Yorkers win big in Baltimore film competition

Sean Philip Cotter

An exterminator, the line "and yet you carry on" and a lawn ornament.

You have to make a comedy or a time-travel movie featuring those three elements.

You have 48 hours. Go.

The magical lawn gnome from York City-based Bold Creative Media's "Rat Facts."

That was more or less the assignment for Doug Henderson and Matt Nease of the York City-based Bold Creative Media, and they capitalized on it, winning the best film award at the Baltimore 48 Hour Film Project competition against 44 other teams.

Their movie, "Rat Facts," also took home the awards for best direction and best ensemble cast and tied for best cinematography.

"Yeah, we were pretty stoked," said Henderson, who directed the five-minute flick.

Doug Henderson

"Essentially it’s about a pest control professional who’s training a rather annoying new employee who won't shut up about all the facts she knows about rats," Henderson said. The trainer discovers a magical garden gnome — the requisite lawn ornament — that lets him go back in time, and he takes a "Rat Facts" book away from the younger version of the trainee.

"It sounds weird saying it out loud, but it plays well," Henderson said.

They and the other 44 teams got the assignment on a Friday evening and spent a couple of hours brainstorming. Then Michael Todaro, a Harrisburg-area photographer, stayed up all night and wrote the movie.

"When we woke up Saturday morning, we had a script to shoot," Henderson said.

But that, of course, also had its challenges. Chief among them was that the script called for a scene in an office area, and it was then a Saturday, when many office-type places were closed. But luckily, the production company, which is headquartered at 18 S. George St., found a willing neighbor.

"That was probably the scariest part of the whole process," Henderson said.

Matt Nease

The movie featured actors Christopher Walsh and Mitchell Nease of York County as well as Lancaster's Leslie Talley, Blessing Robinson and Nathan Todd, and Jay Saunders of Sterling, Virginia.

Bold Creative Media is getting ready to shoot a feature-length film in York City, a movie Henderson hopes to send into film festivals. The company pays the bills by making corporate videos — training films, product features and commercials.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him atscotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.