POP-POP IS DEAD by Coki Productions, which began as a 60 minute dramatic comedy feature film, is now available to stream online with Vimeo in an updated web-series format that chops the feature into four episodes running about 15 minutes each. The film premiered in August 2018 at the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta, and enjoyed a successful festival run over the year with screenings at LA Comedy Film Festival, Winter Film Awards in New York City, and a special encore event at Cat Fly Film Festival 2019. Binge watch the entire web-series now!
POP-POP IS DEAD is a southern comedy feature film by Coki Productions, starring Catherine Dee Holly and Fray Forde as millennial couple, Layla and Desi, who return to Layla’s hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina to mourn the loss of family patriarch “Pop Pop.” As the couple struggles to survive three days with Layla’s dysfunctional Southern family, they quickly come to learn that funerals ain’t fun.
The film premiered to a sold out audience of over 600 attendees at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on August 29th. The event included film, stand-up comedy, improv, and music acts from a diverse selection of Atlanta’s top creative artists like comedians Hank Denson, Lace Larrabee, and Jarod Harris, and musical acts The High Divers and Babe Club by the film’s composer Corey Campbell.
I previously had the pleasure of working with Coki Productions on the GOOD HAIR short film which went on to be selected by Kevin Hart to play at the prestigious Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. I joined POP-POP IS DEAD as an Associate Producer where I’m handling the film festival strategy and submission process. Any festival where the film is screened feels like a personal victory.
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Congratulations to the Cast & Crew of Pop-Pop is Dead! We will be having our West Coast Premiere at the @lacomedyfest Friday November 16th, 9:30pm! Tickets are $10 ahead of time! Click the link in our bio to purchase your ticket! ??❤️ . . . . . #poppopisdead #cokiproductions #lacomedy #lacomedyfestival #losangeles #comedy #film #filmmakers #lol #screening #filmfestival #filmfest #westcoast #lapremiere #laevents #movie #atlanta #south #southcarolina #georgiafilm #californiafilm #lafilmfestival #lafilmmaker
POP-POP IS DEAD enjoyed its west coast premiere on November 16th at the Los Angeles Comedy Film Festival, which was perfect since Kat and Fray had recently moved to LA for work opportunities, and GOOD HAIR had screened there in 2017, making Coki Productions festival alumni. I was proud they could attend so soon after the move, and get their feet wet with the LA film and comedy communities.
After enjoying an extended run on the festival circuit over the last year, notably at the Catalina Film Festival and Just For Laughs in Montreal as a guest of Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, GOOD HAIR has settled on a home for its online distribution. The romantic comedy short film is now available for free streaming on Amazon Video.
Kat Dee Holly and Fray Forde are currently forging ahead on their latest venture, FAMILY TRADITION, a short independent film about a delightfully dysfunctional family, set in Holly’s home of Gaffney, South Carolina. Coki Productions, previously known as Good Hair Entertainment, is currently undergoing a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise production funds. Please consider making a donation.
Cat Fly Halloween was held on Friday, October 13th at UpCountry Brewing in West Asheville, North Carolina. The event sold out days in advance, and was a wonderful follow up to last spring’s inaugural Cat Fly Indie Film Festival, which was founded and curated by Brittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, and Cat Wityk. UpCountry Brewing hosted the screening in their tasting room, and provided a special craft beer for the event, the Cat Fly Witches Brew, a blonde ale infused with cinnamon.
These photos are from the step-and-repeat at the entrance of Cat Fly Halloween. Feel free to tag yourself and your friends and share around!
Photo cred: Michelle Graston
One of the films that I recently produced, AS ONE FLESH, played with an array of other horror and thriller shorts from across North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and the Southeast region. Additional cast and crew also attended, such as writer and director Joe Naylor, cinematographer Madeleine Richardson, lead actor Jeff Alexander, supporting actors Franklin Lovingood and James Martin, soundtrack composer and sound engineer Tony Mozz, lighting tech Brittany Jackson, editor Thomas Goddard, and makeup artist Ashton Helton, just to name a few, many of whom were also volunteers or programming staff for Cat Fly. I couldn’t have been more excited to share the night with such an awesome gathering of filmmakers.
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.
Just wrapped on Buster Business, and all I can say is thank you. Thank you to everyone even remotely involved because for the first time, “I’m making the movies I’ve always wanted to make.” So, thank you, and thank God. I’m heading home with a full heart. (BTS ? by @elizabethkabakjian and @jzhawkins) #busterbusiness
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.
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.
GOOD HAIR THE MOVIE has been selling out in advance for every screening so far, starting with the COMEDY & CURLS premiere in Atlanta, Georgia on 2/10 at the Highwire Comedy Co., follow up show on 2/27 at Highland Ballroom, and just most recently the Asheville, North Carolina screening at the Cat Fly Film Festival. Since we expect a similar turnout at the upcoming roadshow events, it would be wise to secure your tickets early! COMEDY & CURLS is touring in the following cities:
4/15: Savannah, GA
4/17: Athens, GA
4/21: Columbia, SC
4/23: Charlotte, NC
4/24: Films on Tap @ Charlotte, NC
4/28: Greenville, SC
5/6: Knoxville, TN
5/27: Charleston, SC
6/24: Memphis, TN
7/13: Austin, TX
GOOD HAIR movie tour dates! Mark your calendars for Comedy & Curls: a night of superb humor followed by the hit romantic comedy short directed by, written by, and starring @catherinedholly and @frayforde . . . . . #film #goodhair #comedyandcurls #movie #festival #filmfestival #catflyfilmfestival #ontour #goodhairthemovie #comedy #curls #girl #beautiful #photography #filmmaking #music #boy
GOOD HAIR is also slated to screen at the Films on Tap event in Charlotte, NC on Monday 4/24, conveniently one day after the COMEDY & CURLS event in the same city. Birdsong Brewing Co. is hosting Films on Tap this season, and a wonderful witbier called Doin’ Thyme has been selected to pair with the film in order show the characters’ transition from the winter of their relationship into the springtime. The programmers were nothing but supportive when we met at the pairing, and I am excited for an event that promotes two of my favorite things: film and beer!
Our producer @ted.kendrick and our sound mixer @official_sexythomas picked the perfect beer to pair with #goodhairthemovie for Films on Taps in Charlotte, NC on April 24th. Also, if you’re in Charlotte the day before, check out our show Comedy & Curls at Peace Pipe on April 23rd!! #goodhair #filmsontap #charlotte #charlottenc #charlottefilm #charlottecomedy #comedy #standup #film #writer #director #actor #producer #northcarolina #peacepipe #beer #cocaine