PORTLAND, Maine — It was sticky Wednesday night and Jay Brown was sweating atop a ladder. He had a paint roller on a pole and was slowly changing the ceiling from white to black. It was slow going and it looked like he’d be at it all night.
But around 10 p.m. two of his three partners showed up via the fire escape with a six pack. They handed him a cold one and started pitching in, sweeping, cleaning and touching up the paint on the walls in anticipation of their big open house on Friday night.
That kind of teamwork is the whole idea behind their new filmmaking venture, Overlook, a cooperative shooting and editing space on Brackett Street that also has a screening room right next door.
“I guess it’s a solution to not be working at the foot of our beds anymore, not to be at home, trying to separate home life from work life,” said Brown. His partners in the cooperative venture are fellow freelance film producers Jeffrey Griecci, Alex Coppola and Andrea Nilosek.
The Overlook is unique from other coworking spaces in town — like ThinkTank and Peloton Labs — in that its members are all part of the local indie film scene.
Brown specializes in the music industry, working on projects for bands and record labels. Nilosek produces the 48 Hour Film Festival and concentrates on short, comedic pieces. Coppola focuses on writing scripts and doing commercial work for small businesses and nonprofits. Griecci, who is the man behind Mint Films, is mainly a director.
“The reason I wanted to do this was to be around other people who were doing this work,” said Alex Coppola. “And that’s hard to find.”
Aside from the creative feedback the partners get from each other, the financial help may be even more important.
“With the high costs of Portland — and it’s on the rise still — it’s definitely nice to share the financial burden with three other people,” said Brown.
The space gets its name from the hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s film version of Stephen King’s “The Shining.” They’ve even painted the floor of their office to match the carpet Jack Nicholson walks over in the movie.
The public is invited to see their new space and meet the filmmakers at an open house on Friday night at 8 p.m. at 155 Brackett St.