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.

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.