Chronic Town is a bittersweet slice-of-life comedy about a cab driver with substance abuse problems who weathers a cold Alaskan winter with his cadre of friends and lovers. The film was directed by Tom Hines, and written by University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) English MFA Alumni, Michael Kamsky. UAF Assistant Professor, Maya Salganek, co-produced. The cast features JR Bourne, Emily Wagner, and Dan Butler, but also includes Fairbanks locals Evan Harris, UAF Theatre faculty Carrie Baker and Dr. Tara Maginnis, and dog musher and Esterite Andrew “Druu” Heskin . Primary locations for the film included The Boatel Sleazy Waterfront Bar and the inside of an Alaskan Eagle Cab.
Under the tutelage of Salganek and the UAF Theatre and Film Department, nine UAF students worked on the film as production assistants, and dozens more were included as extras. The UAF production team managed Fairbanks pre-production, including securing locations, vehicles, props, and costumes. They conducted casting calls for actors, and helped run each set during the shoot. The Los Angeles based film crew spent 28 days in Fairbanks in March, when the average temperature hovered around -15.
Film is available online
A behind-the-scenes look at the 2007 production of Chronic Town, a movie about a Fairbanks cab driver who is going through a rough patch in his life. Driven by his fear of being alone, he uses alcohol and drugs to distract him from the realities in his life.
Go behind the scenes with Chronic Town cast and crew, including UAF students (featured 35 minutes in).