By Greg McCorkle
Behind the camera on the set of “Locally Grown TV”

Lights. Cameras. Action. 'Locally Grown' starts filming local web-series

By Shane Harms

If you went to the Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday, Oct. 7, you may have seen more than just the regular produce stands and buskers. Cameras and actors were there, too.

That’s because the cast and crew of the Seattle-based web series, “Locally Grown,” were there shooting scenes for their ten-minute, two-part pilot episode, which they hope to submit to a film festival and to show for viewers online.

Simon Hamlin creator and co-writer of the series said he gathers inspiration from years of attending local farmers markets in Balllard and Fremont. A UCLA graduate, Hamlin didn’t get into film and writing until after college. He now lives in Wallingford, but still frequents local markets.

“I grew up going to Seattle markets and through the course of that I’ve accumulated many stories and inspiration for characters. But like any comedy we amplify them a little bit,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin, along with co-writer Lisa Roeser and filmmaker Lorrian Montez, own the filmmaking company Abundant Productions. The production team managed to raise over ten thousand dollars to devote to the series last August.

“We chose the Ballard market because it’s well contained and of course the different building facades that are visually stunning. Not to mention there’s amazing produce and vendors … plus, the mix of patrons makes for an eclectic group of people that makes for a good representation of Seattle,” Hamlin said.

Viewers of the show can expect a smattering of comedic blending close to the styles and tone of Arrested development, Modern Family, and Portlandia.

“We want the show to be grounded in reality yet have the quirky, crazy qualities that those great shows offer. At the same time we want the show to be a representation of Seattle the way that Portlandia is to Portland,” said Hamlin.

Beside the Farmer’s Market culture, examples of Seattle representation can be found in the characters portrayed. Wayne, played by Russell Hodgkinson, is a disheveled looking, sage-like “hippie” who is running for mayor and orates his opinions to the people at the market

Hamlin explained that Wayne is the sage-in-rags archetype and that he derived the character from people he had met at Seattle markets in the past, borrowing a little here and a little there.

Other characters like Burke, the germaphobe busker (played by Demetruis Sager), and Ruth, the Market Master (played by Lorraine Montez) are examples of how Hamlin and co-writer Lisa Roeser have used the people they met at Seattle markets in the past for characters in “Locally Grown.”

“They start out as seeds and develop into characters in the script … of course they are exaggerated, but I think they represent bits and pieces of Seattle,” Hamlin said.

Contingent on funding, more shooting can be expected in the future as the “Locally Grown” production team completes the pilot series. A specific time table has not been set.

For more information about “Locally Grown,” check out their website at http://locallygrowntv.com/

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