On the floor, Celebration Onerous is an easy story a few younger man named coming again to his hometown for an evening of consuming with previous buddies. However should you dig a little bit deeper, the movie, which was made nearly totally in Columbia, there’s much more to it.
The primary character, the directionless Chandler (Hunter Bolton), comes again to Columbia from Charleston to proper a fallacious from his previous, a mistake he made with a lady he as soon as beloved.
“He’s simply not likely going anyplace, and feeling very nostalgic about his previous,” says William Nicholas Clay, who directed, co-wrote, co-produced and edited the movie. “And he feels dangerous about how he left issues along with his ex, so he decides to make a journey again house to repair all of his errors. And as a substitute he finds himself on this late-night odyssey of binge-drinking and bar-hopping along with his childhood buddies Ty and Jules, performed by Ty Rowe and Brian Forbes.”
Celebration Onerous can also be a form of love letter to Columbia’s nightlife. There are scenes at native spots New Brookland Tavern, CJ’s in 5 Factors, Bar None, and East Room, and it options performances by a plethora of hometown musical artists, together with H3RO, Cole Connor, Miles Kendrick, Preach Jacobs, and DJ Matty Matt, in addition to comic Jenn Snyder.
“The entire metropolis was very accepting of it whereas we have been filming,” Clay affords. “Even the folks on the road have been simply looking for a approach to become involved, even when it was simply being within the background. In order that was quite a lot of enjoyable, too.”
Clay says that he was cautious to plan out the route that Chandler and his buddies took on their evening out, wanting it to replicate town’s distinctive bar and membership scene.
“Columbia has such a distinct nightlife than in different places that I’ve been to, particularly with the scale of town,” he posits. “I like how every part is so intently related. The trail that the characters take within the film after they’re touring round or driving is the precise route that you’d take to in actual life.”
However making Celebration Onerous wasn’t all enjoyable and video games. It was roughly 4 years of onerous work for Clay and his small manufacturing workforce at Reel Vantage Movies, his impartial firm, and a giant step up after just a few years of engaged on smaller tasks like promotional video clips.
“My roommate, Stephen Canada, who’s the co-writer on Celebration Onerous, we sat down and we talked about lastly writing a function as a substitute of simply engaged on all these smaller tasks collectively,” Clay says. “And we simply developed the smallest, cheapest-budgeted movie we may consider. Technically, it began to be written 2016, however a lot of the actual writing wasn’t till 2017, after which manufacturing was in 2018.”
Really, some of the manufacturing was in 2018. Like most indie movies, Celebration Onerous was shot on a shoestring price range and Reel Vantage needed to work round that, along with accommodating its lead actor, who’s from Columbia however lives in Los Angeles. The necessity to work round his schedule flying forwards and backwards was artwork of why the manufacturing took till 2019 to wrap up.
As soon as Celebration Onerous was completed, Clay and his crew have been anxious to schedule a premiere occasion, however the COVID-19 pandemic threw them a curveball.
“Our unique premiere was going to be in Could, and we have been going to do it on the Nickelodeon [Theatre in Columbia],” he says. ” Clearly, that didn’t work out, and so we needed to wrap our heads round the entire pandemic for months.
“There’s nothing open and there’s nothing that we may do to sort of convey folks collectively to observe this, and I nonetheless firmly consider within the theatrical expertise and never simply throwing the film on the streaming web site.”
And so Celebration Onerous will lastly premiere subsequent week, at a spot the place Clay can have a giant display screen and correct social distancing: the Monetta Drive-In Theatre (aka The Huge Mo). The occasion will even embrace one other Columbia indie movie, 2025: Prelude to Infusco, together with performances from the rock band Boo Hag and the rapper H3RO.
“Apparently the homeowners of the Huge Mo are massive followers of premieres,” Clay says. “They have been actually gracious in permitting us to placed on not simply two movies however having reside music, as nicely. After which I simply reached out to a few artists that have been on the soundtrack and noticed in the event that they have been considering performing. I believed that we would as nicely go all out, as a result of all people’s been caught inside all summer season. Everybody must have some form of good time collectively.”
Past this want for some form of communal celebration throughout a tough yr, Clay hopes Celebration Onerous will assist push the realm ahead in relation to folks making extra movies right here.
“I feel that’s extra as much as the upper officers to see that right here in Columbia, too,” he states. “Everybody’s hungry for it and there are crews right here, and if we will maintain shining a light-weight, then I positively assume it’s attainable.”
Celebration Onerous premiere
Sept. 22. 7 p.m. $10 ($8 advance). Monetta Drive In Theatre. 5822 Columbia Hwy N. partyhardmovie.com.