A Nebraska native has returned home to film a Nebraska story, largely thanks to a new state filmmaking grant program.
Adam Rehmeier, now a Michigan-based writer and director, shot his coming-of-age comedy, “Snack Shack,” in his hometown of Nebraska City as part of a six-week shooting schedule.
The film is based on Rehmeier’s early experience running the concession stand as a 14-year-old at the Steinhart Park Pool in the Missouri River community.
‘A real win’ Up to 65 cast and crew members worked on the film each day. The team shot scenes at Nebraska City’s swimming pool, its movie theater, the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, and Horseman’s Park in Omaha.
“It’s a real win for Nebraska City. It’s good for the local economy, it’s good for the local people,” said Rehmeier’s father, retired District Judge Randall Rehmeier. “I’m glad Adam decided to do it here,” Judge added.
The decision to shoot the $4.5 million film in Nebraska was aided by a new state filmmaking incentive.
Last year, state lawmakers earmarked $1 million in state grants for films and television productions that feature Nebraska-based stories and locations, employ the services of crew members from filming in Nebraska and have budgets of at least $1 million.
Three movies got grants Snack Shack received a $200,000 grant. A project by Omaha-based producer/director Dana Altman, “Going For Two,” got $400,000. And the planned film “I Am a Man” – about the trial of Chief Ponca Standing Bear who legally recognized Native Americans as a “people” – received $400,000.
State Senator Anna Wishart of Lincoln, who proposed the movie incentive legislation, said she was pleased to see the funding ‘put to good use’ – supporting Nebraska’s film industry and telling stories from Nebraska “to the world”.
“That’s exactly what I had in mind,” she said. The production of “I Am a Man” secured an additional $5 million in federal funds through an economic stimulus bill sponsored by Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne. Filming for this film is expected to begin this fall.
Los Angeles-based “Snack Shack” producer Jordan Foley said the film likely would have been shot elsewhere without the state subsidy, with $50,000 in funding from the city of Nebraska City.
Rehmeier told City Council last month that movie incentives might be better in states like Georgia and Ohio, but Nebraska City is where the movie “has to be to make it special,” according to News Channel. Nebraska.
“These three films are sure to be engaging and entertaining,” said Laurie Richards, director of the Nebraska Film Office.
Locals Cast in Multiple Roles Several Nebraska City residents were cast as extras or for supporting roles. For example, city administrator Lou Leone was cast as city park manager, and two female students from Peru State College were given “party girl” roles.
Leone said her teenage daughter also received career advice from cast members about working as an art director for a movie.
“The city itself has been pretty optimistic about it,” he said.
Additionally, the shoot will lead to increased sales and lodging tax revenue, Leone said, and serves as good publicity for Nebraska City, a river town known for its museums, apple orchards and annual AppleJack Festival. .
Some adjustments were made to Nebraska City to go back in time to 1991, when the Snack Shack was run by the filmmaker and his friend. Clothing and vehicles had to match that time period, and some city signs were changed to make it look like it was 30 years ago. A new snack bar has been built. And few cell phones existed in 1991.
Father had to approve The elder Rehmeier said he had to “approve” the proposal made to the city by his then 14-year-old son and a pal to run the concession stand at the pool in Steinhart Park.
“To be honest with you, to some extent we thought it was a joke. But they wanted to make money,” Rehmeier said.
“Adam was always kind of a right brain, thinking outside the box. He’s creative and artistic,” his father said. “He was like, ‘Why can’t we do this?’ “He said he, his wife and other relatives helped run the concession stand, and the two boys made more money than they could in other jobs, especially during the first of two years.
Prolific writer The retired Judge, who also served on the Nebraska Parole Board and now does mediation work, said he didn’t read the film’s script, thinking his son wanted to keep this as a surprise.
The film’s producers also don’t talk about who plays the main characters. This, Foley said, will be released later as part of an advertising campaign.
Adam Rehmeier, who was a prolific writer in his youth, did well in the film business. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for two years before transferring to Columbia College Chicago, majoring in fine art and cinematography.
He worked on low-budget independent films for several years and was a documentary filmmaker for the jam group Phish. He composed the music for a 2011 film, “The Bunny Game”, and served as director of photography for “Jonas” in 2013.
He was the writer, editor and director of the 2020 film “Dinner in America”, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won several awards in other international film competitions.
“He’s the real deal,” Foley said. Long hours Rehmeier works 12 to 14 hours a day to shoot the film, and his crew was shooting Friday at a nearby house, according to his father.
Foley, a Minnesota native, said the film crew received a lot of “Nebraska nice” while filming here.
He said that if all goes well, the film should be ready by next summer, when it will be screened at film festivals in hopes of being picked up, like “Dinner in America” was. “, for wider distribution.
“We have to wait and see what happens,” Foley said.
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