July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Lights! Camera! Medina!

MEDINA — A 20-something man sporting a shiner slumped Tuesday in a cell at the Medina County Jail.

He wasn’t being held against his will. In fact, there haven’t been inmates in this part of the jail since last year when the section was closed due to budget constraints.

The jail played host to Los Angeles-based movie production company 4 Reelz, which was filming its full-length feature “The
Long, Slow Death of a Twenty-Something.”

Larry Longstreth, vice president of 4 Reelz and one of the film’s stars, said the movie is about a group of friends, each suffering from a “quarter-life crisis” full of desperate hijinks that relentlessly backfire.

“It’s all funny,” said Longstreth, an Akron native.

Longstreth said he found out about the Medina County Jail through Seville resident and part-time actress Janine Sarnowski, who plays the mother of his character.

“Any time I’m in a movie, I try to get Medina County in there,” Sarnowski said. She said she gave a call to Sheriff Neil Hassinger and got the green light for filming at the jail.

Prior to the short jail scene, Longstreth’s character gets his black eye in a fight with a boxer and later is pulled over by police for driving drunk.

The 4 Reelz crew shot only a few moments of Longstreth in character and sitting in a jail cell contemplating his situation.

At the jail, a Sheriff’s Office employee makes a cameo.

Chief Deputy Kenneth Baca said he didn’t know he’d have a small role in the film.

“I thought they were just going to come to take a video and head out,” he said.

The film crew had Baca walk into the cell and tell Longstreth’s locked-up character he was free to go.

“I’m no Clint Eastwood, but I’ve been entertaining people in law enforcement since February 1974,” Baca joked after his scene.

Longstreth said he has high hopes for the movie.

“Worst-case scenario, it will end up in the bargain bin. That kind of sucks, but it’s something,” he said.

He said the film probably will be released this fall, around the same time as 4 Reelz releases “Four Tanks and a Healer” a cartoon about a role-playing game.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.