You know that feeling when your friends do really cool stuff? Then you find out that some of your other friends were also involved? And you can’t help but get excited and tell all your other friends about it? Well, grab some popcorn and get comfy because a bunch of our friends came together and did something incredibly cool, and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Our friends at 12 Stars Media (sponsors of Batch 1 and 2) produced their first feature-length film titled “Dirty Laundry,” and they enlisted the help of our friends at Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company to be a filming location. See? Cool friends doing really cool things!

Oh, and keep scrolling to see some Indianapolis-Coffee-Guide-exclusive stills from the film!

Actors Mitchell Wray (Kyle) and Charlie Schultz (Eric) sit with Rocky Walls, writer and director (and friend!) of “Dirty Laundry”

Unpacking “Dirty Laundry”

Written and Directed by Hoosier filmmaker, Rocky Walls, “Dirty Laundry” is a coming-of-age story set in 1997 with a little magic, some shenanigans, and a whole lot of heart. Amidst the humdrum of their local laundromat, best friends Kyle (Mitchell Wray) and Eric (Charlie Schultz) spend their regular visits working on a plan to start a business building custom party photo backdrops. One fateful night after a mysterious stranger interrupts their routine with words of wisdom and a random magic trick, Kyle and Eric suddenly find themselves incapable of lying. As they work together to break the spell, they discover how much is at stake when the truth comes out.

The story plays out like a tug-of-war in a pressure cooker, with Kyle and Eric pushing and pulling every moment they’re on screen together, to try and reach the truest versions of themselves without destroying their bond.

While Dirty Laundry won’t premiere until later this year, our friends at 12 Stars Media gave me (and therefore us!) a sneak peek at the role Calvin Fletcher’s had in the making of the film.

EXCLUSIVE STILL: The coffee shop is hoppin’ – Customers (Laurel Clark, Alex Calvin, and Alyssa Davis) enjoy the vibes of their local coffee shop

The Role of Coffee Shops in Film

If you’re here on the Indianapolis Coffee Guide, I probably don’t need to explain the roles coffee shops play in our society. Coffee shops are where we connect, socialize, and work. They are ingrained in our routines and our paths. Often, these functions translate directly to their appearances in films.

Traditionally in films and TV shows, coffee shops serve as comfortable and familiar backdrops for characters to do exactly what we do. Think about Central Perk in FRIENDS. It’s basically a main character. Or think about any meet-cute from your favorite rom-com that happened over coffee. Coffee shops are where real human people and even fictional ones have connections and conversations.

When writing and producing “Dirty Laundry,” it was important to the team to portray that authenticity of connecting. That makes a coffee shop the perfect setting to be part of a story like this because cafés easily trigger feelings of comfort and nostalgia, plus they are where we come together.

EXCLUSIVE STILL: Kyle packs up his things – Kyle Miller (Mitchell Wray) stuffs sketchbooks and art supplies into his backpack
EXCLUSIVE STILL: Kyle cuts out of work early – “Laundry Night,” both Kyle (Mitchell Wray) and Ashley (Flor Mojica) recite simultaneously, clearly not the first time Kyle’s left work early for this reason.

Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company: The Perfect Backdrop

I love that Calvin Fletcher’s was specifically chosen as a filming location for “Dirty Laundry” because it checks all those boxes (and so many more). Calvin Fletcher’s is a home-away-from-home for so many people, and you can feel that when you walk in the door. It has been that place of connection for so long that it makes everyone feel comfortable.

Calvin Fletcher’s has always been one of my favorite spots to meet up with people for the first time. If you’ve been there, you know why. The energy is just so warm, and you naturally feel at home. It makes every interaction feel natural and easy.

Jeff Litsey, who owns Calvin Fletcher’s with his dad, and our friends at CFCC treat every person who comes in through their doors like neighbors, and they made life incredibly easy for the film crew. CFCC helping the 12 Stars Media crew is friends coming together, just like in the film. I honestly struggle to think of a better or more welcoming space for a special scene in “Dirty Laundry” to come to life.

Behind-the-scenes of filming with Director of Photography Grant Michael and Art Director Eric Thaddeus Andrews. (Peep that sweet crewneck 👀)

Behind the Scenes

Are you ready for the cool sneak peek part of the blog? 🙂 I love talking about Calvin Fletcher’s and how cool it is that our friends made an entire movie(!!), but I also love going behind the scenes of, well, anything.

As the story of “Dirty Laundry” was coming to life, Calvin Fletcher’s immediately came to mind for the writer. And because Calvin Fletcher’s is Calvin Fletcher’s, it didn’t take much convincing for the film crew to get approval to shoot in the space.

In December 2023, the 12 Stars Media crew set up shop at Calvin Fletcher’s for a single, very full night of filming. Descending upon the coffee shop as the final patrons were packing up to leave and owner, Jeff, was getting started on evening chores, the entire space was filled with lights, camera, and—you guessed it—action. The very back of the seating area was commandeered by hair, makeup, and wardrobe crew members as the talent shuffled through, getting ready for their scenes. Several extras, cast by local agency Talent Fusion, donned 90s period attire and hairstyles before refilling the seating area up front to bring that community feel back to the transformed space. All the while, Jeff roasted a batch of coffee beans in the back and made himself available for the cast and crew’s every need.

Friends helping friends do the coolest things. Even bigger than that, it’s local businesses helping other local businesses do really cool things.

EXCLUSIVE STILL: Kyle shares some surprising news with Ashley – Ashley (Flor Mojica) is surprised to hear that Kyle (Mitchell Wray) has put in his two-week notice at the coffee shop.

Excitement for “Dirty Laundry”

I am so excited for the release of “Dirty Laundry” this fall, and it is so awesome that Calvin Fletcher’s got to play a small part in the creation and story of the film. 

Dirty Laundry” will be premiering this fall at a film festival near you (more on this coming soon) before it makes its way to streaming.

In the meantime, make sure to join the Laundry List email newsletter (I see what you did there!) to stay engaged with the film. Also, make sure to follow @dirtylaundry.2024 on Instagram.

Super huge thanks to our friends at 12 Stars Media for being such great friends and partners to the Indianapolis Coffee Guide over the years, and an especially huge thanks for all the backstage details!

All photos and media courtesy of our friends at 12 Stars Media.