What a glorious week at the Nashville Film Festival. Our first festival to get into and we ended up walking away with Best Cinematography and 2nd in the Horizon Audience Awards. Excited to debut it online once we hear back from further festivals in the works. 

Stay tuned for the online debut!

Shoot Day 3

Great final day. Wish we had about 2 more weeks to do whatever the hell we wanted. But working in restricted budgets, time, crew, etc. make you find decisions and stick with them. I also assume I'd still want more time after a month on set.

Rain came on our final shots which we ended up using to our advantage. A baptismal scene of sorts for our lead character. And a day covered in mud in a trailer park in the middle of the country turned out to be grosser than we thought. But this shit is "in the can" now and can't wait to start digging into post. 

It was a limited crew for the last few scenes, but I think we made it work. Also, a great final lesson...

Lesson #6: No hair and make up on set? Use mud and break dust.

Alright! Trailer coming soon! How the hell do you get a short in festivals? Etc! Etc!

Shoot Day 2

Daaaay 2. Major dialog scenes today and it was extremely fulfilling. To dig in with actors is such a rare occurrence for me. Makes me respect that craft and realize that I would be a horrible actor. Also, it's nice to get schooled in the realm of the importance of sound with these kind of scenes. Airplanes and appliances suddenly become your worst enemy. Ah...

Lesson #5: Consider yourself lucky every time a sound guy asks you to hold the take.

How collaborative this complicated medium has to be. I hate it and love it at the same time. Makes the people you surround yourself with that much more important. Anyway, folks got to show some emotional chops and we pulled a bullet out of a guy's leg in a shitty bathtub.  

Not bad right?

Shoot Day 1

We broke through graves, climbed trees, threatened children, and shot a guy. This is film making, right?

Great first day. Despite spotty weather and our lead spraining his ankle, we got what we needed. Thankful that we worked up shooting boards before hand for the major action sequences. Coverage and consistency of takes is such a challenge while having 5 guys chase each other with gun fire. Makes me realize I should go back and watch all the western movies my dad was obsessed with. In fact...

Lesson #4: Clint Eastwood probably did it better than you.

Anyway, the farm location and gas station ended up killer and I'm extremely thankful for the team that is in place. Everything looked beautiful. Anamorphic lenses on the Red Dragon don't hurt either. 

Aight. Two to go. We'll sleep when we're dead.

Pre Pro 3

Reality is setting in on the challenges of accomplishing a bigger short like this (simi) on your on. The monetary wealthy and immediate rewards are hard to see. And while driving for hours to find a trailer house location or farm land that will let you dig graves on their property... doubts definitely occur in the form of thoughts such as... "Will anyone give a shit about this?" or "Maybe I should get a real job."

But in the same breath, there's a reason why I've avoided traps like film school and being involved in all aspects of the project is super important for me. The shoot days are coming up and I'm digging into the locations and art aspects of the production. Oh, all that to say...

Lesson #3: When you have graves in a corn field written into your script... someone has to dig the holes.

Also, I'm proud to have my Director of Photography David Ogle signed onto the project as well. 

You can see Dave's work here:

Pre Pro 2

Casting daaaaaaaay. It's always weird hearing real people say the words you've had rolling around in your head. It's a strange form of reward for narcissism.  And always surprising on what you learn about the characters you wrote and think you knew. A big realization for me already is to make sure you sit with actors at different phases of your script. So...

Lesson #2: Sometimes dialog you deem incredibly witty can punch you in the face with it's stupidity the second someone says it out loud. 

Anyway, I had the pleasure and opportunity to run through scenes with some fantastic actors today. Nashville continues to surprise me with the talent it provides. Our lead for the film is Casey Fuller. A killer leading man, producer, writer, from Nashville, TN. Opposite him, Nettie Kraft will be playing his sister. Both stellar talent and stoked to have them aboard. 

To learn more about each you can see them here:

Casey -

Nettie -

Also wrapping up our overly complicated wardrobe with my lovely Project Runway alumni wife… Amanda Valentine.  

You can see her work here:

Pre Pro 1

Welp, the weird world of making a short film has begun. Will anyone care? I don't know. But after years of directing commercials and music videos, I've started the task of putting my narrative money where my mouth is. Or whatever. 

I'm excited to stop talking about making script ideas in smokey bars at 1 in the morning and actually going for it. It's an opportunity for me to step into the narrative world and have a piece to pitch for longer / more expensive projects. And a fantastic way to realize the things I have to learn and shape to become a film maker that is intentional in his aesthetic and choice of story.

Deciding on the project is half the battle. Over the past year or so I've written several features and tv pilot scripts. And I needed to humble myself and step back to a 10 to 15 minute script I knew I could pursue and accomplish. I'm learning lessons already. In fact, let's do this on each post...

Lesson #1: It's good to beat the shit out of your ego every once in a while. 

So! The script I'm taking on is a a dark little southern tale about a man dealing with the mistakes of his past and trying to get home. It's full of dirt and blood and tension and betrayal. Everything we wake up hoping to avoid. 

Set in Tennessee, I'll be working with Nashville crew and cast to make the most cinematic and gritty story I can muster. Now all I have to do is get a cast, crew, gear, locations, etc. etc. etc. etc.

Simple right? 

Luckily, I have a wonderful producer Max Butler helping me here in town.

For more on Max: