Breaking the Bank

Ines Peter as Iney, the bank teller, makes change for Hap while Brent Teclaw furiously adds numbers…with a pen!

Let’s say you’re shooting a film and one of the scenes takes place in a bank. You’re a stranger in town and trying to convince the banker it would be a good idea for him to let you use his bank as a location. You tell him your crew of 25 plus actors and extras needs to eat 2 meals while they’re there and you’ll be shooting until 11 pm. Plus that 20 foot Penske truck he’s seen driving around? It’s full of equipment and it all has to come in. What do you do?

  1. You tell him you’d need to get into the vault then tell him you’re kidding so your other requests seem less overwhelming.
  2. You wait until the cleaning crew shows up then tell them the banker said it was fine for them to let you in.
  3. You re-write the scene to take place in a laundromat.

While all three are good options, an even better one is when Greg, the banker, was one of your 52 high school classmates. Greg Peter sat right in front of me (Kathy) in most of my classes (he was a ‘P’ and I was an ‘S’ (there were no ‘Q’s and only one ‘R’) so we were always close. When I asked Greg if we could shoot in his bank he said ‘yes’ before I even finished asking. Then, when the bank teller we’d cast a month earlier, while we were all playing BINGO at the nursing home, had to drop out (the morning of) because of her daughter’s (also a classmate of Kathy’s) surprise visit from Iowa, I read my wish list of bank tellers to Greg. Five minutes later I got a text. ‘Mom will do it.’


Iney (Greg’s mom-rhymes with ‘tiny’), had been my dream teller from the start. In fact, when I was writing the screenplay, I used the name ‘Iney’ as a placeholder for the teller and it ended up sticking. Iney is young and she isn’t…she’ll never see 90 again but she can dance and take direction with the best of them. As she and her husband had owned the bank before Greg, it was a space in which she was totally comfortable and familiar. It’s such a thrill to see an actor make what some would consider a small role into something huge…which is what Iney did.

That kind of access and support was so important and appreciated throughout our shoot. Thank you Greg! You were a huge huge help. Everyone should shoot a film in their hometown.

2018-05-23T03:28:54+00:00

Leave A Comment