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Cinergy Group’s Film Second Time Around Offers Hope of Lasting Love

Tommy Wheatley  (left) as Tyler Henderson and Nick Nerangis (right) as Harry Henderson from the set of "Second Time Around."
Tommy Wheatley (left) as Tyler Henderson and Nick Nerangis (right) as Harry Henderson from the set of "Second Time Around."
Connie Lamothe

Second Time Around is a story inspired by and dedicated to my mom and dad who celebrated sixty years of marriage following a five-year courtship,” says Virginia filmmaker, Denene Deverman Crabbs. “Some time after Dad lost Mom to pancreatic cancer, he pondered whether he would ever be found attractive by another woman now that he was over eighty years old. The social challenges faced by an elderly man re-entering the dating scene really struck me.”

“Shortly thereafter,” Denene continues, “my sixteen year old niece told me she had broken up with her boyfriend. When asked why, she replied, ‘The only way he asked me out was through a text message…. I don’t think that’s a good way to build a relationship.’ These two cross-generational concepts about courtship and the use of technology in dating relationships today formed the premise of the story and characters I created in Second Time Around. The film also looks at the passing on of values and the influence one generation has on another.”

The film written, produced and directed by Crabbs, is about a fictional character, Tyler Henderson, a sixteen year old tech-savvy teen who gets into trouble with the law, his parents, and his girlfriend who breaks up with him. Tyler is forced to stay with his widowed grandfather Harry who still mourns the loss of his wife to whom he was married for over fifty years. As Tyler asks for his granddad’s advice regarding the secret to lasting love and how to get his girlfriend back, Tyler identifies with Harry’s grief. Tyler embarks on a mission to teach his granddad how to re-enter the dating scene and learns a few love lessons of his own.

In response to a Women in Film Short Film Showcase call for entries, Denene self-funded the film, quickly assembling local crew and locations near her home in Fairfax County, Virginia, while casting director and co-producer, Connie Lamothe, secured talent. Denene revised the Second Time Around script she wrote two years prior and started shooting only one day after the script was revised in order to meet the submission deadline two weeks later. The film was selected by the DC Chapter of Women in Film and Video for further consideration in the Women in Film International Showcase in Los Angeles.

Second Time Around stars veteran actors Nick Nerangis (Gods and Generals, The Contender, West Wing) as Tyler’s grandfather Harry Henderson and Martha Newman (Salt, The Village, Liberty Heights) who performs as Martha Godfrey, Harry’s florist. In his first lead film role, Tommy Wheatley is Tyler Henderson complemented by Emily Varee Hyland portraying Tyler’s girlfriend, Jen. The supporting cast includes Melissa Panos, Maria Cecile Callier, Moleek Simmons, Emily Jimenez, Larry Lineweaver, Paul Wiedecker, Margaret Dodson, Tim Ciskanik, Kimberly Wheatley, Ralph Mauriello, Ed Huebner, Christina Hauter, Avery Gimble and Denene Crabbs plus real-life EMT Jonathan Banks and ambulance driver Brandon Hollingsworth.

The short was shot in three and a half days on a RED EPIC (5K) camera by Directors of Photography Michelle Farrell and Sheila Smith. Additional crew included Christina Hauter, Allison Tucker, Jennifer Megan Reed, Jeffrey Gangwisch, Devin Lewis, Favio Claure, David Cook and Avery Gimble. The film was edited by Penny Lee, Ben Weinberg and Denene Crabbs. Original music was written, performed and published by Loren Johnson in association with his companies CEO Records, Timmons Music and Christopher Entertainment Organization. Crabbs is grateful for the support of the Fairfax County community including Clifton Presbyterian Church, Jerusalem Baptist Church, Heather Hill Gardens, Physicians Transport Service, Cliff and Wanda Beaseley.

Audience response to Second Time Around received at a recent film screening in northern Virginia was positive and this is only the beginning. On March 5, the film will be screened at the Baltimore Women’s 2nd Annual Filmmaking Event hosted by Creative Alliance at The Patterson Theatre in Baltimore, MD. Second Time Around will also be screened at the Women in Film & Video-DC Chapter Short Film Showcase in Hyattsville, MD planned for March 18. Denene also plans to submit Second Time Around to film festivals as she develops funding, product placement and promotional partnerships for the feature-length version of the story.

"I like to write stories that not only entertain, but examine dysfunctions in our society,” Crabbs said. The central theme to her original works are stories of tragedy and triumph where compelling characters overcome adversity to find hope, healing and wholeness. Denene is particularly passionate about producing and promoting films and television programs that strengthen family relationships, deepen cross-cultural understanding, protect our environment, and mobilize positive social action. Nonfiction projects she has consulted on encompass history, politics, science, faith, health, crime and current affairs while fiction stories range from drama to comedy.

A native of Springfield, Illinois, Denene's career as a producer began over twenty-five years ago. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Denene fulfilled her dream of moving to San Diego where she established her own company, Deverman & Associates, producing events, media and marketing/public relations campaigns. As Denene developed fundraisers for a performing arts foundation, she sensed a spiritual calling on her life to produce film and television with less violence and more positive role models so families could have healthier entertainment options. This experience led her to Los Angeles.

While earning a Professional Certificate in Film, Television and Video at UCLA and interning at the Sundance Institute, Denene worked as a temporary assistant to executives at Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Disney, Columbia Tri-Star/Sony Pictures, and Vin Di Bona Productions (America’s Funniest Videos) where she learned business and legal affairs, development, production, market research, advertising and publicity. As a freelancer, she co-produced programs for ABC National News, ESPN, NBC and CBS plus coordinated production and managed locations for independent feature films. As Senior Producer of Total Living Network in Chicago, Denene was responsible for promotion of the national network launch and co-produced news, faith-based and family entertainment programming.

Since 2003, Denene has lived in the Washington DC area with her husband Ray. She recently held the position of Project Development Executive in National Programming at WETA Public Television in Arlington, VA. PBS and American Public Television series she worked on include In Performance at the White House, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize and the international travel series, Globe Trekker.

Denene is now the driving force behind her own media and marketing communications company, Cinergy Group LLC in Fairfax Station, Virginia. CGL has three areas of focus: Productions, Promotions and Partnerships. Cinergy Group creates content that educates, entertains and empowers. CGL produces narrative and documentary films, television programs, promotional videos, advertising spots and events. CGL also connects philanthropy, cause marketing, product placement and brand promotion with culturally-enriching multi-platform media and uplifting entertainment. Crabbs is often called upon to help brands, businesses, non-profits and TV/film professionals develop strategic partnerships and sponsorships integrating media and events with commercial and community interests. Individuals and organizations interested in donating funds, small or large, to Second Time Around or other CGL TV/film projects may receive a tax-deductible contribution receipt through CGL’s non-profit fiscal sponsor From The Heart Productions.

As Denene prepares for the next screening of Second Time Around, I ask, “So how are your niece and dad doing now?” Denene replies with a smile, “My niece just married a wonderful man…. And my Dad…he hasn’t dated yet, but frequents his favorite restaurants where he finds satisfaction in the companionship of attentive waitresses.”

For more information about Cinergy Group’s services and partnership opportunities or to schedule a film screening/interview, contact DeneneCrabbs@cox.net or call 202-487-4949. Visit www.cinergyllc.com, http://www.youtube.com/cinergyllc, and like the Second Time Around Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Second-Time-Around/689626437735591. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @DeneneCrabbs. For March film screening event details, visit http://www.creativealliance.org/calendar/screeningsand http://www.wifv.org.