A beloved BBQ business burns and is rebuilt: “The Shed” documentary shares one family’s love story of BBQ and the Blues.
An unlikely success story
Back in 2001, Brad Orrison was a Mississippi-born recent college grad with more far-fetched ideas and junkyard “collector’s items” than business sense. So when on a whim, he cobbled together a 30-by-30-foot roadside shack in his hometown of Ocean Springs, filled it with the odds-and-ends he compulsively collects, and opened a BBQ restaurant, no one was sure quite how things would go.
He roped in his little sister, Brooke, then just 18, to help out; she pounded more than a few nails into the corrugated metal shack, which had no front door when it first opened for business, a sure sign that everyone was welcome.
Within a month, their mom and dad had joined the new family business, calling their kids “boss.” Brother Brett, a musician, started organizing blues concerts at the eatery. The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint had been born.
The fire: A setback, a new chapter, and a story that begs to be told
Fast forward to 2012. From its shoestring beginnings, The Shed had grown into a local institution, drawing “ShedHeds” from across the Gulf South and spawning five locations, from Destin to Lafayette. Besides serving up award-winning BBQ, The Shed has also helped keep the blues alive, booking legendary performers like Buddy Guy, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Percy Sledge and hosting literally thousands of free concerts over the years.
It was a success story born out of a family romance with BBQ and the blues. Through hospitality, hard work, and more than a little charm, the Orrisons’ family business had thrived, becoming that rare thing: a place where people who come to eat and hear great music truly feel at home.
Jason Rhein of Elephant Quilt Productions first met the Orrisons through his wife, Kelleye, a friend since high school of Brad’s wife, Kikie. He was so taken by the Orrisons and their family success story that he wanted to find a way to share it.
He’d already started collecting footage when in February 2012, tragedy struck. Overnight, the original Shed in Ocean Springs had burned to the ground.
Rhein immediately knew that the Orrisons’ process of rebuilding what had been lost—not only a beloved family business but a center of community life in the Gulf South—was a story worth sharing with the world.
“The Shed” (working title) documentary film will follow the process of rebuilding the original Shed from the ground up, culminating in its annual BBQ and Blues Festival on September 22nd, which this year the Orrisons hope will mark the grand reopening.
It will also tell the story of this unique family, who through love and hard work created something from nothing, and grew it into a place where so many people have shared great times.
The funds raised on Kickstarter will go towards:
Production costs for the film, continuing to shoot from now until early October
Post-production, including editing, mixing, and music licensing for the soundtrack
Film festival application fees
If everyone who has experienced The Shed gives a few dollars we should be well on our way.
The way Kickstarter works is that your pledge doesn't get processed until the very end of the campaign ONLY IF the project reaches it's $80,000 goal. If we don't reach that goal by August 8th, no one's card gets charged and we don't receive any of the money. This policy helps folks feel confident that they are only contributing to a fully-funded project that will go all the way.