WILKES-BARRE —Chris Fetchko spent most of Wednesday walking from point to point, checking everything from camera angles to lighting to dialog as his film ‘Trust Me” neared completion.
Fetchko, 39, of Mountain Top, and a native of Hazle Township, returned home to finish his independent film he wrote and directed that is loosely based on his life.
“It was important for me to film here in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” he said.
Fetchko’s film is being edited in New York City and is expected to be completed this year.
Wednesday’s filming included a scene on West Market Street near Franklin Street in front of the former Citizens Bank Building.
“Trust Me” tells the story of Charlie, played by Sean Modica, and his management of an up-and-coming rock band in the late 1990s. It’s based on Fetchko’s experience managing “The Badlees,” a band that was popular in the 1990s.
“We’re using some local people as extras.” Fetchko said.
The film crew will be in town through Friday. More shooting was done Wednesday on South Franklin Street near Wilkes University and the Stegmaier Mansion. Fetchko said the crew will be doing some moving shots of the city today and Friday.
In the film, Charlie quits a high-paying job on Wall Street to manage a struggling rock band. Fetchko has said that Charlie’s battle to balance ambition and love “spirals into a romantic, financial and emotional tailspin, culminating in a last-ditch effort to put on the most unique rock concert of all time.”
The plot of “Trust Me” was largely inspired by Fetchko’s decision to leave a stable accounting career to manage a rock band, his experience managing The Badlees and a past choice to put his work over a relationship with a woman he loved, according to his online blog about the movie.
Actress Lynn Cohen, who played Miranda’s housekeeper on the HBO series “Sex and the City,” is Charlie’s nosy, yet concerned neighbor, Mrs. Joshman. Cohen shot a scene Wednesday at 186-188 S. Franklin St. in the former home of local writer Bob Heim.
Cohen also had a role in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
Fetchko said he did some shooting in New York City, but the bulk of the film’s scenes are in Wilkes-Barre.
“Economically, it’s better budget-wise to shoot here,” he said. “And this building (Citizens Bank) looks like it could be in New York City.”
Fetchko said he wrote the story about how he and his friend, Matthew Miele, were working as accountants in Manhattan and decided to quit their jobs in 1998 and make a movie. Their first movie, “Everything’s Jake,” took a while to sell, Fetchko said. It was finally released in 2007 by Warner Brothers.
During the gap in time, Fetchko started managing The Badlees.
When his new film was about to be shot, Fetchko said he wanted to use Wilkes-Barre as the backdrop because of its architecture and economics. In June 2011, Fetchko brought his crew to the city for filming.
The film was pretty much completed, but some financial problems arose and Fetchko said it took him the last three years to get it back on track. Now he is shooting some extra scenes and he expects the film to be completed by the end of September.
“And then we hit the 2015 film festival circuit,” he said. “That’s when we will find out if anybody wants to distribute the film.”