Indie Film Brings the Community Together

Circa87 shoots a scene at resident homeCape Girardeau continues to have little brushes with Hollywood. Another director has taken to the river town to shoot indie film Love Chronicles (of the Cape), and invited the entire community to help. With over 100 speaking parts, many area residents got their turn in the spotlight.

Not many would advise shooting an entire feature film in one weekend, or doing so in a small town in Missouri for that matter, but director Dan Steadman likes to do things a little differently, it’s one of the reasons he left the big city of Los Angeles to make movies in the Midwest. “In L.A. everyone does the same thing, all the people look like models, or if they’re over forty they’re trying too hard to still look like models.”

Steadman’s latest indie film is called Love Chronicles (of the Cape), a faux documentary about love, sports, and of course The crew films in the cold rain Sunday morning.small town charm. An independent film maker, Steadman has his own personal company, Circa87. As such there’s not much money involved, Steadman says he does it because he’s, “passionate about telling stories.” He wants to expose different walks of life, and work with special people. Love Chronicles has over 100 speaking roles, all local actors. “There’s a surprising amount of actors in Cape, and not just from the university; I’d say about half of them are just people living in town.”

Steadman says that is the appeal of small town America, and what drew him to this area to make films like Belleville, and Expect Delays, both shot in neighboring states. “People in the Midwest get excited, it brings the community together.” Steadman said that what he loves the most about the people he works with is that they are, “all-American faces, real faces.”

“I love the team spirit that you get from a small community, people are happy to help, and they’ll volunteer their restaurant or home for filming.” Steadman relies on these volunteers to make his films possible. From locations, to extras, to meals, a small budget means he needs that community spirit to make the project work.

Chris Murphy, the male lead, calls it “adventurous filmmaking” and says that he loves the challenge of doing such spontaneous work. And it is indeed spontaneous, even as we were on site to take photos, iluvlocalplaces was given the opportunity to jump in on the final scene.

So soon after the presence of Gone Girl, Steadman says it’s more coincidence than anything that he ended up in Cape. “It works out though, because everyone is charged up from the Gone Girl experience.” Many locals were extras for the movie, but they didn’t make it into the final cut. “I get a lot of people telling me about how they were in Gone Girl, but didn’t see themselves on the film, which happens a lot. I guess I want to pick up the pieces of their shattered hearts and make sure everyone gets some screen time.”

The community is certainly getting into the flow of the movie business. Extras from all over the region showed up for the weekend of filming, most of them having speaking parts. April Griggs of Jackson brought her daughter along to join in the fun, “This is my first time movie, but I want to do more.”

While some have been in the movie business for a while like Alison Neirmann, who appeared in Gone Girl and even has an agent in St. Louis, others just want to have fun. A whole family from Anna, IL came to be in the movie, calling the experience, “very exciting.”

As always Cape Girardeau is happy to be in the spotlight, and Steadman said, “It was a wonderful experience shooting here in Cape.”

 Steadman hopes to have the film complete in early April. To catch sneak peeks and get more information on Love Crew shoots the final scene at the Shawnee park centerChronicles visit their Facebook page. To see what else Steadman and his crew are up to visit their website at



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