SIDES by Trust Fall Productions

Early in the morning of July 4th, with a call time of 5am, Brittany Jackson and I celebrated Independence Day in an unusual way by joining Trust Fall Productions on the shoot of their upcoming short film SIDES, which was directed by Will Osigian, produced by Ryan Hand, and starred best friends Jeff Alexander and Drez Ryan.

That’s a wrap!! We had such an amazing cast and crew! We cannot thank them enough! Stay tune for more updates about SIDES!

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SIDES tells the story of two soldiers, Charles and Jim, who serve on opposing forces of the Civil War, despite their history of friendship. In a moment of respite from battle, Charles and Jim catch up by creekside, and chat like a single day hasn’t passed. Though Charles suggests he’s fighting for the states’ right to choose, Jim explains that Black Americans like him are fighting for the right to have rights.

More work with my bro @jeff_shakespeare #actor #film

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Jeff and Drez work together quite often, particularly in Team Cat Fly’s recent entry in the 48 Hour Film Project entitled IT’S MY PARTY, and the Asheville based web-series WHEN FACT MET FICTION, but always relish the opportunity to do so again. Both were recently cast in the upcoming MR. MERCEDES TV series, starring Mary Louise Parker (WEEDS), based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.

I was a sound recordist on this shoot, and operated the boom pole while Brittany managed the recording levels on Drez’s lavalier microphone. We also assisted with a blood splatter sequence per the video above, but allowed opportunity to adjust elements in post-production with green screen technology as a contingency plan.

Here is a sneak peak of our next project Sides! The story of two friends on opposite sides of the Civil War.

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SIDES is currently in post-production, and going through the initial round of edits with an expected total runtime of 4 minutes, allowing for plenty of programming possibility at festivals all around the country, especially with a subject matter so topical in contemporary conversation, despite its historical setting. All the best stories use allegory like that to relay messages pertaining to modern social issues.

GOOD HAIR @ Films on Tap

GOOD HAIR THE MOVIE recently screened at Films on Tap, the sixth event of its kind in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was hosted by comedian Blayr Nias in the tasting room of Birdsong Brewing Company. Each film was paired with a beer, and samples were passed around to the audience between screenings. GOOD HAIR was paired with the Doin’ Thyme Springtime Ale because of the couple’s transition from the winter into the springtime of their relationship, and Khi is doin’ time in the doghouse with Frankie for most of the movie. At least that’s our take on it.

I traveled to Charlotte with Brittany Jackson and Madeleine Richardson, two of the founders of the Cat Fly Film Festival, as well as Jeff Alexander, leading actor in THE REPLICA RAID short, WHEN FACT MET FICTION web-series, and recent OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY film with Jennifer Anniston and Jason Bateman. At the event, we all reconnected with members of the GOOD HAIR THE MOVIE crew such as Andrew Bradford (DP), Thomas Propst (Sound), Cocaine (the puppy), and writers / directors / leading actors / power duo Catherine Dee Holly and Fray Forde.

As visitors to Charlotte, we were amazed that nothing like Films on Tap currently exists in Asheville, NC, which has a plethora of potential venues for such an event. After all, Asheville held the “Beer City, USA” title for so many years and draws countless tourism to the city every year for its craft beer culture. With a little luck, I bet we see something like Films on Tap happen in Asheville soon enough.

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!