Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Return To The Director's Chair

My first film, Night of the Snakehead Fish, was released 11 years ago. I made it without having any experience in movie making whatsoever. I credit my resilience, ability to research the process, and pure naivety for the film coming together. Though it has its flaws, Snakehead has steadily found an audience over this past decade. It keeps popping its head up in the most unexpected places. (It will be featured on the Weather Channel next year!)

This month has found me back in the director chair. I am directing a new short with Azbest Films and Piano Man Pictures. It is a noir inspired piece, and I am really excited by.

If you are reading this, you may be wondering why its taken me over 10 years to make another movie. Well, the short answer is: it has and it hasn't. After Snakehead Fish, I wrote half of a sequel that I never really felt lived up to the original. I abandoned that and spend the next several years working on a number of scripts with a writing partner. Though they were really great, they were just impossible to film. With no money, and no one around me really doing films, I just couldn't make them happen.

Eventually, I did begin another project entitled Whimsical. It was a psuedo/mock documentary of my friends' band. They were called The Whimsical Douche Bunnies and featured bass, drums, and vocals only. The movie followed them around in their day to day lives, and showcased their few gigs. The three of us wrote it as we went along, mixing fiction with reality. It was almost impossible to find the lines that separated reality from the staged. The plan was to film for almost a year, and set up certain events that would happen during their live shows. We had the story, the plan, and had 20 minutes of it shot and edited together. Unfortunately, the bass player's mother experienced a catastrophic injury that stopped the project all together. I've had the footage sitting around for a number of years. I did edit it into a short, but a lack of signed releases from certain audience members will probably ensure it is never released.

Following the aborted attempt at Whimsical, I decided to focus on writing short stories and novels. I did some tech work for plays and the occasional short for other directors, as well. It wasn't until just a couple of years ago that I fell in with two production companies, Azbest Films and Piano Man Pictures, that have reinvigorated my film interest. I have worked on a number of projects with these two, as well as other companies, that will mostly be released next year.

Next year should also see a documentary that I directed and edited. It is about Rusty's TV and Car Museum in Jackson, TN. While this would technically be my return to the director's chair, I felt that I needed to return to narrative to really make it count. Luckily, I have been given this chance with my noir short.

For now, that is all that I can say about the piece. I will definitely post more about it once it has wrapped and is ready for release. The cast and crew are all very excited about this project, and I can't wait to share it with you all.


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