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!

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/

LIKE NOTHING ELSE IN TENNESSEE // feature script

At the end of November, I shipped an 86 page screenplay entitled LIKE NOTHING ELSE IN TENNESSEE for Channel 70 Productions’ consideration to purchase. Channel 70 Productions is based in Brevard, NC and ran by filmmaker Norm Brooks. In mid-October, Channel 70 put out a call for feature screenplays written by local writers to be used in a production intended for the festival circuit.

I wrote LIKE NOTHING ELSE IN TENNESSEE in the fall of 2013 for a Screenwriting course at UNC Asheville, and it has just been gathering dust in my archives ever since. Unfortunately I only had a PDF on file, so in order to give it another editing pass, I undertook the task of reformatting the script into my writing software. I use a mix of Final Draft 9, Google Docs, and Celtx, depending on the purpose.

LIKE NOTHING ELSE IN TENNESSEE was based on true events that occurred in Cumberland County, Tennessee that same year. Three teenage boys and a young mother were found shot dead in a car with no explanation as to why. The story captivated me with speculation, and informed my schoolwork that semester when I decided to embellish the circumstances by relating the fictionalized events of the previous month leading up to the tragedy itself in the form of a teen drama.

The script is still under consideration, though happy to share upon request. LIKE NOTHING ELSE IN TENNESSEE receives its name as a reference to the poem “Anecdote of the Jar” by Wallace Stevens, shared below via Poetry Foundation:

Anecdote of the Jar
by Wallace Stevens

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

SUB ROSA short film // UNBECOMING

SUB ROSA is the fifth and final short in the dark comedy anthology film UNBECOMING, written and directed by Chris White, produced by Paris MTN Scout. The film was shot on October 7th, 2015 at a beautiful mansion home in Tryon, North Carolina. I helped out on set as a Production Assistant, mainly in the production design and lighting departments.

The film starred notable actors Michael Forest (The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Ronald Reagan cowboy movies) and Patti D’Arbanville (The Sopranos, Law & Order, New York Undercover), both of whom have legendary resumes and were wonderful people to work with, almost as great as the live goat we wrangled into running around the house.

The story involves a retired U.S. senator with a dark secret who claims the CIA would kill him should he ever reveal it. He shares the truth with a frantic farmer who wanders onto his property in search of her goat Maggie.