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 ūüďł – @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 // 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 foundersРBrittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, Keeley Turner, and Cat WitykРworked 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!

SUMMER IN THE CITY // short film

Last year, I had the pleasure of participating on the set of SUMMER IN THE CITY, a short film written by Eddy Gudakov and Adam Rudd about a young man taking care of his aging father in the loneliness of the country. The film stars actors Nico Sexton, Blaque Fowler, and Victoria Springer. SUMMER IN THE CITY was shot in late April 2015 at an old country home in Tryon, NC.

We were lucky to have an all-star crew onboard consisting of filmmakers MJ Slide (1st AD), Max Gudakov (DP and Editor), Justin Robinson (1st AC), Tyler Wade (Sound Recordist), Bessy Adut (Script Supervisor), and Latia Curtis (Makeup) with Production Assistants Chaz Scovel, Fray Forde, Peter Donahue and myself.

SUMMER IN THE CITY recently screened in Los Angeles over the weekend of August 12, 2016 at two prominent film festivals: an official selection at Marina del Rey and Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.