Seen & Heard: The thrill isn't over for Rochester film studio

The Gaelic Tribe performs recently at McGoon's in Rochester.

AJ Feindand Aaron Avalon, the guys behind Shattered Prism Studios,are at it again.

A few months ago, we got to see their Doritos commercial compete in the "Doritos Crash the SuperBowl" commercial contest. Now, their latest project will be screened in Rochester on June 6 at the Rochester Pubic Library.

"Absence" is their first feature short film, and the supernatural horror/thriller follows a ghost hunter, played by actor Ethan Savage,traveling to an abandoned farm. Others in the crew included Sean Feindand Chris Janvrin.

"After the Doritos commercial, Aaron and I decided to try a short film we could submit to film fests," Feind said. "This project took us about six months from start to finish."

The script took about two months to write, including revisions, and "when we found our actor and location — it was filmed in an abandoned WWII-era farmhouse in Spring Grove that still has '70s era furnishings — we tested shots and photos to tweak the script to fit the house, then began shooting in early January. In the script, it was supposed to be wintertime and cold, so being in an abandoned house with no heat worked well for that."


The shoot took 15 hours on the first night, and then a week later, they did a few reshoots. They were in post-production until just a few weeks ago.

The library screening will be free admission and open to the public, and — I can only assume — will give all of us nightmares.

"This is the first major project we did, so we definitely learned a lot, and it opened our eyes for what all goes into filming, even just for a project that is only 13 minutes long," Feind said. "Although we made some mistakes along the way, we learned a lot and are extremely happy with how 'Absence' turned out."

As for future projects, they've got a few in the works and are even thinking of working on an episodic venture.

For more information, check out Shattered Prism Studios on Facebook.

Irish eyes are smilin'

Joe Peterson,of Kasson, is a software engineer by day and a tribal musician by night.

More specifically, Tuesday Nights from 7 to 9 at McGoon's, where he is part of the Irish music sessions, playing with the Gaelic Tribe.


The tribe has played at a few locations around town over the last few years, and Joe has been performing with them for a while, and typically plays the Irish drum, the bodhran, but at sessions will also play the mandolin or other instruments as needed.

"Our group has been as few as two players, which has only happened maybe a couple times in all the years we did this," Peterson said. "Most often it's about six people, but sometimes we have had as many as 20."

They used to do music sessions at O'Neils, and then at the Rochester Athletic Club, which is how Joe got involved.

"A friend of mine told me about the sessions and I just started showing up listening to music but eventually started participating as well," he said. "I've been playing instruments for years. I started with the guitar when I was young, and I started playing the bodhran in about 2000, and I play the mandolin, and the violin, and have done some fiddle work at the sessions for a long time, but we had some real strong fiddle players so I switched over to mandolin We try to find a spot in the acoustic space, so to speak."

People can just show up to listen, or they can join in, there really is no standard etiquette to the sessions, and there really isn't a bandleader, but Peterson and his daughter Kerry try to be there to be able to answer questions. You can also come to dance or sing.

"You never know what you are going to get — it just depends on who is there for the night or who is in the audience," Peterson said."People from all over the world attend music sessions just like this, so it's wonderful that we have this opportunity right here in Rochester.

"It's been pretty well attended," he said. "Because of being listed on , a lot of people find out about us just through that. We've had quite a few people that have showed up because of being in town for Mayo Clinic visits and things like that … people from around the world that just show up for a week or two and then they are gone."

I asked if he does the same thing when he travels, and he said the farthest from home he has played was in Chicago, but he does go to the Twin Cities, Northfield, and LaCrosse, Wis., on occasion.


For more information, find the Gaelic Tribe on Facebook or search for them at .

Promotional poster for "Absence," the first feature short film from Shattered Prism Studios.

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