BUSTER BUSINESS short film

Over the first weekend of September, Brittany and I traveled to Greenville, South Carolina to work on BUSTER BUSINESS, a comedy short film in the vein of Charlie Chaplin and Pixar, where a quirky man named Buster interviews for a job at Big Business. The film was written and directed by Gunner Willis and Corey Wavle, who also stars as the lead Buster, with Zach Robinson and MJ Slide as Producers.

Day one took place entirely on a sound stage at Anderson College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In the photo below, Gunner Willis directs the corporate extras who work at Big Business as an anonymous mob of black ties and briefcases. MJ Slide looks on as the 1st AD, keeping the production safe and on schedule. The rail across the room was the dolly track, which was used for many moving shots.

Corey Wavle played Buster as a timid but quick witted man with a Kurt Cobain hairstyle and taste for vintage clothes. He enters the lions’ den, totally out of his element, but when faced with unpredictable obstacles and impossible questions, Buster turns his troubles into his advantages. I was not familiar with Wavle’s acting, but knew him previously from his work as a 1st AC on GOOD HAIR THE MOVIE. Gunner Willis, the Director, is a working actor himself, who has appeared in minor roles on Netflix’s OZARK and HBO’s VICE PRINCIPALS television series.

The remainder of the crew on BUSTER BUSINESS was a total pleasure to work with, and involved John Carrington (DP), Kyle Vines (1st AC), Levi Milinar (2nd AC), Thomas Propst (Sound Mixer), Rob Leonard (Boom Op), Shane McMullin (Gaffer), Diana Valerie (Makeup / Hair), Carol Flack (Wardrobe), Clayton Tilley (Production Designer), Rachel Summers (Art Design), Jamie Condon (Key Grip), Micah Taylor (Swing Grip), Tommy Schwendler (Grip), Ben Wallace (Grip), Jon Stegenga (Grip), Nina Publico (PA), Elizabeth Paige (PA), and Brittany Jackson (PA) with BTS photos by Elizabeth Kabakjian and Jordan Hawkins. Supporting actors also included Russ Wood, Joe Wilson, Bruce Green, Debbie Goodwin, Rishik Patel, and Jared Buchholz.

We did it. And I couldn’t be more exhausted or proud. #BusterBusiness ? – @jzhawkins

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As the Script Supervisor, I worked closely with the Director, Gunner Willis, to note each take for script consistency as well as any visual incongruities. I kept a running log of notes which should serve as an important resource for the Editor, so they may anticipate any problems with a performance or production error in advance, and know exactly which take was best received. As one of the few people on set who actively watched the monitor for each take, I feel lucky to have such an inside perspective on how hilariously beautiful this film will be once it’s finished.

Be on the lookout for more info on BUSTER BUSINESS over the next few months as they enter post production and beyond. I expect the entire film will be completed by the end of the year with a slew of film festival screenings starting in early 2018.

CAT FLY HALLOWEEN Film Festival

Cat Fly Film Festival is returning on Friday, October 13th for a special Halloween screening event! For one night only, Cat Fly will be screening recent horror and thriller short films from the best independent filmmakers in the Southeast region! The location of the event will be officially announced within the next few weeks.

Submissions are open through October 1st, currently underway via FilmFreeway. I’m planning to play AS ONE FLESH, the horror short I produced which was written and directed by Joe Naylor, and stars local acting talent Jeff Alexander, Victoria Rae, Franklin Lovingood, and James Martin. Cat Fly founders Brittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, and Cat Wityk were all involved on set, so it should be a shoe-in for the schedule, providing post production is completed in time.

AS ONE FLESH production wrap

AS ONE FLESH wrapped production on Sunday, August 20th after only two days of principle photography. The horror short involves themes of marriage and religion. I’ve been producing the film which was written and directed by Joe Naylor, and stars Jeff Alexander, Victoria Rae, Franklin Lovingood, and James Martin.

