An office worker is dead, three killers are on the loose, one detective is attempting to find answers and a night custodian is in the middle of it all.
This is the central plot for “Lucella Green,” a full-length murder mystery produced by Regan Maloney and Brandon Eugene Maine, Grays Harbor area natives.
Although “Lucella Green” debuted in 2009 at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival, a remastered version is coming to the 7th St. Theatre on Aug. 16 and Aug. 17 (see below for showtimes).
The main character, Lucella Green, played by Mindy Byram, is a night custodian and provides the point of view for the murder mystery. Byram has done work in Los Angeles and is now a Seattle actress. Three killers have committed the crime and they slowly come into the light through the course of the film. The movie flashes from the present, in color, to the past, in black and white, to tell the story.
The tone of the movie comes from BBC murder mystery dramas and American noir.
“It’s a real mood piece because there are a lot of shadows next to stark light and the walls seem to close in on the characters a lot,” Maine said.
Maine wrote the script with input from Maloney. It was a short “minimalist” script that allowed actors to create unique personas for their own characters.
“I created general characters for the actors that we did during rehearsals. But then I allowed them to create the different ticks and nuances for each person as time went on,” Maine said. “I’ve never made a film like that before but we all had a lot of fun doing it.”
The movie has evolved a bit from the 2009 version. Maine was not satisfied with the film’s quality during its first showing and has spent the past year editing during his time at Evergreen State College. The film has been edited for Blu Ray and will be shown in HD.
The sound was also edited for higher production value. Although he had never done sound editing before, Maine took ideas and techniques from musicians he knew.
The film was done with a very small budget. The crew used Sony HD cameras, instead of Hollywood-quality video equipment. The office scenes were shot in the backstage area of the 7th St. Theatre. Seattle, where both Maloney and Maine lived at the time, was the backdrop for the rest of the film.
The main character, a janitor, came from Maine’s own background. As an Aberdeen native, he said was inspired by the working-class people in his life to create a believable character.
He wanted to put an everyday person in a unique situation. Maine said he chose a janitor as his main character because he could empathize with the job. During the production of his first film back in 1995, “Goodway to Die,” Maine worked as a night custodian. Maine said he is thrilled to have an improved “Lucella Green” to show at the 7th St. Theatre, which has been a big support and provides an excellent place to watch movies.
He hopes that whatever feelings or thoughts, positive or negative, the audience leaves the theatre with, they can at least have an enjoyable viewing experience.
“I’ve seen this film over 250,000 times now and I can still watch and enjoy it, so I’m hoping that says something,” Maine said.
This is not the first film from Maine and Maloney to show locally. They also produced “Kill the Killer” in 1999 and “Slim to None” in 2005. Both of these films debuted at the 7th St. Theatre.
“Lucella Green’” Showing
The 7th Street Theatre
Aug. 16 at 7 p.m.
Aug 17 at 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.