Mired in debt and other middle-class disasters, an emotionally moth-eaten forty-year old NYC writer, her unemployed husband and his disabled brother cut and run for supposedly greener pastures in “fairy-tale” small-town Station Stop, Virginia, only to find themselves accidentally living on an old farm in the sticks of Virginia, in a town called Chicken, instead.
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Farm Story is an independent television drama pilot shot in NYC and Staunton, Va., in September of 2014, and written, directed, and produced by longtime partners in creative crime Terri Viani (The Writer, ink) & Jessica Ammirati (Going to Tahiti Productions). Through Farm Story and other projects the producers aim to champion character-driven stories that reflect the rich and textured nature of everyday human experience.
Viani calls Farm Story a “forty-something coming-of-age story,” and loosely-based the script on the last ten years of her life. “In a matter of a few years, I went from living in NYC to living in a small town in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut with a chicken coop in the back yard,” she says. “But what I love most about storytelling those years is the emotional walk-about I did during them that lead me to the place I am now, (mostly) happy and comfortable with who I am. Based on the overwhelmingly positive reaction I've had to the pilot script, I'd say it's a journey that resonates with a lot of people.”
Getting 14 cast members, 22 crew members, a dog, a cat, and a rooster herded to a farmhouse in small-town Virginia was no easy task, but the “all-in” attitude of both New York and Virginia cast/crew turned controlled chaos into fun. “As a director I have been absolutely blessed with a not just a "good" cast and crew, but a group that was talented beyond measure, dedicated beyond hope, and fun beyond belief,” says Ammirati. “And, after 12 days of working and living together, for a brief, wonderful time, we truly became family.”
Shot for $50,000 over the course of 12 days, the 60-minute Farm Story pilot is geared primarily towards a streaming and cable audience.