Additional crew includes Madeleine Richardson (DP), Brittany Jackson (1st AC), Ashton Helton (Art/Makeup), Cat Wityk (Script Supervisor), Ryan DuVal (1st AD), Chelsey Radford (Art PA), and David Weiss (Sound). Tony Mozz will be scoring an original soundtrack, and providing the sound mix once the film is picture locked.

The second day of the shoot was almost entirely in the bathroom, aside from some minor exterior shots. Despite the tight space, effort to dodge reflections in the mirror, and intense scene content, we managed to successfully complete the day. Now we just need to push the film through post production, so it will be ready in time to screen at the upcoming Cat Fly Halloween event on October 13th.

indirectly directing #asoneflesh #shortfilm #filmmaking #movies #production #notpooping #bathroom #candid #horror

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SIDES by Trust Fall Productions

Early in the morning of July 4th, with a call time of 5am, Brittany Jackson and I celebrated Independence Day in an unusual way by joining Trust Fall Productions on the shoot of their upcoming short film SIDES, which was directed by Will Osigian, produced by Ryan Hand, and starred best friends Jeff Alexander and Drez Ryan.

That’s a wrap!! We had such an amazing cast and crew! We cannot thank them enough! Stay tune for more updates about SIDES!

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SIDES tells the story of two soldiers, Charles and Jim, who serve on opposing forces of the Civil War, despite their history of friendship. In a moment of respite from battle, Charles and Jim catch up by creekside, and chat like a single day hasn’t passed. Though Charles suggests he’s fighting for the states’ right to choose, Jim explains that Black Americans like him are fighting for the right to have rights.

More work with my bro @jeff_shakespeare #actor #film

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Jeff and Drez work together quite often, particularly in Team Cat Fly’s recent entry in the 48 Hour Film Project entitled IT’S MY PARTY, and the Asheville based web-series WHEN FACT MET FICTION, but always relish the opportunity to do so again. Both were recently cast in the upcoming MR. MERCEDES TV series, starring Mary Louise Parker (WEEDS), based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.

I was a sound recordist on this shoot, and operated the boom pole while Brittany managed the recording levels on Drez’s lavalier microphone. We also assisted with a blood splatter sequence per the video above, but allowed opportunity to adjust elements in post-production with green screen technology as a contingency plan.

Here is a sneak peak of our next project Sides! The story of two friends on opposite sides of the Civil War.

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SIDES is currently in post-production, and going through the initial round of edits with an expected total runtime of 4 minutes, allowing for plenty of programming possibility at festivals all around the country, especially with a subject matter so topical in contemporary conversation, despite its historical setting. All the best stories use allegory like that to relay messages pertaining to modern social issues.

IT’S MY PARTY screener

IT’S MY PARTY was Team Cat Fly’s entry in the 2017 edition of the Asheville 48 Hour Film Project. The film was directed by Ryan DuVal, produced by myself, exec. produced by Cat Fly founders Brittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, Keeley Turner, and Cat Wityk, and starred actors Jeff Alexander, Elizabeth Babelay, Rebekah Babelay, Nick Biggs, Cameron Gregg, Caitlin Koenig, Franklin Lovingood, James Martin, Victoria Rae, Drez Ryan, and Kendra Warren. Watch the film below.

IT’S MY PARTY @ 48HFP 2017

I participated in my second 48 Hour Film Project from Friday, June 16th through Sunday, June 18th. The event is held nationally in dozens of participating cities, and Asheville in particular had 22 teams this year. Each team had 48 hours to write, shoot, and edit a short film. Team Cat Fly, composed of filmmakers who participated in the Cat Fly Film Festival, entered the comedy / mystery short IT’S MY PARTY.

Team Cat Fly’s crew comprised of myself Ted Kendrick (Writer / Producer / 1st AD), Ryan DuVal (Director / Writer), Joe Naylor (Writer / Script Supervisor), Paul Rouse (Writer / Sound), Brittany Jackson (EP / 2nd AC), Madeleine Richardson (EP / Editor), Keeley Turner (EP / DP), Isabel Ferber (Art), Thomas Goddard (2nd Unit DP / Color Correction), Zeke MacMillan (Sound), and Tony Mozz (Sound Engineer).

