total cost of production came to around $15,000, a low budget compared to most feature-length films, but higher than most independent projects, Whittier said.
"I learned that you always need more time and more money and everything that can go wrong will go wrong," he said with a laugh.
See the media gallery for the film's trailer.