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Clutch Performance

Rimi, cast and crew overcome minor challenges during early days of shooting iPossessed - the movie he wrote, stars in, co-produces and co-directs.

by Chuck king

LAKE PLACID – Carl Rimi has yet to kill anyone – but the time will come.

Well, Rimi won’t do the killing, but his character, Tad Volo, appears to have some issues to settle.

It’s also only two two days into production of iPossessed, so there’s plenty of time for the story to unfold.

“Actually, I think it’s going f*cking great,” Rimi said. “We are a small crew but a very tight unit – very compact. Everybody knows what they are doing. Very knowledgeable people. I have a lot to bangers for one small project.”

Rimi wrote, stars in, is co-producing and co-directing iPossessed. It’s his baby, but he’s not in the project alone.

“I feel like I’m quarterbacking this,” said Rimi, who couldn’t get more than three bites out of his 9:30 p.m. dinner on Wednesday without his phone beckoning.

One of South Florida’s most acclaimed stand-up comics, Rimi hired several comic-actors to be part of the project, but iPossessed is far from a comedy.

Need proof? The set, an isolated farmhouse in Lake Placid, has four axes strew about. In Rimi’s first appearance he’s wielding one of them.

“Is it difficult? said Rimi, answering a question about the transition from comic to serious actor. “No. I’m not comical everywhere I go at all times. I wrote the thing, so there’s obviously a dark side of me.”

The production schedule for the first two days of shooting called for daylight. Beginning Thursday the schedule transitions to mostly nighttime shooting.

Every day poses new obstacles. Wednesday’s biggest challenge wasn’t completely unexpected.

In one of the opening scenes the character Zoe Volo arrives at the farmhouse driving a vintage 1980s-era Jeep.

That became an issue when actress Meghan Carrasquillo – who, at 25-years old, is younger than the vehicle – didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission.

Chris Ross, one of those comic-actors who plays “Buckley,” spent Wednesday morning teaching Carrasquillo how to drive a stick, and by 4 p.m. co-director Jerry Sommer – another comic-actor – had the shot.

“It wasn’t that hard,” Carrasquillo said. “I was really nervous at first because That’s an antique car. I’m used to two pedals, not three.”

As it has done with seemingly everything over the past year, COVID-19 threw Rimi and iPossessed a few curve balls.

Ross and Sommer were cast to play a different characters but a bout of pneumonia brought on by the corona virus afflicted another comic-actor, Troy Thirdgill, shortly before production began, forcing Rimi to make the difficult decision to shuffle the cast.

Another actor – using that term loosely – will have to appear virtually. During a pre-production trip to the set Rimi saw cows on the property, so he wrote them into the script. However, the pandemic prompted the property owner to sell the cows. Rimi attempted to rent cows, but the $4,000 per-day, per-bovine price tag proved prohibitive, so Rimi resigned to adding computer generated cows in post production.

But as setbacks go, that one’s fairly minor.

It’s still early in the process, but iPossessed remains on schedule to wrap shooting on May 26. South Florida comics Warren Scott (actor, executive producer) and Jackie Sanchez (actor) are expected on the set beginning next week.

There is not yet a timeline for its release.

“I’ve watched Carl work in the dark with no reward – endless hours, up at 4 a.m., every spare minute working on this movie, writing story boards, producing, all the behind-the-scenes stuff,” said Tami Lee Boothby, Rimi’s co-producer, castmate and girlfriend. “This is the fun part now.”

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