Many local actors featured in shorts that screened at the Cat Fly Film Festival also starred in IT’S MY PARTY, such as Jeff Alexander, Elizabeth Babelay, Rebekah Babelay, Nick Biggs, Cameron Gregg, Caitlin Koenig, Franklin Lovingood, James Martin, Victoria Rae, Drez Ryan, Kendra Warren and Cat Wityk as hypochondriac Paula Wilhelm, the character all teams were required to use, our only fictitious name.

Original music was written for the film, including the diarrhea diddy “I’m Waiting” by singer/songwriter Kendra Warren, which utilized the line all teams needed as the song title and main chorus, as well as the synth-wave dance groove “Mystery Machine” by Tony Mozz, who also lent his expert ears for the sound mixing.

Madeleine Richardson was the primary editor, and powered through the process for over 30 hours straight. She got started as soon as there was footage available, and locked picture by Sunday afternoon. Thomas Goddard provided his services for color correction, and Tony Mozz speedily mixed the entire film together at the final hour, always facing down the most impossible tasks, only for the exporting to put us behind deadline, disqualifying us from awards aside from audience choice. Disappointing end to the weekend, but the event is always a learning experience.

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The 48 Hour Film Project screened at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company on Tuesday, June 20th and Wednesday, June 21st, both days at 7pm and 10pm ET, hosted and produced by Bruce Sales of 2BruceStudio. The audience seemed to really enjoy our film, and I found the others in competition to be just as entertaining. It’s always a fun game to identify the required elements in each short film, such as character (Paula Wilhelm, hypochondriac), prop (chair), and line (“I’m waiting”). Team Cat Fly’s entry IT’S MY PARTY will be released online in the near future.

AS ONE FLESH short film

AS ONE FLESH is a horror short film written and directed by Joe Naylor. On the first day of shooting, I managed the set on Sunday, June 11th as the Producer and 1st Assistant Director. The film is about a disheveled man on the other side of a failed marriage, moping about in his empty home, until an encounter with door-to-door missionaries prompts him to consider God’s forgiveness and retribution.

The cast featured talented actors like Jeff Alexander as Nicolas, Victoria Rae as Liv, Franklin Lovingood as Micah, and James Martin as Noah. Our crew was small but skillful, with Asheville local filmmakers such as Madeleine Richardson (Director of Photography), Brittany Jackson (1st AC / Lighting), Ryan DuVal (Script Supervisor), David Weiss (Sound), Ashton Helton (Key Makeup), and Chelsey Radford (Art PA).

movie makeup magic #AsOneFlesh #shortfilm #horrorfilm #filmmaking #production #makeupart #moviemagic #artdepartment

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The project was a fun challenge, both as an equipment test and procedural practice before the 48 Hour Film Project, but also for the extensive need for special effects and gore. As you’ll see in the images below, the film included multiple scenes that demanded practical horror effects such as maggot infested wounds (though mealworms were actually used), and precise blood splatters to mimic an artery burst.


We have another day of shooting to go in July before principal photography is complete, but the film is already in post-production and underway in the editing process. We expect to finish it in time for the Halloween season where we plan to screen locally, and perhaps make a small run on the genre film festival circuit.

#indiefilmmaking a lot of #specialeffects for #asoneflesh after very very little sleep

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GOOD HAIR @ Films on Tap

GOOD HAIR THE MOVIE recently screened at Films on Tap, the sixth event of its kind in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was hosted by comedian Blayr Nias in the tasting room of Birdsong Brewing Company. Each film was paired with a beer, and samples were passed around to the audience between screenings. GOOD HAIR was paired with the Doin’ Thyme Springtime Ale because of the couple’s transition from the winter into the springtime of their relationship, and Khi is doin’ time in the doghouse with Frankie for most of the movie. At least that’s our take on it.

