OCEAN CITY — If you’ve got a secret or not-so-secret desire to be in show business, you might get your shot in April, as a New York City-based filmmaker is shooting the first season of a new web series in Ocean City.
Al Thompson, a former University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) graduate and New York-based actor/producer/director, will be shooting his next (and yet to be named) project in Ocean City the last two weeks of April, and he’s looking for extras, crew, actors and locations for his upcoming comedic project.
Thompson, who has been in over 50 television and movie roles over the years, most notably in “A Walk To Remember” (2002), “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” (2003), has been concentrating on his work behind the camera in recent years, producing, the critically acclaimed works “Lenox Avenue” and the comedic web series, “Johnny B. Homeless”.
Thompson says he’s bringing the project to Ocean City because he fell in love with the area in his time at UMES and because he’s looking to capture the “authenticity” of a resort town. He also notes that one of the project’s producers, John Alascio, who owns property in the resort, also pointed him to Ocean City.
“I grew up in Harlem and was a big Oakland Raiders fan, and when I was looking at colleges, I decided to go to UMES because Art Shell was an alum there,” said Thompson in a phone interview. “I didn’t find Ocean City until my junior or senior year, but when I did, I realized that it was such a cool and chill place as opposed to the craziness that goes on in Jersey beaches or places like that. Ocean City is so significantly different, and the people are really authentic.”
Thompson describes the idea for his upcoming comedic series, to be somewhere between “’Garden State’ and ‘Old School’”, but says he’s trying to capture an older demographic than some films that have been shot in this resort, or other resorts.
“I don’t want to make a comedy that is just about teenagers, or partying, or senior week,” said Thompson. “I’d really like to see some of the 30-40-something locals come out and be apart of the shoot, so we can get the true element of what it is like to live in a town like Ocean City.”
Thompson will be in Ocean City the first week of April scouting locations and making connections with local businesses who may allow him to shoot his project there. Prior to the official shoot date, which is tentatively scheduled for the final two weeks in April, Thompson and his team will be screening resumes and fielding interest from any local residents who would like to be involved in any way with the project.
“It’s a non-paying gig, but it will be a fun and great experience, I can promise them that,” said Thompson. “We are looking to fill everything from production assistants to actors, and we are hoping to find some hotels that will be willing to hook us up with some housing for our cast and crew and perhaps some restaurants that will take care of us as well.”
Thompson’s last project, the hilarious “Johnny B. Homeless,” which stars Keenan Thompson of Saturday Night Live fame, has recently been picked up by Comedy Central and will become a series on the famous network.
Thompson has seemingly worn a lot of different hats in the world of show business, from stunt man, actor, and now producer and director. He says the evolution of his career isn’t by accident.
“With the web series format, you can basically shoot a project yourself and create a fan base on the internet without the backing of a studio,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s about taking control of your career and creating something that you want to create, and that enables you to work with people that you’ve been wanting to work with for some time.”
Thompson won’t reveal if there will be any “star power” attached to this particular project, but he hinted “there will be some people if their schedules allow, who people will certainly recognize.”
If you’d like to be apart of the project, email info@ValDeanEnt.com and put the position you’d like to be in the subject heading.
“I’m just looking forward to capturing Ocean City in a non-senior-week kind of way,” said Thompson.
Here is a list of positions that Thompson and his team are looking to fill for their upcoming web series.
Costume and Wardrobe
Looking for extras and actors and actresses to fill small roles. All genders, ages, and races are needed. No experience is necessary but it’s a huge plus.
Any Other Fun Locations
Email info@ValDeanEnt.com and enter in the role or position you’d like to fill in the subject line.