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.

Short films on IMDb

Short films that I produced over the last year have made their way onto IMDb! BEATERS, THE REPLICA RAID, and GOOD HAIR THE MOVIE are in the catalogue.

My IMDb page is starting to fill out. I kid you not, my StarMeter once fell below a million. I felt like a pro. I have a screenshot somewhere to prove it, I swear.

GOOD HAIR // movie poster

As post-production on the GOOD HAIR short film comes to a close, the production team is proud to share the poster design by freelance graphic designer Joe Karg.

Image by Joe Karg

GOOD HAIR premieres next week on February 10th, 8pm at Highwire Comedy in Atlanta, Georgia.  Tickets can be purchased online for $7.50 or $10 at the door.