Local filmmaker’s web series brings the supernatural to Port Huron

Huron City Radio will release the pilot episode of its new web series soon, marking the completion of a locally filmed project created entirely by Blue Water Area talent.

Port Huron resident Daniel Williams is the writer, producer, filmmaker, and founder of Huron City Radio. The fictitious radio station of pre-recorded shows edited together launched in August 2020 as a way to share art and creative projects during a time when there were not many avenues available.

“I was doing some local theater and no one was performing due to the restrictions placed on most business,” Williams says. “Some were doing shows on Zoom, so I had the idea to write radio shows that included the actors so that we would stay connected and all have something to do while we were isolated.”

Filming recently wrapped up on “Gravid,” a supernatural noir that will take viewers on a journey to a creepier side of Port Huron.

“The story is about coming back to a small town and all of the things that go on,” Williams says. “Small towns have secrets, they have structures and relationships. So, a young couple comes back to the wife’s hometown where they find lots of dark secrets, and they try to pull away to find a life for themselves.”

Originally from the United Kingdom and his wife from Port Huron, Williams says there are elements of his own life present in the story.

“It's very hard not to write about or include portions of your own life or personal experiences,” he says. “Although it’s about a couple trying to break away from where they’re from and find something unique for themselves, it has elements without being a complete copy of it in any way. Especially all of the supernatural elements that we have in the story, those are not something I’ve experienced.”

(From left) Alex Schimmelman (actor), Noelle Park (hair and makeup), Daniel Williams (writer/executive producer), Sarah Dent (actor), Marney Williams (art director), Kevin Lynch (director/editor), and Tyler Moldovan (producer).

Cheryl McCoy, a Port Huron resident and theater actress of nearly a decade, says she met Williams previously through a performance of Beauty and the Beast. She agreed to participate in the project, making her film debut playing the role of Megan Tait in the web series.

“As a stage performer you want to project and overact some of the movements so that those in the back can hear you and see what you’re trying to convey,” she says. “Working on a movie is a bit different, as it requires me to reign that in and be a bit more subtle with certain facial expressions and things of that nature.”

To put together a project involving multiple sets and locations is no easy task, so Williams sought out a way to help finance the project by reaching out to local sponsors.

“The Community Foundation of St. Clair County gave us a big grant that allowed us to make it and partnering with the Port Huron Civic Theater in the grant application provided us with props, actors, and all sorts of things really,” Williams says. “Border Keep Games and so many others helped contribute to the project. Businesses like The Raven, have provided the cast and crew with food and drink, so it's not only just monetary help.”

Another local who supported the project is Andrew Kercher, history enthusiast and Community Engagement Manager for Port Huron Museums. While trying to find the perfect location to shoot one of the scenes, co-producer Tyler Moldovan suggested that they try a different location than the one they had originally planned.

“They reached out to me to see if I had any ideas for their next location,” Kercher says. “The scene was originally set to be shot in a conference room, but it was then changed to occur at the antagonist's house.”

Kercher knew of the perfect spot. Built in the 1880s, Kercher and his wife Lauren are the owners of a historic home right in Port Huron.

“After checking out the inside of our home, Daniel said that it looked as if my house was a pre-made set for him, and the rest is history,” Kercher says. “I thought it was really cool to see local creators doing what they love. The cast and crew were really friendly and down to earth and I’m excited to see the finished product.”

Depending on editing and other post-production concerns, “Gravid” is slated to release in late September or October. To see the concept trailer for the web series or learn more about upcoming projects, visit huroncityradio.com.

Read more articles by Harold Powell.

Harold Powell is the Community Correspondent for The Keel and owner of Phantom Pen Media offering multimedia services to individuals and organizations across the Blue Water Area. He is a current board member for the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce and the most recent Chamber Choice recipient at the Eddy Awards. Harold is an avid volunteer for the YMCA of the Blue Water Area as well as Bridge Builders Counseling & Mentoring and in his spare time, enjoys spending time with his son, writing and listening to music, playing video games, and not folding laundry.