Indie film ‘Just Peachy’ allowed to be filmed here amid Hollywood strike

Independent film director and co-star Brittany Mcvicker: ‘We’re striking against studios and streaming services.’

A lot of things aren’t happening ― or can’t happen ― because Hollywood writers and actors are striking.

While the dispute between the talent and the Hollywood studios and streaming services has shut down production on a number of movies and TV, not everything has gone dark.

Independent movie productions, such as E414 Films′ “Just Peachy,” which is filming in and around Butler County, are not the crux of the strike, and they help keep writers and actors working. The movie stars Cincinnati natives Brittany Mcvicker and Grace Balbo, and Mcvicker, who owns E414, is also directing the film.

“We’re striking against studios and streaming services, not independent films,” said Mcvicker.

In May, the Writers Guild of America went on strike over its ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which includes Hollywood studios and streaming services. Then six weeks later, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) went on strike alongside the writers union. It’s the first time since 1960 both unions have walked out at the same time.

Mcvicker said while the strike is going on, this is the time to support independent films.

“We’re not with any what they are calling scab companies, studios or this won’t be on those specific streaming services,” she said of her movie’s production. “We’re not striking against independent films. We’re striking in studios and streaming services. So you can still do commercials, you can still do soap operas. And really, this is the time to support those independent films.”

Mcvicker said she hopes this strike will bring attention to independent films and “sheds light on how great independent films can really be” as they often remove the “business” side of show business.

“I hope it encourages actors and filmmakers to really pursue indies more,” she said. “There are so many quality independent films. There are a lot of original stories and not as many reboots in the independent film space. So it would be interesting to see actual competition for the studios and streaming services.”

E414′s film “Just Peachy” is about a young girl who is struggling with mental health. She’s at her wit’s end and enters psychiatric care. Upon her release, she goes on a journey of faith, hope, and healing. “Just Peachy” is planned to be a short film, but could be made into a feature-length film. The movie is also backed by Bollywood filmmaker Milroy Goes, who’s known for films like “Welcome M1LL1ONS,” which qualified for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2018, though it was not nominated.

As it appears the writers and actors strike won’t end anytime soon ― the 2023 Emmy Awards have already been delayed from mid-September to a possible January 2024 date due to the strikes ― independent films could benefit.

“There’s so much beauty in it,” Mcvicker said of independent films. “Everything doesn’t feel so commercial. You really get these compelling and original storylines and characters. It’s really a kind of escapism.”

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