I traveled to Charlotte with Brittany Jackson and Madeleine Richardson, two of the founders of the Cat Fly Film Festival, as well as Jeff Alexander, leading actor in THE REPLICA RAID short, WHEN FACT MET FICTION web-series, and recent OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY film with Jennifer Anniston and Jason Bateman. At the event, we all reconnected with members of the GOOD HAIR THE MOVIE crew such as Andrew Bradford (DP), Thomas Propst (Sound), Cocaine (the puppy), and writers / directors / leading actors / power duo Catherine Dee Holly and Fray Forde.

As visitors to Charlotte, we were amazed that nothing like Films on Tap currently exists in Asheville, NC, which has a plethora of potential venues for such an event. After all, Asheville held the “Beer City, USA” title for so many years and draws countless tourism to the city every year for its craft beer culture. With a little luck, I bet we see something like Films on Tap happen in Asheville soon enough.

CAT FLY // festival follow up

Cat Fly Film Fest held its inaugural event over April Fools weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. The festival was an immense success, not only because it was a wonderful event for networking with other emerging filmmakers, but because it sold out all three nights! I know how hard the founders– Brittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, Keeley Turner, and Cat Wityk– worked to make the festival such a meaningful and memorable event, so the hype was all well deserved!

Opening Night presented a slew of dramatic shorts such as THE SMOKE TRILOGY which was co-directed by MJ Slide and GOOD HAIR’s own Catherine Dee Holly as well as BEATERS which I produced and Rome Widenhouse directed. The rest of the lineup was filled out by Asheville based filmmakers Kira Burksy, Katie Damien, Kendra Warren, Ryan DuVal, Wayne Wandering, and Amplified Media‘s Jared Kay.

The Asheville School of Film was gracious enough to allow us to host a workshop in their classroom space on Saturday morning which was led by myself and the aforementioned MJ Slide and Catherine Dee Holly. We talked about how to produce short films on a tight budget, focusing on the legal and logistical aspects of the production process that you simply can’t skimp out on no matter how large or small your budget, specifically how to strategize for indie films below or around $10,000 which is considered ultra-low budget by SAG-AFTRA standards.

Comedy Night!! Photos by @threeregionnc #catfly #catflyfilmfest #aprilfools #comedy #indiefilmfest #ncfilm #avl #asheville

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Comedy Night was an absolute blast, especially with standup from Asheville locals Cory Thompson and Minori Hinds as well as Atlanta’s own Dedrick Flynn and Fray Forde, both primary actors in GOOD HAIR which screened later that night under the COMEDY & CURLS umbrella. The first film was my directorial debut THE REPLICA RAID, starring Jeff Alexander who hosted the event. Multiple web-series were also showcased, including Stefan Liner’s WHEN FACT MET FICTION which also starred Jeff Alexander across from Rebekah Babelay, and Andrew Vasco’s TRANSPLANTING, a series about a woman who adjusts to Asheville after moving from New York. Keeley Turner and Katie Damien also played comedic shorts.

The Filmmakers’ Brunch on Sunday morning was one of the more heartwarming and intimate affairs of the entire weekend. It was a pleasure to casually hang out over breakfast and mimosas with all the amazing creative people pictured above. I could list everyone in the photo, but I bet if I allow a few years, many of these faces will become very well known as the filmmakers and artists they strive to be.

so proud of these people @catflyfilmfest #catfly #filmfestival #indiefilm

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The entire weekend was simply amazing, and it was all thanks to the talented team pictured above, especially the founders. None of this would have happened without their coordinated efforts and talents for marketing and event planning, as well as everyone who volunteered their time as festival staff. If the Asheville community didn’t want a classy film festival that honored local talent before, they surely recognize now that it was a niche that needed to be filled. Here’s to next year!

THE REPLICA RAID poster

THE REPLICA RAID has been finished for a few weeks now, and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it in the meantime before it screens at the Cat Fly Indie Film Fest on March 31st, programmed by Brittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, and Cat Wityk, who also worked on this short, per the credits on the poster.

Image by Ted Kendrick

I created the poster design above for festival use, and may submit the short to other appropriate festivals later in the year. THE REPLICA RAID will also be online and available for view later this month, so be on the lookout for a link soon enough.