Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rochester Film Legend Finally Gets a Feature

Sometimes, IMDb pages can be extremely misleading. That's definitely the case with Rochester, NY based actor Jim Toepper.

Missing are the dozens and dozens of student film credits that have made Toepper an A-list, go-to star at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This budget-analyst-by-day, who also does local theater, has racked up around 100 RIT student films over the past two decades and can currently be seen in The Essentials, a spy caper written and directed by 2010 graduate Brendan Nagle. It's Toepper's first feature.

As detailed in the Nagle-shot profile above for Syracuse University (where he earned a Master's in broadcast journalism), Toepper has taken it a pro-bono step further over the years, turning his home into one of Rochester's most popular filming locations. “I mean, most people, you shoot in their house once and they're like, 'I'm never going to have a film crew in here again,” marvels indie filmmaker Neal Dhand.

In The Essentials, Toepper plays a burnt out ex-spy who goes rogue with a young protégé to crack one last case: an international drug-smuggling ring operating out of Canada. The movie made its debut these past two weekends via successive screenings in Rochester, Syracuse and Litte Falls. Nagle hopes to take it on the film festival circuit next.

[The Essentials]

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