First Film Shot in Bethany Beach Premieres

Beach Bums premieres at the Newark Film Festival this Saturday, September 10 at 7PM. Delaware filmmaker Anthony Spadaccini directed it this spring in Bethany Beach. After getting his official permit to shoot there, he learned that his movie was actually the first feature filmed in that coastal town.

Beach Bums stars Nate Edwards as Trevor. Trevor is a cubical slave. His boss has the hots for him, but Trevor ultimately gets fired, and his response to that is to head to the beach where he scams another beach-goer. That beach-goer becomes Trevor's nemesis for the rest of the movie and their rivalry creates a comedic disaster in Bethany.

Spadaccini describes Trevor as "the clumsiest human being ever." Trevor is also described as a grown man but a big child at heart. Trevor is not a brand new character. Spadaccini and Edwards developed him six years ago for Spadaccini's short film Monday Morning (2005).

That short was made in the style of the silent films of the 1920s, popularized by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Spadaccini has been a fan of both and has wanted to do an homage to them but with a character and a story in a modern setting.

His short film was so well-received that Spadaccini made another in 2006. He had wanted to make more, but his silent comedies were put on hold when he was inspired to do the horror film Head Case. That movie turned out to be a very successful series, which kept the filmmaker busy for five years.

The 29-year-old says that horror films are fun to make, but horror films are geared toward a specific audience. He says that usually that audience is hardcore and often not family-oriented. One reason Spadaccini wanted to do Beach Bums was to have a movie that was open to a more general audience and that was more accessible to all, including families.

He reverted to the project he had in mind as the third in the Trevor films. Trevor isn't exactly like Chaplin's Little Tramp, but he and the things he does are reminiscent of it, and that's what Spadaccini likes. He says he likes the innocence inherent in those Chaplin comedies. They're just people making fools of themselves. They're people doing things to ridiculous degrees or often to ridiculous results.

There's no dialogue or at least no dialogue you can hear, so the entire story is told through actions. Spadaccini told me there wasn't a traditional script with lines for the actor. What he did was collaborate with Nate Edwards to brainstorm and come up with the absolute funniest situations or moments as they could often during the shoot without using words.

What results is a lot of silly slapstick, the likes of which you don't really see in movies nowadays. It's not like the parody films of this past decade, which include the Scary Movie series or even going back to yesteryear with films like Airplane! or The Naked Gun, that Zucker brothers brand of humor.

Spadaccini says he likes the Airplane! movie as well as contemporary sitcoms like The Golden Girls and The Office, but those shows are not what he would like to make. What he'd prefer to do instead is something out of the screwball comedy genre. He says 1981's The Gods Must Be Crazy most resembles the kind of comedy he'd like to try.

And if he does, he'll probably shoot along the beach again. The Delaware director notes how welcoming Bethany Beach was to his production. The hospitality of the ocean-side town impressed Spadaccini. Several businesses were very accomodating and some even donated to the movie set, including Grotto Pizza with food for the cast and crew.

Visit for more, including tickets for this locally made movie.


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