WATERLOO — It’s not Hollywood, but it sure looked like it Wednesday night for the premiere of the independent film “Bros.” at Marcus Theatres at Crossroads.
Cast and crew were dressed to the nines as they welcomed about 250 people to the sold-out show.
A red carpet backdrop was draped in the waiting area for everyone to take photos with the two stars of the movie, Tanner Bollinger and Matt Lee Ingebritson.
“I want everybody to have an experience of what one of these is like,” writer and director Don Tjernagel said of the “red carpet” event. “It adds to the fun of it. The whole town is the star of the movie, and that’s everybody.”
Including Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart, who attended the screening along with former Mayor John Rooff. Both appear in the film.
“This is kind of a bigger thing than I thought,” Rooff said as he scanned the crowd. “They’re doing it up right.”
Ingebritson already had a chance to see himself on the big screen during the previews for the movie “It.” He had no idea the trailer already was in theaters.
“It’s surreal,” he said. “I was a little upset most people didn’t recognize me,” he joked. “It was fun. I got to meet a lot of really cool people.”
Courtney Aber, a local stand-up comedian and singer-songwriter, was handing out her newly released single, “A Little Bit Dirty,” which also is featured in the movie.
She describes her musical style as “very inappropriate, raunchy acoustic comedy music.”
“It’s everything you thought would never come out of my mouth,” she said with a grin. “I have to give a little warning before I give these out so people know what they’re getting themselves into.”
Also in line for the movie were Tjernagel’s parents, Susi and Wayne Tjernagel of Fairbank. Susi Tjernagel was beaming with pride as she greeted her son on the way to their reserved front-row seats.
“We’re so proud,” she said.
“He was a UNLV film graduate, so now he finally gets to do that,” his father said.
WATERLOO — This November, movie theaters in Cedar Falls and Waterloo will roll out the red c…
Even though Tjernagel’s investor offered him four times the amount of money to do the film elsewhere, Tjernagel chose Waterloo.
“I swallowed my pride when I saw the shots. That’s my town, that’s my home,” he said. “I wanted people to see Iowa the way I see it — always a big glass of scotch, lots to eat, plenty of characters. I love a night out in Waterloo."
Cast and crew members spent the summer months shooting scenes for the R-rated comedy in Waterloo establishments, including the Brown Bottle, Spicoli’s Rockade and Bryan’s on Fourth.
Tjernagel said he accomplished his goal of making the movie with only $5,000. His success led another investor to offer funding to make a sequel using the same main cast and crew. Filming will begin for “Bros. 2” in the spring.
“We’re about as independent as you get,” he said. “We’re way out on the fringe.”
Tjernagel credits the digital mass media program at Hawkeye Community College for much of his crew’s talent.
“If we didn’t have that college with that program, this wouldn’t have happened. The whole crew, producers, everybody except one film photographer (is a graduate of the program) ... and has hit the ground running so fast because they know so much.”
It was a big night for Tjernagel’s two-year-old son as well. He had his first theater experience with a pre-show screening of his favorite program, “The Berenstain Bears.”
“I teared up a little,” he said. “I couldn’t believe they let us do that. It was really special.”
“Bros.” also will be shown at 7 p.m. tonight at Wehrenberg Galaxy 16 Cinema in Cedar Rapids; 7 p.m. Monday at Marcus College Square Cinema, Cedar Falls; at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mayan Theater, Denver, Colo.; and 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at Fleur Cinema, Des Moines.