Creating in COVID-19 Times

In these uncertain times, I know that I’ve started to automatically tune out anything that begins with those four words: “In these uncertain times”, so please forgive me. COVID-19 turned the world upside down for over six months and counting as of this writing. Everyone’s plans for 2020 were postponed in an effort to social distance and flatten the curve. Meanwhile, I’m over here– as Ted Kendrick and Artificial Ink Creative– still looking towards a creative future, keeping my head down, trying not to cause too much trouble, and use the pause from the pandemic to write and create as much as possible while the free time has presented itself.

Participating in the Producer’s panel for AVLFilm.com‘s February 2020 mixer was one of the last normal things that I did this year, and it was definitely a privilege to chat about the film production process alongside James Suttles of The Asheville Studio and SuttleFilm, and Jennifer Trudrung of Night Frizz Productions. I was booked to work as a Production Coordinator on a TV web-series that was scheduled for production from May to July 2020, but postponed until 2021 because of the pandemic, and while I’m still welcome to the position, I am unsure as to what 2021 has in store for me. In any case, I took the time to be certified by Safe Sets International in their COVID-19 (Level A) training for the film and video production industry in preparation for the inevitable and eventual return to set.

Some projects were still possible to undertake in pandemic times. For example, during the summer, I collaborated with my brother Joe Kendrick to create an informational video for my father’s law firm NWKT in Birmingham, Alabama, which featured firm partner William McKenzie, to assist plaintiffs in their COVID-19 legal strategies. We captured the video in the mock courtroom as you can see in the behind-the-scenes image embedded below. Other blog posts have shared details on the work that I did for the Watchtower Database around the same time as well.

What I saw at the beginning of 2020 as a devastating blow to my routine, being laid off my day job in early January after the entire office was shut down in order to outsource work from another city, actually turned out to be somewhat of a saving grace. Otherwise I may not have been as easily eligible to receive financial aid in unemployment insurance, which kept me afloat while I turned my attention towards writing and developing multiple projects, including five short film scripts written in collaboration with Rome Widenhouse such as the long-teased THE REPLICA RAID III, and some I have not mentioned on the blog before: sci-fi shorts 4SIGHT and A DRIVE-THROUGH WINDOW TO THE MULTIVERSE, as well as surreal horror shorts AUTOTOMY and THRESHOLD. I’ve also dipped back into songwriting and music recording, an art that I used to focus on more prolifically, in early production on a potential outdoors comedy web-series, and in development on a comic book passion project, the psychedelic noir romance ADDITIVITY. Keep an eye on this blog and follow @artificial.ink.creative on social media for updates.

2020 Film Fest Follow Up

The “Cat Fly and Chill” livestream event from Cat Fly Film Fest ran from May 29th to the 31st. Ted Kendrick worked in extras casting and festival strategy on Kira Bursky’s BEAUTIFUL MESS short that played on opening night, as well as multiple projects on the second night including DOUBLE AGENT which was written and directed by Kendrick, who was also a producer on MOMHEART starring Gunner Willis and directed by Joe Naylor and Joe Pellegrino, and “Elevator Went” music video for the band Wyla which was directed by Rome Widenhouse. Artificial Ink Creative sponsored the event, which included the following funny promo spot that played on the third night, created by festival hosts Jeff Alexander and Drez Ryan.

Later in the summer, DOUBLE AGENT played at the Lanett City Film Festival in Alabama on Friday, August 14th, which also occurred in its first livestream format, considering the COVID crisis. Ted Kendrick was privileged to participate in a Q&A over a Zoom call to chat for half an hour with festival director Eric B. Wright. Though there may still be a $10 paywall, the festival is available to view online.

The ConCarolinas Short Film Festival touring screenings were unfortunately cancelled along with most comic book conventions in 2020 because, again, for the pandemic– but! The ConCarolinas programming team readjusted and scheduled a screening at the Knight Drive-In in Salisbury, NC. THE REPLICA RAID II was scheduled to play on Friday, September 11th from 8-12pm. Given that the short involves a car chase sequence, what better place to watch it than at a drive-in?

What better place to watch our car chase action short film #TheReplicaRaid♊️ than at a drive-in?

Posted by Artificial Ink Creative on Monday, July 13, 2020

Artificial Ink in 2020 Film Fests

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most film festivals are postponing their events or switching to an online streaming format. Artificial Ink Creative worked on a few creative projects that have recently been selected for screening in late May 2020, particularly Cat Fly Film Festival‘s “Cat Fly and Chill” event as well as ConCarolinas Short Film Festival, not to mention festival strategy work for other filmmakers.

