Cameras Roll on Englewood Beach

February 2015
By STEVE REILLY: STAFF WRITER

ENGLEWOOD — Allen Driscoll didn’t have to be sold on Englewood and Boca Grande as a location for his feature film “Asarum.” “It’s the pristine ambiance aboutAsarum Filming 2015it,” Driscoll said of Englewood. Driving in Englewood area and Boca Grande, he said, “I felt like I was in another country— the contrast in the waters, the whole layout. “There’s a lot of potential.” Driscoll is familiar with the Englewood area. His mother lives in Rotonda. Filming for his movie began Thursday at the Lock ’N Key restaurant on Manasota Key just across the street from Englewood Beach. “This is awesome,” said Sandy Rodriquez, an 18-year Placida resident who was among a number of locals who braved chilly winds to see the filming Thursday. When “Asarum” hits the screen next year, viewers may not recognize some of the scenes filmed locally. Driscoll said he intends to do “extension sets” where special effects production allows filmmakers to remove mid-ground and backgrounds, replacing the scene with imaginative scenery.

“Asarum” is a sci-fi film that draws upon the Mesopotamian myth Gilgamesh and his failed quest for a plant that would have provided him immortality.

The plot of “Asarum” imagines a seismic event in the Gulf of Mexico that opens up an entrance way that has been dormant for thousands of years. A young couple, being curious, discovers the plant Gilgamesh had lost. The couple doesn’t realize that a serpent, which Gilgamesh fought, still guards the plant.

“We have a lot of talent behind it,” Driscoll said.

Richard Tyson is among the actors appearing in “Asarum.” According to www.imdb.com , Tyson’s career dates back to appearing in a “Moonlighting” episode in 1986.

Chalet Lizette Brannan may be the 9-year-old daughter of the executive producer, Russell Brannan, but she has a long list of television and film credits, including appearing in the Fox television series “The Sparrows.” She also has upcoming roles with Danny Trejo in Cyborg X and new series entitled “Leviathans” and many more well known films. Visit her IMDB page at www.IMDB.ME/ChaletBrannan or her facebook page at www.facebook.com/chaletlizettebrannan.

Chalet, who attends Davenport School Of The Arts, a Florida Music and Drama school, said the fun part is making people happy and entertaining them. The hard part is memorizing her lines.

Nadia Danowska, 23, has a smaller role in the film, playing Alexia Jade, a mysterious 200-year-old woman. It will be her first feature film appearance.

Danowska is finishing up a bachelor’s degree at Florida Atlantic University where she’s performed in the theater and other small productions.

Some Englewood residents became directly involved more in the filming than they originally expected.

Jack Gray and Chris Phelps formed Multiplicity Media Group to promote radio, television and now film promotions. Phelps found herself “promoted” as an assistant director to Driscoll Thursday.

Carol Babb, her daughter, Zoey and her All About You Salon and Day Spa employees were recruited as makeup artists for the actors. Zoe was also recruited Thursday to mark the starts and ends of scene filming.