By BRIAN BOHNERT
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Local filmmaker Matt Erman has had a busy 2017.
Under his production company, Capture1 Studios, Erman has been hard at work on numerous projects, including the latest installment in “The History of Fostoria” documentary series and an upcoming ghost story shot right here in town.
One of his latest projects, an apocalyptic, science-fiction thriller titled “So Many Things,” has been officially selected to premiere later this month in the 3rd Annual Maumee Film Festival.
“So Many Things” will be one of more than 50 films premiering on the big screen Sept. 23 inside the historic Maumee Indoor Theater. Filmmakers all throughout the region, as well as California and New York, submitted projects to this year’s festival.
Just under seven minutes long, “So Many Things” takes place in the year 2029 and follows a man desperately searching for his family as a maelstrom of meteorites annihilates everything on Earth.
The film stars Kevin Devers, who previously worked alongside Erman two years ago on “Emily’s Story,” a dramatic retelling of a true story surrounding a librarian’s murder in the small town of Bryan.
“I was in just a small portion of the first project we did together, and I didn’t know what to expect working mainly just one-on-one in ‘So Many Things,'” said Devers. “I was pleasantly surprised by how easy he is to work with.”
Devers had free rein with how he played his character, giving him the opportunity to use his community theater background to tap into a wide range of emotions.
“I’ve always been a bigger fan of heavier dramas. I enjoy making the audience cry more than laugh,” he said. “I feel that deeper emotion is harder to tap into and if you can get that from the audience, it’s much more satisfying.”
The character’s grapple with regret in the face of his mortality was born from Erman’s own brush with disaster last summer during a vacation in West Virginia.
After a dirt road led him into a river’s flowing waters, he attempted to turn around and get back on the road. In the process, his vehicle got stuck in a ravine — forcing him to cautiously drive down a slope of large rocks.
“The road was completely gone,” Erman said. “Life was passing before my eyes. The first thing I thought was, ‘Why didn’t I go full-time with Capture1 years ago?’ There were just so many things flashing through my mind.”
The trip ended up becoming one of the best vacations he’s ever had. The life-changing experience even inspired him to write “So Many Things.”
“Don’t go through life with regrets. If you want to do something, do it,” he said. “If there’s a dream you have, go for it. Don’t even wait. If you fail, try plan B, C, D, E, or F. There are 26 letters in the alphabet.”
Shot in roughly eight hours with a crew of four people, “So Many Things” aims to showcase how independent filmmakers can create big-budget special effects on a dime. Erman spent about two months in post-production, crafting vast cityscapes and catastrophic explosions.
Toledo native Katie Holmes and her sister Tammy Fretti will be on the judge’s panel this year, as well as actor Robert Knepper and independent filmmaker Brent Howard.
The festival kicks off at 2 p.m. Sept. 23 with matinée screenings of short films and student projects, followed by nine films created as part of a four-day film challenge known as PROJECT-4 from 5-6 p.m.
The primetime lineup will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will showcase short films in a variety of formats, including narrative, documentary, animation and music.
“So Many Things” is included among the projects screening between 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Once “So Many Things” completes its festival run, Erman said he plans to release it through an online distributor for a small rental fee.
“The whole time I was curious about what was going to be taken from the filming, how it would turn out and how my emotions were going to play out on camera,” said Devers. “After seeing it, I couldn’t be happier with how (Erman) put this together.”
General admission tickets to the festival are $6 and can be purchased in advance online on Eventbrite. A limited number of tickets are available for cash-only purchase at the Maumee Indoor Theater box office.
For more information on the 3rd Annual Maumee Film Festival, visit www.maumeefilmfestival.com.
To learn more about all of the upcoming projects from Capture1 Studios, head to www.capture1online.com or https://www.facebook.com/Capture1online/.