At Malone University in Ohio, a third-year media student named Corinne Abbiss has written and directed a short film that centers on a flea market. The 12-minute film, called “The Memories Within,” tells the story of Reuben, played by Chaz Stead, an angry young man who sells items from his recently deceased father’s estate at a flea market. As he touches items at the market, they inspire him to recall incidents from his life, and by the end of the movie, he has started to come to terms with his loss and decides to reach out to his estranged family.
Abbiss spoke with FleaMarketZone about her inspiration and sources. “At first I thought of using an antique shop, but it didn’t have the right feel. Then I thought of a flea market, and it had the perfect atmosphere for the film,” she says.
The young filmmaker, who will graduate next year to pursue a career as a writer, director, and cinematographer, says the setting lent itself to the themes she wanted to explore. “A flea market is a place where strangers come together to sell objects, objects that are not expensive,” she says. “The memories within these objects is what gives them meaning.”
The movie was filmed at the S. Litchfield Storage & Flea Market in Litchfield, Ohio, although it was “renamed” Hidden Treasures for the film. For technical accuracy, Abbiss consulted a flea market expert. “My uncle sells at flea markets, and I asked him a lot of questions about them,” she explains. “I went to one with him to make sure I would get all the right information about what a flea market is like.”
Abbiss’s screenplay for the film won a script writing contest and grant from The Open Frame, a film festival held at Malone. “The Memories Within” also won a runner up prize in a Malone Communication Arts film production contest. The film will have its official premier April 15 at the Open Frame Student Film Fest.
The film is currently available on YouTube for viewing, but it may be taken down in the near future. “My advisor just told me that if a film is on a Web site, it may not be eligible for other film festivals,” she says. “I really didn’t intend anyone to find this film,” she says modestly. And if this reporter may be forgiven a momentary lapse into personal opinion, “The Memories Within” is engaging, well acted (especially lead actor Chaz Stead), and will hold particular interest for anyone in the flea market and swap meet industry.
April 13 Update: Abbiss has released a trailer for the movie on YouTube.