“Cat Fly and Chill” is the latest event from Cat Fly Film Festival, originally intended as a three day screening in Asheville, North Carolina, though now rescheduled as an online streaming event. Ted Kendrick assisted Kira Bursky in extras casting and festival strategy for BEAUTIFUL MESS short film which plays on the first day, May 29th. The second day on May 30th will showcase multiple film projects produced by Ted Kendrick including the DOUBLE AGENT short film which was also written and directed by Kendrick, MOMHEART short film starring Gunner Willis and directed by Joe Naylor and Joe Pellegrino, as well as the “Elevator Went” music video for the Asheville based band Wyla which was directed by Rome Widenhouse.

THE REPLICA RAID II short film starring Jeff Alexander was written, directed, and produced by Ted Kendrick, and will play at the 2020 ConCarolinas Short Film Festival, which is traditionally paired with a comic and gaming convention in Charlotte, NC but will stream online this year in response to the pandemic. THE REPLICA RAID III final installment is in pre-production with the hope to film ASAP.

Follow both Cat Fly Film Fest and ConCarolinas Short Film Festival on social media for more information on the upcoming screening schedules, and tune in to the online livestreams at the end of May 2020 in an effort to support indie filmmaking.

DOUBLE AGENT short film

Jim Tackman is kidnapped by gangsters who suspect him to be a DOUBLE AGENT. The action comedy short film featured Erich Reinhard, Zach Echols, and Tyler Buckner, and was written, directed, and produced by myself Ted Kendrick. Garin Wilson was Director of Photography, Rome Widenhouse was editor, and original soundtrack was composed by Tony Mozz. The short was made for Aputure Tech’s #LightThisLocation international film challenge. Unfortunately the entry was not selected as a finalist, but I still greatly enjoyed the production process alongside Wilson’s Productions, Absolute Grip Co., and the rest of the cast and crew.

The challenge required that the short film be no more than 5 minutes in length, occur in a single location, and include the secret word “accent”, with bonus points awarded if the film used plenty of brand sponsored gear and equipment, and we certainly did as you will find in the behind-the-scenes video embedded below, edited by Garin Wilson with footage captured by videographer Steve Howard.

The Lighting Floor Plan was another final deliverable required by the competition. Erik Kitchens of Absolute Grip Co. was the Gaffer in charge of light design, and drew a rough lighting floor plan on the back of a script. The floor plan was recreated by Ted Kendrick in Adobe Photoshop with a consistent and intelligible color palette, naturally accomplished in the familiar Artificial Ink font style.

With DOUBLE AGENT now out of competition and already released online, Artificial Ink Creative will submit and send the film through the independent film festival circuit. The official poster is embedded below, designed by Ted Kendrick, and guaranteed to look even better after flaunting a few film festival laurels.

Artificial Ink T-Shirts!

Artificial Ink Creative, LLC has produced its first batch of official t-shirts which were given as gifts to key cast and crew who have been important assets over the years. Lightning Bolt Ink screen-printed the shirts out of their shop in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. They approached the white font and grey streak in the logo design with two separate screens to create the desired texture effect.

The shirts were modeled by Braethun Bharathae-Lane and Whitley Albury who now rep the Artificial Ink brand both online and out in the world. Another batch of t-shirts will be ordered from Lightning Bolt Ink before the end of the 2019 year, and will be available for purchase at $15 per shirt in sizes S, M, L and XL. Shirts in XXL and up available upon request for $17. Email artificial.ink.creative@gmail.com to reserve your shirt today and ensure you don’t miss the second round!

PHOBOS CON // 48HFP 2019

Team Artificial Ink has created a Director’s Cut for our 48 Hour Film Project entry PHOBOS CON, now available to watch online via YouTube. This version is only slighted edited from the submission copy entered into the competition. The director’s cut includes filters to distinguish the diegetic camcorder elements, twenty seconds of additional comedic footage, and corrected scrolling credits.

PHOBOS CON screened at the Best Of 2019 Asheville 48 Hour Film Project event on Thursday, July 18th at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. The film was awarded Best Makeup, rightly earned by Co-Producer Zach Echols, as well as nominations for Best Use of Prop (a kite) and Line of Dialogue (“This isn’t what I signed up for”).

MOMHEART premiere @ The Big Fancy

The MOMHEART short film directed by The Joes and produced by Artificial Ink Creative LLC premieres at The Big Fancy event hosted by Sly Grog Lounge in Asheville, NC on Saturday, July 6th. The festival is one night only with a $10 cover, and fancy dress code, however best interpreted, for a night to be remembered.

