Local filmmaker David Metzger reels in classic success

VERGENNES — Going to the movies is definitely different now than it used to be back in the time of Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant and other classic Hollywood stars. Back when the red carpet was rolled out, the finest duds adored and, oh, the afterparties. Nowadays we plop on the couch, flip on Netflix and browse until we give up declaring there’s “nothing good to watch anymore.”
David Metzger agrees.
“Going to the movies can become such a chore now,” said the Vergennes film enthusiast. “You have to drive to the theater, find a baby sitter, get tickets, popcorn… and then sit through a feature film that’s not even that good.”
Metzger — who works by day in retail at Dick’s Sporting Goods and by nights/weekends/whenever-he-can as a budding filmmaker — is taking the crummy movie scene into his own hands. Come see his second film, “Silver Screen Roadshow,” in a gala style evening at the Vergennes Opera House on Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. 
Inspiration for the film struck Metzger on New Year’s Eve Day last year, while he was at Snaps restaurant in Bristol. 
“I was there watching this 20-year-old and 9-year-old sitting in a booth across from one another,” he remembered. “The image of them there in that booth sparked the idea for my film.”
LAUREN PATTERSON (AUDREY) and Elsha Van Apeldoorn (Emma) share a moment during the “Silver Screen Roadshow” at Snaps in Bristol. This scene (in real life) is what sparked writer/director David Metzger’s vision for the film.
Usually Metzger is a filmmaker who will sit on an idea and let it gestate, but not this time. He wrote the screenplay for “Silver Screen Roadshow” in the spring, shot the film in August and edited it in the fall.
The film features Audrey (played by Lauren Patterson, 29, from Underhill), a filmmaker who is on a quest to find a movie house that can still play 35mm classic films. 
“Audrey is determined, passionate, and hopeful,” Patterson explained. “She has a dream, as many of us do, and she is doing everything she can to make even a fraction of it come true.”
Audrey is tasked with taking her younger half-sister Emma (played by Elsha Van Apeldoorn, 10, from Plainfield) to a foster family after her mother dies. 
“After her mom dies she tries to find light by taking pictures on her camera, spending time with her sister and drinking chocolate milk,” Van Apeldoorn said. “I love movies. I also love how the people in this film are caring and are there for each other. When they go through hard times they push through it and try to make it better. It’s helped me a lot.”
The relationship Emma and Audrey develop brings up a warm, sweet tension between old vs. new, film vs. digital, and watching movies on your phone vs. in the theater.
“This is a movie about movies, by someone who loves movies very much,” explained Metzger, a 2005 graduate of Burlington College’s film school. “A love letter to classic films.”
“Nobody cares about movies anymore,” he lamented. “It’s not like it used to be… The Holy Grail of films was the ‘70s. Back then there was something about movies — filmmakers would house important topics in genres and films — now most people are just looking to escape reality for a little while.”
But don’t get Metzger wrong. There’s a place for films that take you out of your everyday too; after all, his favorite film is “Jaws.”
“‘Jaws’ was the first movie that really affected me,” Metzger said. “I was probably 7 or 8 years old when I first saw it… but I’ll still watch it today. ‘Jaws’ holds up even now — it’s just so damn entertaining.”
“Silver Screen Roadshow” is no “Jaws.” Distraction is not the point. 
“This is my art,” said Metzger of filmmaking in general. “I want to tell a story.”
More than that, Metzger wants to tell a story that’s his. 
“I’m proud of this film. I love it,” he said. “People who know me have said, ‘You’ve finally made your film.’ All the other stuff I have made I can see the strings of other influencers… For ‘Silver Screen Roadshow’ I tried to shoot on instinct. It’s the first time I see me.”
AUDREY AND EMMA act a scene from “Silver Screen Roadshow” shot partly in Bristol. A screening of the film will be held on Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m.
And it’s working. “Silver Screen Roadshow” screened at the Tuesday night free movie series at Main Street Landing in Burlington last winter and Mariah Riggs, the director of The Performing Arts Center, was impressed.
“I love the film. It is a refreshing update on the classic buddy road trip film… Not only is the story compelling, the cinematography and pacing have the marks of a Jim Jarmusch film which feels almost voyeuristic and natural. Where the lens tends to focus more on mood and character development over clear plot progression. Not to say that our characters don’t get there, but the odyssey unfolds with an honesty that will be appreciated by an audience ready to embrace and share in the adventure… It is one of the best examples of narrative film making I have seen come out of Vermont.”
Metzger’s screening of “Silver Screen Roadshow” at the Vergennes Opera House is intentionally grandiose. Moviegoers are encouraged to sport their hottest, red-carpet fashions to celebrate a Hollywood style night at the movies. Drinks provided by Bar Antidote and a post screening Q&A by Metzger, Patterson and Van Apeldoorn. Tickets are $10 at the door.
“One of the terrific things about having a community space like the Vergennes Opera House, is our ability to showcase and support local talent in its many forms,” said Gerianne Smart, president of the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House. “On June 22 we are supporting the screening of local resident David Metzger’s newest feature film, ‘Silver Screen Roadshow.’ This is a sweet film that features many scenes shot in and around our region which is part of what makes this independent film so unique and enjoyable.”
Don’t miss this opportunity to put down your cell phones (heck, leave ’em at home just this once) and enjoy a flick celebrating a classic, more thoughtful movie experience.
More info at vergennesoperahouse.org.

Share this story:

More News
News Uncategorized

Fresh Air Fund youths returning to county

The Fresh Air Fund, initiated in 1877 to give kids from New York City the opportunity to e … (read more)

Obituaries Uncategorized

Mark A. Nelson of Bristol

BRISTOL — A memorial service for Mark A. Nelson of Bristol will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday … (read more)

Sports Uncategorized

High school athletes ready for fall playoffs this week

See when your favorite high school team is competing in the fall sports playoffs.

Share this story: