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A New Film by Victoria Bugbee


Our Indiegogo Campaign raised much needed capital for production and is now over.  HURRAY. Our cast and crew were fantastic.  xoxoxox  Thanks everyone for your generous support.  If you missed the video of the cast and B-Roll you can watch the video here.  Look out for another fundraiser to finish the film.  V. Bugbee

Logline: ELSA, 18, is a high school senior when she is sent to live with her strange out of state step-relatives, MARCIA GARTH and her 20 something sons, TAB and EMERY.   Tab is a gifted pianist and Emery restores antiques to bring in money for the family.  Both suffer from Stockholm Syndrome since they are forbidden to leave the house.  Both Emery and Tab fall madly in love with Elsa vying for her attention. This shatters Marcia’s control of her “boys.”  Who will leave and run away with their bohemian cousin?  Stay tuned and find out.

Think “My Cousin Rachel” meets “The Royal Tenebaums,” dark with a sense of humor.  The Gothic Romance is set in the 1990’s  a small town in Pennsylvania and was written by award winning playwright Victoria Bugbee and her distant cousin, the late Charles Bugbee.  It was 1993 and Charlie’s first film “Just Off The Coast” had won best first feature at San Sebastian Film Festival.  Vicky had just finished writing, directing and producing “A Surreal Soap Opera” at Lincoln Center Out of Doors when the two decided to write “Out of State.”  ”

“Shortly after completing the screenplay,” said Bugbee,  “Charlie was taken ill and passed away.  Many years later, with permission of Charlie Bugbee’s family, we are making the film in his honor.  This is For Charlie!”

Cherie Fortis (Saturday Night Live) is Co-Producer of the independent feature.  It stars Sarah Moliski as Elsa, Caroline Winterson as Marcia Garth, James Nester (Heroes of Dirt – The BMX Movie)  as Tab Garth, Avery Ryder Turner as Emery Garth, Tess Warren as Becky, Matthew Brueckner as Roy, Lynne Goldberg as Ms. Heller,  Dave Shaeffler as The Baker, Peter Bugbee as The Chauffeur, Paola Tawa as Mrs. Thurmond, Nick Tarricone, Deanna Gondek and Lyhia Tawa,  Paolo Tawa and Oden Tawa Diaz as recital guests.

Casting The Film

I’m constantly asked how I cast the film.  I turned to professional actors that I worked with and novices.

I ran into Sarah Moliski on a beauty commercial to test the Sony F55 camera that B Productions and Daniel Marracino produced and directed.  She looked the part of ELSA and I was thrilled when she told me she was studying acting and would love to read for the part.  James Nester was in my nephew Eric Bugbee’s film “Heroes of Dirt – The BMX Movie.”  Like TAB, he played piano and was signed.

Caroline Winterson and I knew each other from our kids’ school and worked together before when she was The Narrator in my play “The Gas Station Project.”  Her work as an award winning book orator and presence matched the character of MARCIA.  I’ve known Avery Ryder Turner since he was 5 and he is now a professional dancer.  Cherie Fortis, producer of Out of State, recommended Ryder, who is her son, for the role of EMERY.  He came by the house one cold spring day for a screen test.  Ryder embodied the quietness that is in stark contrast to James Nester’s over the top TAB.

Lynne Goldberg who plays the antique dealer MS,HELLER and I worked together on my play “A Surreal Soap Opera – Toxic Waste Meets Beach Resort.”  A stage and television actress, she is a powerhouse with the most amazing blue eyes that are almost unearthly.  I had seen Tess Warren acting in a number of plays in high school.  The part of BECKY, Elsa’s best friend went to her who by the way was my Production Assistant and is my daughter.  Matthew Brueckner, Tess’s boyfriend, plays ROY the high school photographer.  He had worked on a number of films both in front of the camera and as crew in college and offered a deadpan interpretation of his character.

When looking for someone to play THE BAKER I needed an actor who grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.  James Nester recommended Dave Shaeffler whom he had worked with in regional theater.  Dave arrived with Sho-Fly Pies and nailed the part.  My brother Peter Bugbee offered to assistant on the shoot and had a great town car so we enlisted his services as Elsa’s personal driver.  Friends, Paola Tawa, Lyhia and Farid Tawa, Baby Oden, Deanna Gondek and Nick Tarricone were recruited for the recital scene.  Thanks you all for realizing Charlie’s and my vision.  You are the coolest cast ever.

Caroline Winterson and James Nester in Winter Scene

Sarah Moliski in Dream Sequence

EMERY (Avery Ryder Turner) and ELSA (Sarah Moliski) in Woodworking Scene  

Ilya Shnitser Director of Photography shot Out of State A Gothic Romance with Canon C300 Mark II cinema camera with Zeiss Lenses.  Both Shnitser and Bugbee have visual arts background and the film is very painterly with lush color and light.  Bugbee chose to shoot the film in her old Victorian home in Hastings-OnHudson, NY (Girl on The Train, The Leftovers, Girls).  Since it was summertime, natural light streamed through the oversize windows and practicals were used for some of the scenes.  Occasionally one Arri light was used to augment the scene.  All outdoor scenes used natural lighting.

“Cinematographers are poets of light,” remarks Bugbee.  “Ilya shoots in a very painterly fashion.  For some of the scenes, I’d say to him, ‘Now you are giving me a Monet painting. or You nailed a Renoir pastel on that one.’ “

The house is a perfect setting for a gothic romance and becomes one of the main characters of the film.   It is filled with family heirlooms like the grandfather’s clock made in 1823 by Bugbee’s ancestor Issac Groetz, a clockmaker from Easton, PA.  The piano, a pivotal element in the movie, was Blanche Thomas, Bugbee’s great grandmother’s.  The director and cinematographer spent days filming portraits of objects in the house and garden that reenforces the psychological entrapment of the Garths who are bound by their domicile. Both sons suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.  A few scenes had been shot over two winters while the bulk of production was shot in 21 days over the past summer.  Principal photography is done.


The action takes place over six months from the end of December until June.  It was a long hot summer with many days over 90 degrees.  Between mosquitos and the heat the actors wore winter clothes a few too many days.   Costume Designer Kim Druce Sava (Kids, The Sopranos, A League of Their Own) and Bugbee assembled over 50 costumes and looks to serve the script.

Caroline Winterson suggested that her character Marcia Garth dress in purple – a symbol of royalty and power.

Marcia Garth (Caroline Winterson) receives a phone call from her distant brother

Sarah Moliski’s character Elsa lovingly raided her deceased mother’s closet and her wardrobe is a romantic collection of nostalgia.  She pairs clothes from the 60’s and 70’s with her signature hair that echoes 60’s icon Julie Christie.  Her colors are pinks, orange and earth tones with a few BetseyJohnson girlie items to kick it up.  The looks accentuate her luminous green eyes, olive skin and dark brown mane.

Sarah Moliski in her Betsey Johnson raincoat
We Love Betsey!

James Nester’s Tab is a dandy and always dressed to impress his piano students and later Elsa.  His signature look is button down shirt, tie, maybe a vest and generally a suit coat.  Tab prefers to take bubble baths when he is not primping in the mirror or donning elegant clothes.

#Setlife Sarah Moliski and James Nester #OutofStateAGothicRomance

Avery Ryder Turner plays Emery with quiet presences.  As the Cinderella of the family he accepts his place as the laborer and dresses in simple work shirts, pants and boots.  Marcia continually disparages and belittles him.  Towards the end of the film, Emery explodes and unleashes years of pent up anger at his jail matron.

#Setlife Avery Ryder Turner & Sarah Moliski  “Out of State – A Gothic Romance”

“Since all the other characters’ costumes took over the bedroom set aside for wardrobe,” mentions Bugbee,  “Emery’s clothes were thrown in a box in the kitchen.  Ryder Turner who plays Emery surmised that is was fitting for his character to have his few things shoved downstair in the kitchen.  I guess it was one way to get an actor into character.”

Post Production    

Bugbee’s long time music collaborator Joe Deihl  (Blue Like Jazz) has signed on to write the score and award winning editor Jason Kessler  (Small Small Thing) whom Bugbee worked with during their tenure at B Productions of New York will edit the film.  

For more information contact: Victoria Bugbee Productions 35 Washington Avenue Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706 914-260-9016

Victoria Bugbee Writer Director Producer Photo: Chris Vernale




Marcia and Tab Garth practice Greensleeves
Marcia (Caroline Winterson) and Tab(James Nester) in the Greensleeves scene
 Elsa (Sarah Moliski) is sent away
Emery Garth )Avery Ryder Turner) is smitten with Elsa (Sarah Moliski)
Emery (Avery Ryder Turner) is smitten with Elsa (Sarah Moliski) and defies his mother by cutting her prize flowers







  1. п»їCan Relationships Really Be This Simple?

    As I sat in the Abraham-Hicks seminar this past weekend, over and over I heard Abraham tell people, “You can’t create a new reality for yourself by continuing to ‘beat the drum’ of what ‘is’… you have to start telling a new ‘story’ for yourself or nothing will ever change.”
    I started thinking about the stories I was telling myself about my daughter. On the drive up to Portland where the seminar was, my daughter and I had a few ‘moments’ about how much money she had to spend on clothes and what she expected to be able to buy (it was a lot more than I had been expecting!). We argued about it a few times and afterwards, I felt angry and disappointed.
    As I sat there listening to Abraham talk, I decided to create a new story for myself about my relationship with my kiddo and our weekend together.
    Abraham continually says that the only reason what we want isn’t showing up in our lives is because we haven’t yet aligned ourselves up with it vibrationally, or we’re not in the place of feeling it. In other words, if we create a new ‘story’ around something we want, and change how we feel about it, we change our vibration. And if we change our vibration, we attract something different.
    So I spent the next few minutes writing out exactly what I wanted to experience with my daughter over the weekend… like how much fun we would have, what great bargains we would find, and how much we would enjoy being together. I continued with how I wanted to feel that she was very appreciative and grateful for our weekend shopping together, and that I felt the same.
    I wrote about all the things we wanted to shop for and how we would find them easily and at a great price. And then I wrote what a joyful experience the entire weekend would be for both of us.
    The results were incredible. How quickly we can turn things around if we can just let go of our old stories and decide to create something different for ourselves.
    It doesn’t have to be hard, difficult, or complicated. It can be amazingly simple… we just have to do it!
    During the lunch break from the seminar, I went up to see my daughter in our hotel room since she had been asleep when I left in the morning. She was a completely different person than she had been the night before. She was loving, excited about spending time together as soon as the seminar was over, and grateful that I had brought her with me. I heard more ‘thank you’s’ and ‘Mom, I appreciate you so much’, that weekend than I have ever heard before. We had so much fun together, and we found some great bargains!
    But it all started with me deciding to ‘sing a new song’ about who she was and what our relationship was like… and how I wanted to feel.
    Once I changed my vibration, it attracted something different. It was never about her changing, it was about me, but first I had to stop ‘beating the drum’ of what was, so I could change what ‘could be’.
    I would like to say that I’ll always remember to do this work when I’m being challenged in a relationship… hmmmm. I would like to say that, but…
    What I do know is that it does get easier the more I practice, and the more I practice, the more I remember to do it. And maybe next time instead of waiting a whole day before I jump in to turn things around, I’ll remember after a few hours… at least, that’s what I’m going to intend. 🙂
    Until next time… may all your stories be great ones!

    • I enjoyed your story about you and your daughter. Good to remember all you say about relationships between a parent and child as well as all our relationships.

  2. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and will come back later on. I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice evening!

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    • Thanks for liking Out of State A Gothic Romance. Have a great day.

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  3. Howardpoowl Howardpoowl

    Super bueno el video . si estimas profundizar o descubrir mas o simplemente ver otra opción te embullo que sigas los estudios de “reflexionesdelpastorcom” en sus videos veras con verdadera agudeza este tema especificado con veracidad.

    No es punto de indagar sino de localizar la verdad. Porque te puedes gastar la vida buscando sin topar la realidad en este argumento. Es seguro que la verdad completa es Jesus pero hay que también saber la verdad en todo dilema para poder desarrollarse espiritualmente.

    Hay otros instruyendo pero no todos desarrollan profundamente este tema. Te sugerimos los videos del reflexiones del pastor Eduardo para que te edifiques sobre este topico .

    Miro a muchos en los canales investigando sobre este tema pero se haya mucha discusión al respecto. Porque hay cantidad investigación y poco discernimiento en internet. Todos el mundo investiga pero pocos explican el misterio de cada debate.

    Son los ultimos dias y debemos de saber y buscar cada cosa de manera correcta para que crezcamos en la fe de El Gran Yo soy y podamos disfrutar la majestad de su santísimo y bendecido nombre .

    A lo largo de la iglesia mucho a variado la conducta de análisis de los seres humanos pero la Palabra de Dios permanece para siempre. Doctrinas nacen y desaparecen pero El Todo Poderoso dura para la eternidad .

    Cuantos aman a Dios?

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    • Glad you like Out of State A Gothic Romance website. It’s about a family who’s mother is very controlling and her sons are never allowed to leave the house. When they have to take care of their step-niece, the mother’s control of her sons falls apart when the sons fall in love with their step cousin.

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  6. Hi, I think you have the wrong family. Nice that you send your friends sympathy at the time of their loss.

  7. Thanks Alison but I’m not interested at this time. But tank you for liking OUT OF STATE A GOTHIC ROMANCE we are in post-production now.
    Best of luck with your business. Sounds interesting.

    Victoria Bugbee

  8. Thanks for liking Out of State A Gothic Romance. We are in the middle of post-production. I checked out your site and couldn’t read the language. What language.
    All the best with your business.

  9. Got to see Moonlight. Congrats on all the awards and nominations. In today’s divided society we need more films like Moonlight!

  10. Good post! I read your blog often and you always post excellent content. I posted this article on Facebook and my followers like it. Thanks for writing this!

    • Thanks Julie. Glad you liked it. We are in post-production now on OUT OF STATE A GOTHIC ROMANCE. Will keep posting
      Victoria Bugbee

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