Film crew eats up homey Darien diner
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Anna Sterken, 11, of Darien, talks with actor Craig Harris in between takes during the shooting of “Southern Comfort,” a short feature film. A production crew filmed at Deb’s Country Café earlier this month. Terry Mayer/staff.
DARIEN — Now, when you order a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon and the endlessly refilled coffee cup at Deb’s Country Café, you’ll get a side of film history, too.
The homey Darien restaurant, located on County Highway X, just east of U.S. Highway 14, was the site of a film shoot beginning July 8. The shoot ran for several days.
The film is a short feature, tentatively titled “Southern Comfort.” The project is a collaboration between film writer/director Sam Hensen, a recent graduate of Chicago’s DePaul University, and a production crew made up of students from DePaul’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media.
Such collaborations aren’t unusual, but this one was on a slightly larger scale, said Evagrace Torrez, a DePaul senior who is the producer of “Southern Comfort.”
Most of the student-involved projects typically run five to 15 minutes in length, Torrez noted. “Southern Comfort” will be about 25 minutes long. And instead of a regular student film crew of five to 10 people, there are some 15 to 25 involved, including actors from the Chicago area.
There may be some familiar faces on screen as well. Area locals showed up at a casting call July 9 for roles as extras. Casting assistant and assistant director Brittani Smith said the crew used about a dozen extras as diner customers, ranging from a 71-year-old man to 11-year-old Anna Sterken, a student at Darien Elementary School.
Though Sterken doesn’t talk in the film — “yet,” she added — her first experience as an extra was a satisfying introduction to filmmaking.
“This might lead to something bigger,” she said.
Read the full story in the July 18, 2010 e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, HERE.