By Marybeth Cale, Living Rhinebeck Magazine
RHINEBECK – Sean Rappleyea, Associate Producer at Rizk Pictures, made his way back to his hometown recently for a film screening at Upstate Films; locals called it a “fun, wonderful evening”.
The Dutchess County native says he fell in love with storytelling at a young age; he graduated from Rhinebeck High School in 2011 (and then Full Sail University).
Rappleyea began his film career working on NBC’s The Blacklist and went on to become Associate Producer for Rizk Pictures, an independent production company based in New York City.
Sean’s body of work at Rizk Pictures includes the film screened at Upstate called “Literally, Right Before Aaron”. It was written, directed, produced, and edited by The Blacklists’ Ryan Eggold (Tom Keen) and stars Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard), Cobie Smulders (How I met Your Mother, The Avengers), Ryan Hansen (Party Down), John Cho (Star Trek), and Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers). Other cast members include Dana Delany, Lea Thompson, Briga Heelan, Luis Guzman, Peter Gallagher, Charlotte McKinney, Charlene Yi, Manu Intiraymi, Parish Cheena, Ivy George, and Malcolm Barrett.
The film is focused on Adam (Justin Long), who gets a call from his ex-girlfriend Allison (Cobie Smulders) telling him she is getting married, at which point Adam realizes he is just not ready to say goodbye. Against the advice of his best friend Mark (John Cho), Adam drives home to San Francisco to attend the wedding in hopes of convincing himself and everyone else, including her fiancé Aaron (Ryan Hansen), that he is genuinely happy for her. “Adam discovers the comedy in romance, the tragedy of letting go, and the hard truth about growing up,” according to the film’s website.
Sean described showcasing his work in his hometown as a “dream come true.” The screening of “Literally, Right Before Aaron” (for which he was associate producer) was held at Upstate Films for a packed house. Following the film, Sean participated in a Q&A moderated by the beloved retired RHS English teacher Vincent Nugent, who inspired a love of acting, storytelling, and theater for countless Rhinebeck High School grads through his popular drama club program.
Sean shared, “Since I was about 8 I knew that this is what I had to be doing, no matter what. I have made it. I live my dream.”