It’s not every day that David City becomes the backdrop to a motion picture, but that’s what happened in the fall when the production crew of “Corner Piece” came to town.
The six-minute film is the creation of three University of Nebraska-Lincoln students: Writer/Director Maya Linn Peirce, Director of Photography Jacob Skoda and Editor Andrew Roberts. The project is a requirement for their graduation from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.
The entirety of the film was shot over two weekends in David City, Peirce’s hometown. She said the site was chosen because it was a perfect fit for the type of story they wanted to tell. The film was shot at locations across town, including the E Street Discount Pharmacy and at Peirce’s childhood home.
“I just really wanted to bring it back to where I grew up because that's really important to me,” Peirce said. “We wanted a small town and we needed a pharmacy, and what I grew up with is what came to mind.
“We shot on the highway, and we definitely got a lot of weird looks from people driving by."
The film tells the story of two small-town Nebraskans in the LGBTQ community. The story follows Willa, an elderly woman who is struggling with the death of her partner, Edith. One day she meets Lou, a 16-year-old girl who works at the local pharmacy, and the two characters find common ground.
“It’s really a story about two outcasts who find each other and become friends," Peirce said.
Peirce said living in a small town as a minority can be isolating. She said the film is a chance to give elderly queer women the spotlight, especially those in rural communities.
“It just really intrigued me to picture these two women who always had each other in this small town, and I wondered what would happen if they didn’t,” Peirce said. "It’s a little heartbreaking.”
The crew was able to shoot on all locations for free. Skoda said he was surprised by how nice and helpful everyone in David City was to the team.
“Everyone in David City was exceptionally kind and generous to us,” Skoda said. “Which I think blew away some of the crew members.”
The project was able to fund-raise $1,285 from people on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe. Additional funding was raised from other donors for a total budget of $2,500. Peirce said most of the budget was spent on food, gas, and actors' wages. The rest will be used to pay entry fees for films festivals.
The project is currently in post-production and is expected to be finished by April. It will feature an original score crafted by a fellow student at UNL school.
Once completed, Peirce said the team plans to enter it in local festivals, such as the Omaha Film Festival and The Prairie Lights Film Festival in Grand Island. If possible, she said she would like to have a private screening of the film at the Hruska Memorial Public Library in David City.
Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press newspaper. Reach him via email at email@example.com.