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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Taking “Quantum Doughnut” from Story to Production

 by Alex Granados

[continued from Part 1

... But a few months later, Wood got back in touch and told them production was a go.

“Of course everybody was up for it because it meant that we got to hang out all night in the donut shop,” Seth said.

Finally, Wood asked Seth if he could cast the loudmouth. Seth didn’t hesitate.

“Sure,” he told Wood. “I know the perfect person.”

Seth brought in Sean A. Cole. Cole is an attorney in Raleigh with a passion for the dramatic.

Cole said he did theater in high school and college, and he and Seth have both taken part in a production done by the local bar association called “The Bar Awards.” He described it as a “song and dance review that gives out fake awards for real events.”

“That’s the closest thing to real acting that I have done in some time,” Cole said, adding later: “Any kind of public spectacle I can make of myself, I enjoy that.”

So the cast is clear, but what’s up with the story? Who writes a science fiction tale that revolves around sugar-glazed doughnuts and a jerk?

“Well the story was kind of revenge for being stuck behind a really unpleasant guy in a restaurant in Blowing Rock, North Carolina for an hour who complained a lot about his damn race horse,” Wood said. That description will sound familiar to anyone who’s read the story.

Okay, that explains the story. But why was Petrolino so into making this film? Fame and fortune?

“I primarily just enjoy getting a good story out to people,” he said.


Petrolino was able to show the film at Cary Theater’s Rough Cuts Review, where local filmmakers can get feedback on their productions. After making some tweaks, he was able to bring the film back and show it again.

“And everybody came out it was just wonderful support,” he said. “If it didn’t do anything […] other than that, that would have been hugely rewarding because you probably had 100 people in that theater and everybody was having a good time,” he said.

In addition, the film got into the Austin Revolution Film Festival, where Petrolino estimates 700 to 800 people got a chance to see "Quantum Doughnut.”

So finally, we get to a promise I made earlier in the piece. Just how many doughnuts were consumed? Okay, I might have strung you along a bit. The best answer I could get out of the case was “a lot.”

Cole called it more of a doughnut-tasting exercise, because in one scene he takes a bite out of a doughnut and spits it into another guy’s coffee. Rebecca said more doughnut ended up on her face than in her stomach.

But the measure of success isn’t the number of doughnuts eaten. In fact, in this case, it’s all about the memories. And since the film was made, a lot has happened. You might not have heard, but there’s a pandemic, and the notion of gathering a bunch of people together to make a film is a little less palatable than it once was. Petrolino looks back on the experience with longing.

“Just to be outdoors on a city street with a camera you know with other people around you. That would be really nice to be able to do that again,” he said.

And you, too, can have that experience, plus a little dose of profundity over doughnuts, with Quantum Doughnut.

Read the original story: “Quantum Doughnut”
Watch the film on YouTube: Quantum Doughnut 
Encourage the filmmakers! Say nice things about the film on IMDB: Quantum Doughnut on IMDB


Alex Granados
is a Raleigh-based education journalist. When he’s not reporting, he writes fiction, including his first novel, Cemetery Plot, published in 2012. He served as assistant director on the Baen Books audio adaptation of Larry Correia’s “Detroit Christmas” and has covered the arts scene in Raleigh and surrounding areas as a columnist for the North Raleigh News section of the News & Observer and a producer for The State of Things on North Carolina Public Radio WUNC.

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