Artificial Ink in 2020 Film Fests

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most film festivals are postponing their events or switching to an online streaming format. Artificial Ink Creative worked on a few creative projects that have recently been selected for screening in late May 2020, particularly Cat Fly Film Festival‘s “Cat Fly and Chill” event as well as ConCarolinas Short Film Festival, not to mention festival strategy work for other filmmakers.

“Cat Fly and Chill” is the latest event from Cat Fly Film Festival, originally intended as a three day screening in Asheville, North Carolina, though now rescheduled as an online streaming event. Ted Kendrick assisted Kira Bursky in extras casting and festival strategy for BEAUTIFUL MESS short film which plays on the first day, May 29th. The second day on May 30th will showcase multiple film projects produced by Ted Kendrick including the DOUBLE AGENT short film which was also written and directed by Kendrick, MOMHEART short film starring Gunner Willis and directed by Joe Naylor and Joe Pellegrino, as well as the “Elevator Went” music video for the Asheville based band Wyla which was directed by Rome Widenhouse.

THE REPLICA RAID II short film starring Jeff Alexander was written, directed, and produced by Ted Kendrick, and will play at the 2020 ConCarolinas Short Film Festival, which is traditionally paired with a comic and gaming convention in Charlotte, NC but will stream online this year in response to the pandemic. THE REPLICA RAID III final installment is in pre-production with the hope to film ASAP.

Follow both Cat Fly Film Fest and ConCarolinas Short Film Festival on social media for more information on the upcoming screening schedules, and tune in to the online livestreams at the end of May 2020 in an effort to support indie filmmaking.

DOUBLE AGENT update

The DOUBLE AGENT short comedy film was written, directed and produced by myself, Ted Kendrick, for Aputure’s Light This Location contest, with Garin Wilson as Director of Photography, Absolute Grip. Co. on lighting, Rome Widenhouse as Editor, and various other volunteer crew. The short features Erich Reinhard as Jim Tackman, and Zach Echols and Tyler Buckner as the two gangsters. Although the film didn’t the win, DOUBLE AGENT is currently in consideration to play at multiple film festivals, which I hope to share more info soon. Despite uploading a version of the film online in November 2019, I asked composer, Tony Mozz, to revisit the first minute of music in an effort to strike more of a balance between the piano and dialogue, and create the new version, which is embedded below.

DOUBLE AGENT short film

Jim Tackman is kidnapped by gangsters who suspect him to be a DOUBLE AGENT. The action comedy short film featured Erich Reinhard, Zach Echols, and Tyler Buckner, and was written, directed, and produced by myself Ted Kendrick. Garin Wilson was Director of Photography, Rome Widenhouse was editor, and original soundtrack was composed by Tony Mozz. The short was made for Aputure Tech’s #LightThisLocation international film challenge. Unfortunately the entry was not selected as a finalist, but I still greatly enjoyed the production process alongside Wilson’s Productions, Absolute Grip Co., and the rest of the cast and crew.

The challenge required that the short film be no more than 5 minutes in length, occur in a single location, and include the secret word “accent”, with bonus points awarded if the film used plenty of brand sponsored gear and equipment, and we certainly did as you will find in the behind-the-scenes video embedded below, edited by Garin Wilson with footage captured by videographer Steve Howard.

The Lighting Floor Plan was another final deliverable required by the competition. Erik Kitchens of Absolute Grip Co. was the Gaffer in charge of light design, and drew a rough lighting floor plan on the back of a script. The floor plan was recreated by Ted Kendrick in Adobe Photoshop with a consistent and intelligible color palette, naturally accomplished in the familiar Artificial Ink font style.

With DOUBLE AGENT now out of competition and already released online, Artificial Ink Creative will submit and send the film through the independent film festival circuit. The official poster is embedded below, designed by Ted Kendrick, and guaranteed to look even better after flaunting a few film festival laurels.

