Drop #4: No Mean Feet

This newsletter is no mean feat.

I turned 30 years old just the other day! That’s a pretty big round number.

Happy birthday! How did you do it?!

Only had one birthday per year. Got there eventually, slow and steady.

I held a party with friends at a riverside brewery where I was given two of those wonderful, awful golden numbered balloons which floated away.

Balloons are bad for the environment.

I didn’t lose them on purpose. Anyway, let’s jump into the creative stuff!

NO MEAN FEET, the Bigfoot short film that I wrote and directed last spring, recently completed its final edit and 4K resolution export, thanks to the efforts of my brother Joe Kendrick who also starred as the hunter. Check out the short’s official poster below, illustrated by Atlanta based artist Joe Rivera, who innately adapted the short film’s events into his own pop art-style.

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The poster will look even better with a few festival laurels. NO MEAN FEET is currently in consideration at over 20 film festivals, with plans to also screen at some Bigfoot-centric conferences. Hope to settle on a decent premiere soon!

That poster is no mean feat.

Stop it. I already made that joke in the newsletter subtitle. Didn’t you see?

In other news, Cat Fly Film Festival returned for its fifth year. The Asheville-based festival has come a long way since I was a production coordinator during its first two years. I’m very proud of the work that Brittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, and their team put into sustaining the event.

The GIVE AND TAKE feature film, directed by Andrew Shearer, played this year on Sunday, August 29th at the Grail Moviehouse. I was an Associate Producer on the project, assisting in finances, script supervising, craft services, and other production roles. It was a joy to finally watch the completed film along with the rest of the cast and crew, recall the moments where I was on set, and watch my old Subaru Outback (aka the Blubaru for its color) arrive at the end of the movie, driven by the school guidance counselor’s elderly mother.

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Your cars have always had grandma vibes.

That’s not true. Remember the Jeep?

Yeah.

My largest endeavor in September was a weekend production on my 4SIGHT short film, over the 18th and 19th. I directed, produced, and co-wrote with Rome Widenhouse, who was also the 1st AD and provided voiceover work as the 4SIGHT Augmented Augur. I had a small crew of eight people, including Sam Zeilender as Director of Photography, Cat Wityk as Line Producer, Sirus Widenhouse on Sound, Jacob Hart as Gaffer, and Matt Wooten as a Grip.

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The cast was also minimal, but included a dog named Steve, technically an extra, but who’s counting? He stole the show with his muppet-looking face. David Gwaltney made a brief appearance as Guy or “Man-Bun” as the character was named in previous drafts, and Alisha Hawthorne portrayed the lead character of Chloe, a young woman who downloads 4SIGHT, a nefarious fortune telling app that gauges her personal data to manipulate her life.

That would never happen IRL.

It already does, my friend. It already does.

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We had a wonderful filming experience over two full days of 10am to 6pm filmmaking, but we got through it all effectively and efficiently. Rome Widenhouse is currently underway on the first draft edit, but look for more information surrounding the 4SIGHT short film in the next few weeks.

I won’t look very hard.

You don’t have to since you’re already in the right place! Check out a still (with temp coloring) with Chloe speaking to the 4SIGHT Augur on her phone.

Weren’t you just in Portland, Oregon?

I sure was. I spent two nights there where I visited Adam Mullen, the writer of LOST DOMINION (more on that below) and composer for the Watchtower Database YouTube channel, and then made my way to Astoria to film one of the channel’s ambitious storyline videos with James Strecker and Mattie Washburn, who you can see from the following pic are much taller than me.

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In a rare turn of events for me, I only participated in the filming as an actor where I portrayed a judge-like character for a courtroom scene in a spooky, dilapidated Masonic lodge. We were even given permission to enter their secret sanctum, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting as Nicholas Cage might make it out to be in a NATIONAL TREASURE movie. I found it kind of refreshing to only worry about my lines rather than handling all of the minutia of organizing the production. Much appreciation to James and the camera operator Brian Maneely for making it such an enjoyable and seamless experience.

