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Filmmakers Erik (left) and Carson Bloomquist, brothers from Newington, produce everything from romantic comedies to horror flicks, all in Connecticut.

Let the other filmmakers seek their fame and fortune in New York City or Los Angeles. Erik and Carson Bloomquist, brothers who grew up in Newington, make their films in Connecticut and have no plans to change that.

Their company, Mainframe Pictures, released a new romantic comedy, Christmas on the Carousel, in November. Filmed during the pandemic lockdown, the film is set in and around the carousel in Hartford’s Bushnell Park as well as the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol. Last spring, the brothers, who write, produce and direct their films, released Weekenders, a film that follows four twenty-somethings who are brought together after a scheduling mix-up at an Airbnb. Night at the Eagle Inn, also released this year, a thriller currently making the festival circuit, revolves around fraternal twins as they search for clues at the Eagle Inn about their lost father.

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The brothers’ filmmaking spans genres, including the feel-good romance of Christmas on the Carousel.

This past summer the duo finished shooting She Came from the Woods. A coming-of-age horror movie, the film follows the staff of an overnight camp as they conjure an old legend on the last day of camp in the summer of 1987. The Bloomquists expect to release it in 2022.

A two-time New England Emmy Award winner, Erik, 29, often stars in the movies; Carson is a producer and helps write many of the scripts.

While they both understand the lure of other film-industry cities, Connecticut offers exactly what they need. “I like that there’s a purity to the place,” Erik says. “There’s a lot of opportunity [in New York City], but we can carve out our own niche here.” 

“There’s a certain support that I might not feel in another market or city,” adds Carson, 26. “Here we can cultivate this thing we’ve been able to grow in a meaningful way.”

The state is supportive of filmmakers, Erik says. “There’s a kind of ingrained support system because it’s not an Atlanta. There’s a grassroots support you might not find in film towns.”

“There will be bigger things that come through but we want to preserve the grassroots, smaller manner of filmmaking,” Carson says.

And that, they both agree, means supporting other Connecticut businesses when possible. Products from the Farmer’s Cow, a consortium of six Connecticut dairy farms, are often featured in Mainframe films. Scenes from She Came from the Woods were shot at Cushman Farm’s cornfield in North Franklin and Main’s Country Store & Grill in Bozrah. “They’ve been generous with us,” says Carson, noting that the Farmer’s Cow products have been featured in five projects. “They logistically have helped us. It speaks to the benefit of being where we are.”

To some extent, Erik and Carson’s adult collaboration is simply an extension of their childhood. “Carson and I always went to the movies together growing up,” Erik says, noting that they would corral their cousins to create skits for the grownups during family gatherings. “We wrote them on an electric typewriter. That went on for many years.”

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A still from the brothers' latest release, the chiller Night at the Eagle Inn.

The brothers also routinely had movie-making sleepovers. “We would prioritize taking out the camcorder, and doing the shooting, editing and airing in one night,” Carson says. “It whet our appetite for what we ended up doing. The creative energy that came from those things became the impetus for how we like to operate.”

Today, they still often share the writing duties. Sometimes Erik has the laptop first and slides it over to Carson. Other times they write individually. “It’s a symbiotic fusing of our brains when writing,” Carson says. “We’re lucky to operate on the same wavelength. It’s a huge superpower we have.”

“We watch each other’s backs and find holes,” Erik adds. “One of us might do the brain dump and then the other looks for holes.”

When it’s time to cast, the Bloomquists have a few regulars they often turn to first. “I have a group of actor friends and connections I trust and think are strong foundational elements to everything we do. That loyalty is important to me,” Erik says. “I like to give friends a chance to showcase themselves and use their voice in new ways.

“No matter what we do, we have a sense of play and [the project is] rooted in play regardless of the genre,” Erik says. “We bring that energy you had as kids but with a professional skill set.”

How to watch: Christmas on the Carousel and Night at the Eagle Inn are streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Google Play; Carousel can also be seen on Vudu.

This article appears in the December 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.