PLYMOUTH, N.H. — PSU Professor Scott Coykendall had the story in his heart and head for many years before he was able to put it on paper. It’s a personal story—difficult to tell well, but the end result is a moving 20-minute film that Coykendall hopes will travel to film festivals after it’s Plymouth premiere.
Our Secret Season will have a single showing at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25 in the Smith Recital Hall at PSU’s Silver Center for the Arts.
The short film depicts a cross-country trip by a young couple, “Scott” and “Tab,” to start a new life. They take along two friends, “Brian” (Scott’s brother) and “Wendy” for the ride. But as one relationship dissolves, another develops, testing loyalties and driving wedges between brothers and friends.
Before the participants can resolve their turmoil tragedy intervenes, leaving some of the characters to wrestle with remorse and their own culpability.
At the beginning of the film the narrator sets the scene with a somewhat ominous tone:
“When I finished college, I already wore a wedding band and had a baby on the way. This drive to Tennessee was a one-way trip for Tab and I. The fact is, we were getting real jobs. Real responsibilities. So, of course, we took the long way there. My brother had never been more than a hundred miles from home so we took him along. And since Roger and Wendy, our best friends, were fighting all the time, we took her too. I thought a little break would take the pressure off … help them see each other differently. (pause) That’s what I thought.”
Coykendall says the process of writing and having the film produced was educational and cathartic. “It’s so different from what I imagined and it was shockingly difficult to have any of my words left on the cutting room floor, but I am proud to have my name on it,” he said.
The original film script was written as part of Coykendall’s 2008 sabbatical leave from Plymouth State University, where he is associate professor of professional writing in the Department of English. The movie was shot with the film faculty and student interns of Eastern Kentucky University in summer 2009, at locations in and around the Richmond and Lexington Kentucky areas. PSU Professor of music Rik Pfenninger provided some of the background music.
Free tickets for Our Secret Season are available at the Silver Center Box Office. (603) 535-ARTS (2787) or (800) 779-3869.
For information about Silver Center events log on to silver.plymouth.edu.
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