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A Review of Anthony Pedone’s Documentary "Camp Casserole"


Anthony Pedone gives us an intimate look behind the scenes of a movie set. “Camp Casserole” is an entertaining joy ride into movie making, with Director Steve Balderson at the wheel. What kind of Camp is “Camp Casserole”, you ask? Is there a membership needed or can anyone join? Well before you can get started down the road on this journey, you have to ask yourself: What is family?
Family: is a group of individuals who co-exist with one another over an extended period, which is the basis of what Anthony Pedone’s documentary “Camp Casserole” shows us.  A group of actors, cameramen, grips, scriptwriters, etc are all assembled by Director Steve Balderson for his new movie “The Casserole Club”. Steve Balderson assembles only the best to join his family…the best meaning his instincts are sharp in making the family fit. While watching the documentary you will laugh, become excited and emotional as you follow this band of actors through their daily lives as they make a movie.  You feel yourself wanting to be a part of the high jinks and closeness each person has with one another. Anthony Pedone reveals to us that they all live together, cook for each other, and take care of one another. 
“Camp Casserole” takes you behind “The Casserole Club” telling you where the story came from, as screenwriter Frankie Krainz and actor Susan Traylor talk about the story and how it turned into the movie it is today.  You then have Jane Wiedlin, who is the fun loving prankster of the group. You are also taken on a special trip of “Gorilla filmmaking” which takes you out of town so they can record actor Starina Johnson screaming.  To round out the group you have Nic Roewert, Mark Booker, Pleasant Gehman, Garrett Swan, Michael Maize, Kevin Richardson and Daniela Sea, each of who share their feelings on what Steve Balderson is doing for the movie industry and their thoughts on the future. As “Camp Casserole” closes, you do not want it to end. You want the fun and the movie making to continue…and actually, you know deep down inside that, the ending was only the beginning.
“Camp Casserole” is an excellent documentary directed by Anthony Pedone.  His honest portrayal of the inner workings of making a movie tug and pull at you allowing you to form a bond with everyone in the documentary. I loved the documentary so much that I actually watched it three times.  You come away feeling—wishing that you were a part of this theatre family. And honestly, if you’ve seen it…then you are.

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