12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS and beyond

The 12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS podcast reached the landmark of 52 episodes, and at its consistent biweekly release schedule, that means a complete full two year anniversary! However, the podcast will soon be taking a break after the finale episode in order to reexamine our approach, format, and technology. For this last batch of episodes, we comment on a funny fan-made “Exposed” video focused on the WATCHTOWER DATABASE, the host YouTube channel for podcast, review the latest MCU film SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, recap all the relevant news that came out of 2019 San Diego Comic Con, discuss the drama behind Spider-Man’s in-and-out relationship with Disney and Sony, and review Jim Henson’s original cult-classic fantasy film THE DARK CRYSTAL with podcast guest Rome Widenhouse.

The 50th episode was a discussion on the final story arc in YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS as well as the induction of Mattie Washburn as an official 12th Level Intellect, though he had been making regular appearances on the podcast for some time. Now a total of three geeky incels (that’s a joke), we review the JOKER film directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, and consider whether the upcoming action figure line “Batman: The Adventure Continues” will be considered in DCAU continuity as the package bios by Paul Dini seem to suggest. Look for a bold new direction from the 12th Level Intellects in early 2020 and beyond!

DOUBLE AGENT production

DOUBLE AGENT is a short comedy film that was written, directed, and produced by myself, Ted Kendrick, for an upcoming lighting contest by lightthislocation.com. Garin Wilson was the Director of Photography, and Eric Kitchens of Absolute Grip Co. facilitated the lighting plan as the Gaffer. Additional crew included Johan Taljaard as 1st AC, Micah Parsons as 2nd AC, Dalton Stout as Grip, Braethun Bharathae-Lane as Sound Recordist, Tony Mozz as Sound Mixer and Soundtrack, Rome Widenhouse as Editor, and Steve Howard on Behind the Scenes Videography.

The cast showcases Erich Reinhard as protagonist Jim Tackman with Zach Echols and Tyler Buckner as the antagonist gangsters Pat and Bob. The contest deadline is Monday, November 11th before DOUBLE AGENT is uploaded online for a round of voting. Afterwards, the plan is to share the short around to various film festivals before ultimately uploading it online to the Artificial Ink Creative YouTube channel. Check out some screenshots embedded below via Instagram in the meantime.

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.

“Elevator Went” by Wyla // music video

In early June, Artificial Ink Creative assisted in the production of the music video “Elevator Went” by Wyla. The concept revolves around a dreamscape scenario where the band frontman Ed Madill experiences various political calls to action. The final product will have an online launch within the next few months.

The crew on the project was limited; directed by Rome Widenhouse, produced by Ted Kendrick, sound recording by Braethun Bharathae-Lane, with cameo acting roles by Erich Reinhard, Joshua King, and a host of extras who contributed to a crowd sequence. I was responsible for securing and maintaining locations, and can’t thank The Plug venue in downtown Asheville enough for their hospitality, as well as the Asheville Outdoor Special Events department for their assistance.

2 MASKS // green screen production

2 MASKS is an experimental short film by Ezekiel Victor, featuring his original streetwear designs in a movie trailer style fashion statement where local legends, the Pilot and the Silkman, battle it out in small town America. I produced a day of pickup shots featuring media types such as news corresponders, podcasters, and a late night show. Bethany Rolland was the Art Director, Rome Widenhouse worked the camera and lighting, and Braethun Bharathae-Lane was sound design. We had the pleasure of working with actors like Daniel Ballard, Gracie Fulghum, Bruce Green, Ben Patterson, Jeffery Ray, Brewier Welch, and Brenna Williams.

BEATERS poster

Putting the final touches on the project, Madeleine Richardson and I generated a poster for BEATERS, our short film which premiered on the opening night of the Cat Fly Film Festival. The film was written and directed by Rome Widenhouse, and stars Cat Wityk, Erich Reinhard, and Brian Bost. BEATERS and its poster can be found on IMDb, and the film is available to watch in its entirety for free on Vimeo.

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!