WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As a way to give back to the area where he was raised as a child, a local filmmaker Terrell Bobbett produced a series set in Wilkes-Barre that was picked up last week by an online streaming service.
Terrell Bobbett brought the six-episode script of “The Barre” to life with his creative eye, filming in some Wilkes-Barre locations.
Bobbett was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Wilkes-Barre when he was around 5 years old.
“As a filmmaker, the projects you make are an extension of you,” said Bobbett when asked what his inspiration behind the show was. He said that even more so than cinema, he enjoys the type of shows produced by HBO and Starz and that’s what he models his after.
Bobbett said one challenge faced is that a lot of creators in this area are shunned by people in big cities, so he wanted to find a way to make something for the people of northeast PA.
You can watch the edited trailer for “The Barre” in the video player below:
Growing up in Wilkes-Barre, Bobbett knows what life is like here, but he did confess that the show was dramatized.
“Everything is dramatized in film… it has to be,” said Bobbett.
But he did pull characteristics from people he does know in real life.
“A lot of the characters are pulled from different personalities I know. So there’ll be one character and three different people I know in that one character,” said Bobbett.
According to Bobbett, he loved getting to film a show where he grew up, however, he said some people made it very difficult to do. He said he began getting hate mail from people saying that he was making the city look bad. But once the trailer came out, people started to warm up to the idea of the show.
Before the show gained traction in the area, Bobbett also said he had a hard time trying to film in local businesses. But once people saw he was serious about the show and its production, they started to open up to the idea of letting him film there.
In efforts to help some local actors and actresses in the area, he said he did cast some people locally, but a lot of the talent actually came from Brooklyn, New York.
“The Barre” was originally released on YouTube in 2016 but recently was picked up by the streaming service DigiGlobal Now, when the developer got in touch with Bobbett.
“He reached out and asked if we could put it up, and it had been out there for so long I figured ‘why not’… and it started going viral again,” said Bobbett.
With the show going viral again, Bobbett said now he’s feeling pressure to do a second season. For the second season, he said he brought on writer Bill Jeffrey, who is local and well-known to the Wilkes-Barre area.
Bobbett said that they are working on the pilot and then they have plans to approach Netflix, HBO and other services to see what interest is there. He said season two will happen, but it will only be with the help of the residents.
You can stream the first season of “The Barre” on DigiGlobal Now’s website.