A family film

Working at a restaurant, Ross McCurdy knows a thing or two about the chaos of the business.

The Oak Table Café employee, who is the son-in-law of owners Bill and Mary Nagler, said he observes the fast-paced business daily, but especially every June on Father’s Day, which is The Oak Table’s busiest day each year.

So McCurdy, a trained filmmaker who attended the Vancouver Film School, decided to use the restaurant world and the busy Father’s Day rush as his focus as he embarked on his biggest project so far: a 40-minute movie which he filmed, directed and starred in.

“It’s a family comedy,” McCurdy said of “Father’s Day,” about a restaurant worker who has to deal with a stern boss, crazy customers and an ex-girlfriend who shows up with a daughter she claims is his.

McCurdy made the film into a family affair — wife Nicole, daughter Mira, father-in-law Bill Nagler and brother-in-law Casey Nagler all make appearances in the movie. He also cast nearly all of the other Oak Table Café employees as well.

“(Mira) is the star though, I’ve always liked having kids in my films,” McCurdy said.

The filmmaker said he shot the film after The Oak Table Café closed each day at 3 p.m., using the entire restaurant as his backdrop. During the editing process, during which he was gearing up for a Father’s Day 2007 release, McCurdy hit a glitch when his computer crashed, erasing all the work he’d done.

“After that I put it away for a while,” McCurdy said of shelving his film for nearly a year after his frustrating loss.

He went back to work on the film earlier this year and even reshot some scenes that he realized were missing.

“To reshoot, I wore the same clothes and cut my hair the same,” McCurdy said. “I don’t think anyone can tell which scenes I shot a year later, but I can tell.”

Aside from casting several family members in his film, he also recruited brother-in-law Kory Nagler, a Seattle-area musician, to help with the music — the result is an all-original sound track that Nagler composed while watching the film.

McCurdy said that while he may take a break from filmmaking for a while to pursue other interests, he doesn’t plan on stopping altogether.

“I really don’t make any money from the films, it’s all for fun,” said McCurdy, who finances his own films. “Every time I make another one, I keep learning more and more.”

The grand premiere

Who: Ross McCurdy

What: The premiere for his latest film, “Father’s Day,” a 40-minute short family comedy of a man in the chaotic restaurant business

When: 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8

Where: Sequim High School Performing Arts Center

Contact: Ross McCurdy at 461-5112

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