Posted by The Joes on Friday, June 21, 2019

The Big Fancy will also feature additional short films including another recent Artificial Ink Creative project THE REPLICA RAID II, and multiple album releases by local Asheville-based bands, some of whom contributed to the MOMHEART soundtrack such as Battery Powered Hooker Boots and Mike Anderson. Other musical acts will include Half-State, Lil’ Loswer and GLitch SLap, among others.

Flier.

Posted by Battery Powered Hooker Boots on Sunday, June 23, 2019

Additional shenanigans on site at Sly Grog Lounge will include breweries, CBD farmers from Clover who will set up a Dab Tent, retailers from Griftown Screen Printing, burlesque performances from Erin Trixi and Theresa Coggiola, live record cutting by American Vinyl, and “Live Food From Scratch” by La La Diabla.

Artificial Ink @ Asheville 48HFP 2019

Artificial Ink participated in the 2019 Asheville 48 Hour Film Project, which marks the fourth year that I’ve competed, but the first year as a branded team. Artificial Ink received the genres “Sci-Fi / Road Movie”. Although the official rules say that teams only need to choose one of the genres, we decided to try both, and I think it turned out pretty darn decent given the parameters of the 48 Hour Film Project.

The images above are screenshots from the 48HFP entry entitled PHOBOS CON. The short film will be online within the next few weeks as the Director’s Cut is ultimately finalized. Personally, I am of the mind that the 48HFP reaps whatever it sows as a project, but there were a few credits snafus and edits needed before the film inevitably lands on the internet. Team Artificial Ink also had the pleasure of being featured on the local news, ABC 13 WLOS, owed primarily to Garin Wilson, the Director of Photography, who works for the broadcasting company.

Roughly twenty different films screened together for the Asheville 48 Hour Film Project, which was hosted at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company on Merrimon Avenue. Team Artificial Ink played on Tuesday 6/25 at 10pm and Wednesday 6/26 at 7pm, which all screenings sold out per usual for the 48HFP. There was plenty of steep local competition, but I think we held our own, though the point of the event is always to gauge progress in the production process from the previous year.

Most of the team was able to attend the premiere screening, as depicted above, from the left to right: Timothy McCarthy, Lyle Henry, Jeffrey DeCristofaro, Ted Kendrick, Jeffery Ray, Whitley Albury, Zach Echols, Garin Wilson, and Joe Kendrick. The behind the scenes photographs below were all captured by Jeffrey DeCristofaro who had a minor acting role in the film as the designated character Grant MacDonald, window washer. The other elements included a line of dialogue, “This isn’t what I signed up for” and prop of “a kite”. Overall, it was another challenging but educational experience in passionate guerrilla filmmaking.

THE REPLICA RAID II premiere!

THE REPLICA RAID II premieres at Cat Fly Film Festival’s Community Night on Saturday, March 30th at New Belgium Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Limited tickets are available for purchase online. The film includes a unique bumper at the end– “A Cat Fly Collaboration”– to showcase how most of the crew was comprised of programmers and filmmakers who met each other at Cat Fly.

And the following week, you are invited to watch THE REPLICA RAID II online, live with Ted Kendrick and Artificial Ink Creative, during its YouTube Premiere on Saturday, April 6th at 10pm ET. Chat and interact with some of the cast and crew members in the comment section! The film will be free for streaming anytime after.

Featured Films in Cat Fly 2019

Cat Fly Film Festival returns for its third annual event in Asheville, North Carolina from March 29th to 31st, which will see a few selected film projects played over the weekend created by myself, Ted Kendrick, along with works from friends and collaborators across the Southeast. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Cat Fly website. Please say hello and chat if we cross paths at the festival!

Artificial Ink Creative will premiere THE REPLICA RAID II on Saturday, March 30th at 6pm, which opens Community Night at New Belgium Brewing as a Cat Fly Collaboration project. The film was written and directed by Ted Kendrick, and stars Jeff Alexander as a bewildered art thief, with Thomas Goddard as Director of Photography, and Braethun Bharathae-Lane on sound mixing and soundtrack.

I worked in the early development and pre-production of MY FATHER’S SHADOW short film by Will Osigian of Trust Fall Productions, and assisted as Script Supervisor on BUSTER BUSINESS, directed by Gunner Willis and Corey Wavle of dUMB. Both of these films are scheduled to play on Friday, March 29th during the Opening Night screening at the Asheville Masonic Temple. I was also an Associate Producer on POP-POP IS DEAD by Coki Productions which is the feature film showcase playing on Sunday, March 31st, 4pm at the Asheville Fine Arts Theater.