Features, Print August 8, 2020

R.W. Perkins: Small Town Remedies

by Jay Wallace

Four years of development, a ten thousand dollar budget ($6,300 from crowd-funding) and eight days of shooting in Loveland. That’s what it took to bring Small Town Remedies to life. A comedy-drama from R.W. Perkins of Loveland, it tells the story of two siblings (Andrea Dratch and Ty Sells; Dratch is also an executive producer) dealing with their relapsing alcoholic mother (Sally Knudsen) while juggling their own personal struggles and surprises. It’s not a prototypical film about addiction, and that was Perkin’s intent, saying he had a different take on addiction as a family dynamic.  

“I’ve never dealt with addiction personally,” Perkins said, “but I’ve had relationships – my father suffered from it, and as I got older I had friends and even family, immediate family, that also were dealing with this. 

Andrea Dratch in leading roles both on and behind screen, portrays Lita Young-Willson and acts as executive producer for the film.

“I just thought there was another part of this story that was missing,” he continued. “I feel like we’re always hearing the story from the addict’s side – which you do in this film – but we don’t often see what people who are dealing with the addict are going through. The worry, how that can end up affecting their lives, how this massive character sort of eats up all this space and you kind of forget to take care of yourself.”

The short shooting schedule of eight days with a tiny $10K budget was a huge struggle, but Perkins and his crew made due.

“We shot eighteen pages on one day,” Perkins said, “and in our industry that’s a lot. That’s almost twenty minutes of screen time in a day. The performances, I think, speak for themselves. Our cast was so professional and really came prepared. Otherwise we couldn’t have done it in eight days. There’s no way.”

The film boasts a soundtrack consisting of local Colorado bands such as Faceman, with whom Perkins had worked on a music video in the past, and Giants & Pilgrims whom Perkins found via artist.com. 

“I knew of them and I was sort of surprised to find [Giants & Pilgrims] on there,” Perkins said. “It’s essentially a royalty-free site for musicians and bands, so you pay a yearly price, and for musicians that have signed up to be a part of this particular website, it’s royalty-free to use.”

Sally Knudson and Jeff McGee in Small Town Remedies.

Perkins and his crew held a private screening in June for the cast, crew and crowdfunding supporters at The Lyric, following spacing guidelines in regards to COVID-19. They’re still figuring out their release strategy. 

“We’re not quite sure what our distribution method is going to be,” Perkins said. “We’ll know more about that (soon) but as you know, it has something to do with COVID.”

Regardless of the pandemic, Perkins remains optimistic. “We have this really good opportunity to get the word out locally,” he continued, stressing the power of passion to help the film do well. “We have a local project that we feel really strongly about,” he said.

Small Town Remedies will premiere at the Horsetooth International Film Festival on September 10 at The Holiday Twin Drive-In in Fort Collins. HIFF runs September 8 – 12 at The Lyric and Holiday Twin Drive In, respectively. To follow the upcoming release of the film, including options for View On Demand, visit www.smalltownremedies.com.