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Speaking of the Watchtower Database, my latest video essay was a deep dive comparison of THE SHADOW radio drama character from the 1930s to his influence on the creation of BATMAN, most specifically elements introduced into the 1990s animated series. This is the sort of useless information that I like to share with YouTube, though the 78k subscribers on the channel may disagree to the degree of its uselessness. People still tuned in to watch!

I’ve also continued my comic book references coverage with the Watchtower Database team on both BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE SEASON II and JUSTICE LEAGUE INFINITY comic series that have recently continued the DC Animated Universe. My next major video essay will look at the original villains from BATMAN BEYOND and how similar some of these futuristic foes were with villains that Bruce Wayne fought in his heyday as Batman, as well as a review on the new BATMAN: THE AUDIO ADVENTURES on HBO Max.

That all sounds somewhat interesting.

It was! It is! So was the At Home Comic Con, hosted by ComicDrake and OwenLikesComics with a charity donation element aimed for COVID relief. We participated in a panel on Sunday, September 26th, which was all about the LEGACIES OF THE DCAU fanfic webcomic that I write and produce.

I was joined by story editors Mattie Washburn and James Strecker, who is also a main artist alongside Mark Daniel Martinez (aka DigitalJediMaster) and Marcelo Millicay. We talked making a webcomic, and the process behind actually doing it, like what the creative process entails to move from script to art. We also dropped hints and spoilers at things to come in the series.

Teased in the last newsletter, the LOST DOMINION comic series written by Adam Mullen (also with art by Mark Daniel Martinez and Marcello Millicay) spun off into a Kickstarter campaign for TALES FROM THE LOST DOMINION, an anthology comic series that focuses on other characters in the LOST DOMINION universe, either from ages past, or who encountered the main characters at some point. The Kickstarter campaign has already crossed its goal by 150% but any additional donations are welcome in helping meet the stretch goals which will unlock exclusive variant covers and poster prints.

STAR WARS made the space western epic into a modern mashup, but LOST DOMINION spins the genre in its own way, ripe with geopolitical tension, and characters each lost in their own sense of the word. Every subsequent issue gets better than the last as the team grows more comfortable working together and telling this epic story. I serve as the Editor on both the main series and anthology, assist in script construction, and provide feedback on every stage of the art process. However, if you catch potential problems in the thumbnails, it is much easier to stay consistent through the final image.

You mentioned poetry in the last newsletter...

Edits on my potential chapbook are still underway, but I’ve received some excellent feedback that I’ve already started to integrate. Below is a piece titled “Insomnia” which is an acrostic style poem, which means that the first letter of each line spells out the entire word “Insomnia” if you read it vertically.

“Insomnia”
Into Darkness, I crave the still delights
Not attainable while my thoughts relay
Situations and sentimental sights
Obscured by the passing of yesterday
Morning never comes to restless dreamers
Nor does the Black Knight ever end his quest,
Invested in the vanquished redeemers
After nothing more than a good night’s rest

Let me know if you enjoyed that, and want to read more! Honestly, positive response would probably speed up the release of such a poetry collection.

Enough about you now. Recommend things!

I’ve been super into this album “2X1=4” by F.S. Blumm and Nils Frahm, basically playing on repeat ever since it dropped on September 3rd. Blumm and Frahm are both electronic musicians based in Germany. This album has been especially good listening for writing, driving, and any other brain-heavy activities since it’s all instrumental with “Desert Mule” and “Sarah & Eve” as standout tracks for me, the latter of which reminds me of a pair of friends who were inseparable for awhile when I knew them best. Glad to retain their friendships today, and reconnect with both of them earlier this year.

Rich Tommaso is one of my favorite comics creators, best known for series like SPY SEAL, DARK CORRIDOR, and SHE-WOLF. I recently read one of his early books, 8½ GHOSTS, which was perfect for the Halloween season. A filmmaker finds a haunted house with a family of ghosts who live in its walls. He schemes to hire the ghosts to act in a horror movie without telling the cast and crew that the hauntings are real, figuring the acting would be more authentic and save on special effects expenses. Naturally, hijinks ensue.

That’s all I got! Recommend this newsletter to someone if you enjoyed it. Venmo me @Ted-Kendrick if you want to make a donation to these creative pursuits. I’ll be back in this semi-monthly fashion sooner than later.

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