Sarasota filmmaker and Ringling College graduate Tony Ahedo heads to St. Petersburg today, where the pilot episode of his new web-series, Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer, will premiere as an Official Selection of the Sunscreen Film Festival. Written and directed by Ahedo and starring Peter Konowicz, the planned series follows the bloody and comedic escapades of an earnest but inept Barry Baker as he struggles to find the courage and faculty to brutalize his officemates. Says Ahedo, “Nobody starts as a professional.”
First conceived in his days at Ringling, the pitch for Barry Baker was well-received by peers but ultimately dubbed too big for available means by the college and put on the shelf. Working with local filmmakers Thomas Nudi and Trishul Thejasvi on Nudi’s film, Monty Comes Back, Ahedo revived the idea and enlisted the pair’s help. Working on a micro-budget and “lots of pulled favors,” some crew members dropped out early due to the scope of the project but a core group remained. “It was a passion project for everybody involved,” says Ahedo, “and we made this happen in the hopes that people will want to see more.” Filmed over the course of five days in Sarasota and St. Pete, this first episode clocks in at 24 minutes and Ahedo has plans for five more to finish the season.
While encouraged with the film’s selection by the Sunscreen Film Festival, Ahedo knows that the real test comes when audiences finally get their turn at today’s premiere. “I can see if I’m actually funny or not,” he says, only half-joking. Festival audiences can be a talkative bunch and he looks forward to hearing what they have to say in response to Barry Baker. “Then I can take all those notes and incorporate them when we make episode two,” he says.
But with the warm reception of the pilot so far, the plan now is to find financing for the rest of the project as a whole, says Ahedo. Setting up a booth in the festival’s Film Expo Market this Saturday, he hopes to lure in potential investors, distributors or buyers to help realize the remaining five episodes.
“Nothing is impossible,” says Ahedo. “When I started, they said it was too big. We made it and we’re aiming higher for the second episode.”
Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer premieres today at 3:15pm at the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, with a second showing Sunday, May 1.
Pictured: Peter Konowicz as Barry Baker.