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New Amazon Prime series highlights Baton Rouge as film resource

There is something compelling about watching a film shot from your own backyard rather than a generic Hollywood facsimile. It’s a great feeling to see a home that is distinctly yours, reinforced by familiar places you know and recognize on screen.

A new web series titled “Home Remedy,” which debuted on November 23rd on Amazon Prime Video was locally produced in Baton Rouge and features several recognizable locales, giving Baton Rouge residents an enhanced viewing experience.

Created by writer/director Evan Kidd, “Home Remedy’s” season of five episodes focuses on the character named Damon, a down-on-his-luck failed therapist who tries to treat his so-called “patients” under the table in Baton Rouge. The catch? Damon is unlicensed, and when his own life falls into disarray, he questions if he should be practicing his version of home remedies.

“Home Remedy was coming off me working for a year and a half in Baton Rouge and getting to know the city,” Kidd said. “I knew that the next project I made I wanted to have a local connection to Baton Rouge…I just really like setting a story somewhere that wasn’t a fictitious city.”

Originally from Raleigh North Carolina, Kidd studied filmmaking at East Carolina University. After graduating, he did freelancing and made his first feature film “Son of Clowns.” When tax incentives for films in North Carolina briefly disappeared, it was difficult for Kidd to get any film projects off the ground.

“At the time, I was looking to live somewhere different, and I read an article in Filmmaker Magazine about how Louisiana was doing a lot of cool things in the film world,” Kidd said. “And so, I wanted to check it out and just see for myself what was going on.”

Kidd had only been to Louisiana once before, but on a whim, he made a 15-hour drive to move to Baton Rouge where he lived for two and a half years. During this time, Kidd wrote and made “Home Remedy” as well as music videos and other film projects.

“I loved it, it was just a really interesting place with people who wanted to collaborate, especially on creative type of projects,” Kidd said. “And so, I think ‘Home Remedy’ really did lend itself to Baton Rouge. I don’t think it could have been done anywhere else.”

Upon arriving, Kidd didn’t know anyone. Coming in blind, he met people as he went, but one trend he noticed, was their desire to work on film.

“It wasn’t just, ‘Hey, I work in film.’ ‘Great, I work in film too, hope we can see each other again,’” Kidd said. “It was ‘Yea. I work in film. What is your next project? How can I help?’ For me, that was something I hadn’t seen very much before…it was very refreshing, and to me, it was an exciting opportunity to be surrounded by people who wanted to create. When you do have that in your corner, you have a drive and a willingness to make better work.”

According to Kidd, local talent and sources are extremely untapped and filmmakers should take advantage of having them so easily accessible rather than flying in major talents.

“I much prefer working in places like Raleigh or Baton Rouge because I think people are much more willing to experiment and at the end of the day, for me, that’s what it’s all about,” Kidd said, who was open to returning to Baton Rouge for more projects.

When it comes to film projects, Kidd prefers tapping into the unknown. To give “Home Remedy” a more original feel, he chose Baton Rouge as his locale of choice rather than New Orleans.

“Not that Baton Rouge is ‘unknown,’” Kidd said. “But I think a lot of people tend to think of New Orleans first when they think of Louisiana. A lot of people outside of Louisiana don’t even know Baton Rouge is the capital, so for me coming in as an out-of-state-er, it was the lesser of the two known cities, but that intrigued me to see what was there and what it had to offer.”

Combined with the untapped potential of Baton Rouge and the innovation and drive of its citizens, Kidd found his spark and set off to write a story that made Baton Rouge a character as much as the main characters. Going into filming, Kidd stated the process was interesting because it made the crew think about what Baton Rouge had to offer and what parts of the city have not been highlighted on film before.

“It gave us a unique framing opportunity to say, ‘Hey, I love Atomic Pop Shop. They sell great content, and I’m finding myself there every two or three weeks. How can we showcase them?’” Kidd said. “It’s these little interesting and small ways to tie back what you’re doing into the community, and for me, I just love that.”

Some of the locales that will be seen in the film include parts of the downtown area, the Riverfront, and surrounding neighborhoods and streets such as Beauregard Town and Government St. Atomic Pop Shop is featured heavily in the series as it is owned and operated by one of the main characters.

“It comes into play quite a bit,” Kidd said. “Kerry and all the people there were very nice about letting us film there, and we appreciate that. If you’re at all familiar with Baton Rouge, I think it will be a fun watch because you can say ‘Hey, I had a cup of coffee there on Tuesday, or I bought my son a record at that store on Thursday. I think it will tie in very nicely to the community.”

“Home Remedy” is now available via streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Tara Bennett

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