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.

COMPASSION poster

COMPASSION short film anthology by Corpening Media released its official poster. Ted Kendrick collaborated closely with Jeff Corpening and Betsy Cardwell to produce “Part 1: Knowledge,” and assisted in the production of the other chapters. COMPASSION celebrates its local premiere on Saturday, December 14th at 10am at Asheville Fine Arts Theater. Admission is free, but you must RSVP in advance.

DOUBLE AGENT production

DOUBLE AGENT is a short comedy film that was written, directed, and produced by myself, Ted Kendrick, for an upcoming lighting contest by lightthislocation.com. Garin Wilson was the Director of Photography, and Eric Kitchens of Absolute Grip Co. facilitated the lighting plan as the Gaffer. Additional crew included Johan Taljaard as 1st AC, Micah Parsons as 2nd AC, Dalton Stout as Grip, Braethun Bharathae-Lane as Sound Recordist, Tony Mozz as Sound Mixer and Soundtrack, Rome Widenhouse as Editor, and Steve Howard on Behind the Scenes Videography.

The cast showcases Erich Reinhard as protagonist Jim Tackman with Zach Echols and Tyler Buckner as the antagonist gangsters Pat and Bob. The contest deadline is Monday, November 11th before DOUBLE AGENT is uploaded online for a round of voting. Afterwards, the plan is to share the short around to various film festivals before ultimately uploading it online to the Artificial Ink Creative YouTube channel. Check out some screenshots embedded below via Instagram in the meantime.

FashMob XIII // New Beginnings

FashMob is a public event for fashion models and photographers to connect and create original spontaneous works in Asheville, North Carolina. I had heard about the event for years before I finally decided to attend and participate in the XIII (or thirteenth) event, with the “New Beginnings” theme. FashMov XIII occurred in September 2019 at Sugar Britches clothing boutique in the River Arts District.

I had the pleasure of capturing various models on camera, some of whom I already knew such as Lauren Rivas (from the DEATHYARD short film of which I was an Associate Producer), Allison Price Bergh (who was in a competing team in the Asheville 48 Hour Film Project), Tammy Mattox (who had a cameo in COMPASSION Part II), and Aubrey Welch (who I believe made her modeling debut at this event) along with a few miscellaneous models. It was a wonderful experience where I had the chance to stretch my muscles and exercise my skills at portrait photography.

Headshots by The Joes

The Joes directing duo of Joe Naylor and Joe Pellegrino promised me some professional headshots as part of my payment for producing the MOMHEART short film. We captured these photos in late July 2019 at various places in Asheville, North Carolina. I knew that I wanted highly detailed black and white textured photos in a controlled interior space, which occurred at the Grey Eagle venue in the immediate photos below. Afterwards, we walked throughout downtown to collect candid shots. I was very impressed with the Joes’ work, and always grateful for updated headshots, which are critical for the freelance creative arena.

COMPASSION completion

COMPASSION, the short film anthology written and directed by Jeff Corpening from Corpening Media, completed principal photography on the final of the three parts in mid-August 2019. Pre-production had begun over a year prior in February 2018, when I began to guide production on the first installment, which starred Victor Hough with cinematography by David Craig in a setting that challenged a land developer to look past the present. Betsy Cardwell was another Producer on the project, and the glue that kept consistency and continuity in all three parts.

Part III underwent production in November 2018, and starred Emily McDaniel and Camila Escobar in which a WWII stageplay strangely turns into reality. Part II was filmed last, and featured Lavin Cuddihee and Melanie Stauss in an fairy tale trial which looked to establish empathy between man and beast. Both parts II and III were helmed by cinematographer Brad Hoover, head instructor at the Asheville School of Film. Check out the teaser trailer for Parts I and III below!

com·pas·sion Teaser 1

We can not wait to show you footage from Part 2 — which we will be filming in August. Until then, enjoy this just-released footage from our upcoming short movie, com·pas·sion.

Posted by Corpening Media on Sunday, June 30, 2019

“Elevator Went” by Wyla // music video

In early June, Artificial Ink Creative assisted in the production of the music video “Elevator Went” by Wyla. The concept revolves around a dreamscape scenario where the band frontman Ed Madill experiences various political calls to action. The final product will have an online launch within the next few months.

The crew on the project was limited; directed by Rome Widenhouse, produced by Ted Kendrick, sound recording by Braethun Bharathae-Lane, with cameo acting roles by Erich Reinhard, Joshua King, and a host of extras who contributed to a crowd sequence. I was responsible for securing and maintaining locations, and can’t thank The Plug venue in downtown Asheville enough for their hospitality, as well as the Asheville Outdoor Special Events department for their assistance.

PBR Easy promo entry

Early in January 2019, Artificial Ink Creative participated in a promotional video contest for the classic Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. The competition asked for a 30 second character driven video highlighting the new low calorie PBR Easy beer and the lifestyle to go with it. It wasn’t always easy, but we made the promo happen.

The promo video was produced by myself, and featured Josh Weinert on skateboard, an old friend of mine that I’ve known since my days as a whitewater raft guide. Cinematography was captured by Thomas Goddard, and sound engineering by Braethun Bharathae-Lane. We didn’t win the contest, but our local PBR rep Alex Pean provided plenty of free pizza and beer to fuel the endeavor. Between that and the high quality of the piece, I think it was worth the effort.

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.

THE REPLICA RAID II poster

THE REPLICA RAID II experimental short film is nearing completion with just another few weeks of post-production before it’s ready to head out on the festival circuit. In the meantime, the film needed a poster, which I designed myself. Hopefully I will add a few laurels to the poster before all is said and done.