A standing-room-only crowd packed the Mineral County Library meeting room June 19 for the premiere showing of “The Checkout.” A library advocacy film, “The Checkout” is the brainchild of Casey Oberhansli, son of Courtney Oberhansli, the library’s director.
Casey Oberhansli’s brothers, Dillon and Grant, also played a major role in making the film as cinematographer and assistant director respectively. More than 30 Hawthorne citizens answered a casting call and played a variety of roles from acting to grips to help make the movie a success.
The showing started with a short film, “The Hills are Alive with Monsters.” A creation of Grant Oberhansli, the film featured a very creative mix of horror-spoof and puppetry, which delighted the audience.
Afterward, Courtney Oberhansli introduced a brief behind-the-scenes film of the making of “The Checkout,” which the audience watched with great interest.
The showing of “The Checkout” proved a major hit with the audience. The storyline focuses on the relationship between a mother and daughter and the myriad of activities available to library patrons. The film ended with a touching twist that thankfully did not descend into oversentimentality.
The word ecstatic best describes the audience reaction, and the three brothers and the attending film participants looked very pleased with the results. Following the film, the three Oberhanslis hosting a quick question and answer session. The audience learned the shooting took two eight-hour days of shooting in December 2013 at the library and that the final editing ended a mere two days before the premiere.
The brothers agreed to sit down with the Independent-News on June 20 to discuss the making of the film and their respective interests in the cinema.
Casey Oberhansli said he was very pleased with the attendance. “In my mind it could have been anywhere from 10 people to who knows how many people. I was kind of blown away by how many people showed up,” Casey Oberhansli said.
The Oberhanslis also found themselves pleased at the audience reaction to the film. “We pretty much got the reaction that we wanted. I think they laughed at all the right parts,” Dillon Oberhansli said. “Cried at all the right parts,” Grant Oberhansli added with a laugh.
All the brothers expressed pleasure that children really enjoyed the films. “I was pleasantly surprised to hear the kids cracking up,” Dillon Oberhansli said.
“They seemed like they were really getting into it, and that makes it really fun for us,” Casey Oberhansli added.
Grant Oberhansli said that one of the purposes of the film is to negate stereotypes of libraries as places of stern librarians and police breaking down doors to collect overdue books.
The brothers said one of their greater learning experiences from the film was how willingly the Hawthorne community helped with all the acting and production. “It was a perfect experience. Everyone had fun and everyone showed up on time and did what we asked,” Casey Oberhansli said.
The Oberhanslis also commended Anna Gavin and her daughter Shaylee for their respective performances.
They also said no one had any prima donna fits. “Except Grant (Oberhansli),” said a laughing Dillon Oberhansli.
The Oberhanslis are working on five different projects they have in various stages of development and mentioned that they hope to do more film work in the Hawthorne area.
In parting, the Oberhanslis encouraged aspiring film makers in the area to start by studying “behind-the-scenes” extras on DVD releases. “We watch those all the time, and we checked out every and read every book on filming we could find at the library,” said Dillon Oberhansli
“Most kids now have HD filming capabilities on their phones. Tutorials on Shot Designer (a film making program) are on Reddit and YouTube. After that, just turn on the camera and start shooting,” Casey Oberhansli concluded.