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.

Cat Fly Indie Film Fest

Cat Fly Indie Film Fest is an upcoming short showcase launching its inaugural event in Asheville, North Carolina on April Fool’s weekend 2017. Brittany Jackson is the Festival Director with the expert programming team of Madeleine Richardson, Catherine Wityk, and Keeley Turner. Intended initially as a vehicle for screening recent projects, Cat Fly has expanded to include the broader creative community.

Image by Madeleine Richardson

A handful of shorts that I participated on will screen at the festival, including my own writing / directing premiere of THE REPLICA RAID starring Jeff Alexander. BEATERS is also set to play of which I was the Producer, Sound Recordist, and Script Consultant, previously referred to anonymously on my blog as Project Scrambled Eggs. GOOD HAIR THE MOVIE which I produced with leading actors Kat Dee Holly and Fray Forde will also headline the second night of the event.

For more information on Cat Fly Indie Film Festival, check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or their personal website: http://www.catflyfilmfest.com/

THE REPLICA RAID // intro and update

THE REPLICA RAID is an upcoming short film written and directed by myself with much of the same crew from UPSTAGED and Project Scrambled Eggs such as Rome Widenhouse (Director of Photography / Editor), Madeleine Richardson (1st AD), Cat Wityk (Script Supervisor), and Brittany Jackson (Gaffer). THE REPLICA RAID stars primary actor Jeff Alexander and his body double John Duper Morse.

Previously known as Project Burglary, the plot revolves around a strange, surreal Sci-Fi scenario between an art thief and his doppelgänger which begins with caution, carries over into confusion, before diving into combat. THE REPLICA RAID was my first foray into choreographing a fight scene. The project is now in post-production and expected to be complete by early 2017. Tony Mozz is composing an original soundtrack and artificial sounds will be recorded via foley.

Below is a painting of the Ouroboros symbol which was used as a prop in the film in both a practical and metaphorical sense, now one punch short of being a well-preserved piece of prestige artwork, though still a Rome Widenhouse original.

PROJECT BURGLARY // short film

I recently reunited with the crew responsible for UPSTAGED, our entry in the Asheville 48 Hour Film Festival, on a new short film I’ll call Project Burglary for now. The story involves an art thief who finds himself in a surreal, Sci-Fi situation, which is played to its full effect using extreme dutch angles, the black and white aesthetic, and artificial sound via foley.

project_burglaryImage by @madsrich

Project Burglarly starred actor Jeff Ryan Alexander (The Inspectors / Transplanting / Office Christmas Party) with John Duper Morse as his body double and crew including myself (Director), Rome Widenhouse (Director of Photography), Madeleine Richardson (1st AD), Cat Wityk (Script Supervisor), and Brittany Jackson (Gaffer). The short was shot on Monday 9/26 in the living room of the Widenhouse residence in Woodfin, NC.

I adapted this piece from a project I shot for a class at UNC Asheville in 2011 and chose to revisit the concept since the previous version was never completed. The cameraman mixed up the recording button, so every time he thought we were rolling, he was actually cutting. We were left with footage involving the set up of each shot with the camera shutting off as soon as I said “Action!” Luckily I was able to recycle the footage for a documentary about the failed project later that semester.

Revisiting the concept five years later proved to go exponentially more smoothly as I was joined by much capable filmmakers. I wrote roughly three new drafts of the 2-page script after important creative feedback from Rome and Cat, incorporating more unifying moments and symbolism, including a painting of the Ouroboros created by Rome Widenhouse, which you can see getting destroyed in the Instagram video below.

one punch #shortfilm #theReplicaRaid #artthief #art #canvas #skimask #punch #rolling #action #production #fightscene

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Project Burglary has now entered post-production, edited by Madeleine Richardson. After picture lock, we will begin to create the foley sounds and ambient soundtrack. Expect an announcement with Project Burglary’s official title and its accompanying plans for release by the end of the year.

Pokemon Go – The “Official” Drinking Game

In late July 2016, the Pokemon fad returned in the form of mobile app game Pokemon Go. Jeff Alexander, an Asheville based Actor, had an idea to cash in on its popularity by making the “official” drinking game and what would hopefully become a viral video.

Madeleine Richardson took on the bulk of the work as both the Director of Photography and Editor. Brittany Jackson and Catherine Wityk also assisted with camera work and had cameo roles with me in the drinking games. I also helped with the script content, used my Pokemon Go profile for some of the game footage, and came up with the idea to spoof classic character Professor Oak for the intro segment.

Spoiler alert: at slightly over 200 views, the video definitely didn’t go viral but the short was still a lot of fun to make and a great excuse to do a little bit of day drinking.