Twenty days of filming, more than $30,000, 70 local volunteer cast and crewmembers, one donated lake house — the essential ingredients Adam Bowers used to film his latest movie, “Paperback,” in Gainesville.
The movie is the second that Bowers, a 2007 University of Florida graduate, has filmed in Gainesville. He filmed his first movie, “New Low,” in Gainesville in 2010.
“New Low,” which Bowers wrote, directed and starred in, was eventually selected for screening at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
“For one, I love Gainesville, and I felt like there were parts of the city I wasn’t able to show in ‘New Low’ that I wanted to,” Bowers said recently, as he sat on the deck of a lake house owned by Satchel Raye of Satchel’s Pizza fame.
Raye allowed Bowers and his crew to stay in the rental home at a discounted rate since it was unoccupied for the month. He also allowed the crew to film in his restaurant and gift shop for three days.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking. It’s kind of like giving up my house for a few days and hoping for the best. It’s my livelihood,” Raye said. “I didn’t charge them, it seemed like it was being made on a shoestring budget and I wanted to help out.”
Paperback was indeed made on a shoestring budget — provided completely by Bowers’ fans.
Through a Kickstarter campaign that received donations from more than 500 backers, Bowers raised $39,246 to fund his second independent film.
“A lot of it was people just from my life back here in Florida,” Bowers said.
With that money, Bowers hired three professional actors from Los Angeles and about 10 to 15 cast and crewmembers, including local producer and filmmaker, Iman Zawahry.
“I’ve never seen a film come through Gainesville,” Zawahry said. “We had a huge amount of locals helping; it would be more of a question of who was not from Gainesville.”
When choosing locations for his second Gainesville movie, Bowers wanted to diversify from his first, which primarily featured the Hippodrome, Mother’s Pub, the Civic Media Center and Video Rodeo.
“We tried to shoot around town as much as possible,” Bower said. “It was fun to be able to able to use people in this city and make this with them instead of around them.”
“Paperback” was filmed at Satchel’s Pizza, The Top, The Atlantic, the Backyard at Boca Fiesta, Ichetucknee Springs and one scene at Turlington Plaza on UF’s campus.
Bowers described the script he wrote as Seinfeld-style romantic comedy semi-sequel to “New Low.” “Paperback” is about a pizza cook named Rob, who Bowers plays, who never left his college town, his best friend moving back to town and complications with the girl of his dreams.
As far as he’s concerned, there was no other place he could have set “Paperback.”
“I felt like it was an interesting choice to come back here to tell this story about a guy who has never left when in a way I haven’t made another movie so in a way I’ve never left,” Bowers said as he fidgeted with two old beer bottles filled with cigarette buds, which he claimed were left by the crew he was sharing Satchel’s place with.
Before returning to L.A., Bowers visited his hometown of Dunedin. With months of editing work he has to complete to finish “Paperback,” Bowers said he was unsure of when he will return to Gainesville next, though he didn’t rule the city out of his future.
“We’ll premiere it a festival hopefully in early 2014,” Bowers said. “Yeah, we’ll definitely have a screening in Gainesville.”