LEWISBURG - Danville native and Lycoming College graduate Matthew Wolfe wrote, co-directed and performed in the award-winning film "Left/Right," which will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Campus Theatre, 419 Market St.
"Left/Right" follows the story of D. Ray Morton who has transformed from being a "small-town have-not" to a high-society, big-city businessman who seems to have it all. However, he loses his job after it's discovered that he lied on his resume. This loss seems life-ending at first, but quickly proves to be the motivation he needs to change his life, according to Wolfe.
"From a superficial standpoint, life couldn't get any better for him," Wolfe said. "But he didn't enjoy getting up anymore. His life looked great from the outside but inside, he wanted to reinvent himself. Then he gets put in a position where he can be the guy he wants to be."
Wolfe's inspiration for the script came from a news story he read in 2001.
"George O'Leary was a coach at Georgia Tech. He got hired to coach at Notre Dame but it turned out that he lied on his resume ... he was hired and fired in a week," Wolfe said. "That was the objective inspiration."
Wolfe had made a promise to himself to write a screenplay before he was 30 and with this idea, the process of making "Left/Right" began.
Casting for the film was a "baptism by fire," the writer-director-actor said. "I reached out to friends and friends of friends to fit the characters. Most of them came from central PA via my Danville and Lycoming connections."
Wolfe cast himself as the lead, a move that he said was "fairly stupid."
"That was a crazy gamble," he said. "I had only played basketball - that was the only stage I was ever on."
After a few early struggles and false starts, Wolfe's acting was "never an issue," according to his brother Todd, who co-directed the film.
"You know, we were low budget, so, for him to be an actor strong enough to carry a film for that long is pretty impressive," Todd said in a behind-the-scenes video for the film.
Todd graduated from The Art Institute of Philadelphia with a degree in music and video business. He has worked in the music industry with Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Cypress Hill.
When the brothers began making the film, they knew what they were aiming for.
"[Making the film] wasn't so much about my brother and I getting to Hollywood or becoming wealthy. We wanted to have fun," Wolfe said.
The project was the first time the brothers collaborated, but, according to Wolfe, the partnership went smoothly - for the most part.
"At times, we would disagree, but it was never a standoff. In that regard, it was really easy. There's nothing in this film that he or I didn't come to an agreement on," Wolfe said.
Most of the film was shot in central Pennsylvania and at multiple well-known places in the area.
"We used the Academic Center at Lyco as well as the quad," Wolfe said. "We used a funeral home in Williamsport ... and in Danville, we used everything from the high school gym to Studio Brick."
Studio Brick is a dance studio in Danville.
Other parts of the film were shot in Atlanta and southern Georgia.
Wolfe said the toughest part of the whole process was "exhaustion."
"Knowing what I know now, I would've alotted for a few more days of shooting and an extra set of hands, at least," Wolfe said.
All the hard work paid off - "Left/Right" has won several awards, including Best Drama at the Planet Ant Film and Video Festival, Audience Choice at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, Best Full Feature at the Pocono Mountains Film Festival and Best Comedy-Drama at the Indie Gathering Film Festival.
Wolfe said the awards were "definitely unexpected to say the least."
"In the film festival circuit, it's tough to even be selected to screen at them. To get any accolades was icing on the cake," he said.
The film has been shown all over the country, but Wolfe wanted to make sure to screen the film in this area.
"The people who helped me make the film are in central PA and they haven't had the chance to see it," he said. "The Campus Theatre is the perfect art house theater environment that could draw the audience and be convenient for everyone," Wolfe said.
"Left/Right" will be available on DVD Tuesday. For more information, visit www.leftrightthemovie.com.