Local actor creates interactive online film

Although better known for her roles on television (like Herman’s Head and Murder, She Wrote) and film (Some Kind of Wonderful and last year’s Sully), Wayne High School alum Molly Hagan has tackled a very different challenge this year. With her new interactive online film The Garage Sale, Hagan has taken on the roles of writer and producer, with her on-screen role limited to just a few quick appearances. It was a job which she made more difficult for herself when she had an idea for how she wanted people to experience it.

“I was together with a group of friends about three years ago and was tired of not doing anything and thought ‘We should make up our own stuff.’ I’d had this idea for a film about garage sales ever since I was part of a communal garage sale about 20 years ago. Then I started thinking ‘Wouldn’t it be great if at certain moments the viewer could click on a button and go into the story they see in the background?'”

Not sure how to accomplish that, Hagan focused first on the script, but even though she felt good about that material, she didn’t feel she could direct it herself. She tapped friend Josh Logan, who even had some ideas for how she could accomplish the interactive element she hoped to achieve and suggested using landscape in Word so she could see how the three-couple stories could lineup and play out.

“Of course action plays differently than dialogue but having the three stories side-by-side save me an idea of how they would line up.”

Hagan found the cast largely through her acting class, where her fellow actors offered their talents for free to get the project off the ground. Hagan had written two roles specifically for her classmates, Carrie Reichenbach and Thomas Burr.  The shooting schedule was set around cast availability, which meant on the two weekends of shooting, one key player was unavailable.

 “Unfortunately when the film was being shot, I was in New York filming Sully, so I couldn’t be there for all of it.  Luckily I was able to get Eve Gordon, who was able to squeeze in The Garage Sale.  I never was so grateful in my life.  She knocked it out of the park. They all did a great job. I was very fortunate that all of these people offered their talents to this project.”

Hagan had to learn more about the technology in order to make the film interactive and found an online program, EKO Studio, which also offered free tutorials. Released September 19 and available for free (thegaragesalemovie.com) for at least a couple more years, The Garage Sale tells the funny and poignant story of three couples and how selling their once cherished items affects each one. And as the viewer watches, there are options along the way to decide what story to watch, how the film will unfold. Although she has other ideas for films, she continues to land acting roles, including a spot on the Law & Order: True Crimes series which aired in November on NBC.


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