Any New Orleans resident who has gone east in search of beaches with actual sand and water that won’t leave a mark is likely familiar with The Shed, the Ocean Springs, MS barbecue and music destination. Whether you’ve pulled off I-10 to grab lunch on the way back from Hangout Fest or just seen the name in plain black letters along side the fast-food options listed on the Exit 57 information boards, in the last decade the Orrison family, who own and operate The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint, have earned their place in the hearts and minds of Gulf South residents and visitors.
Intrigued by the already compelling history of The Shed, which started as little more than a clapboard shack and grew to an award-winning culinary and entertainment landmark, New Orleans filmmaker Jason Rhein (who can also be found thumping away on bass for greatest band in the universe Rotary Downs) had been collecting footage of the family-run operation since the beginning of the year. But – Hurricane on the Bayou-style – an unexpected tragedy completely changed the trajectory of the the planned documentary narrative: In February, the hallowed Ocean Springs location burned to the ground.
Now, Rhein’s project will chronicle the rebuilding of the Gulf South institution from the ground up, a process the Orrisons hope will be finished in time for the Shed’s annual BBQ and Blues festival in September. As a result of the film’s expanded scope and increased urgency, Jason Rhein and his Elephant Quilt Productions have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a full-length feature. The ambitious $80,000 goal will fund an additional three months of filming, cover the cost of post-production, pay for a fully-licensed soundtrack and got towards various film festival application fees and related travel expenses. Donation rewards include everything from the standard “Thank You” in the credits to an honorary spot on The Shed’s award-winning BBQ pit team.