Hey, Ted. Boo!
Ahh! You scared me!
AVLFilm.com hosted a 10 Second Film Contest throughout October, and Artificial Ink Creative created a winning short titled B:00! In the Halloween spirit of the season, I wrote a quick piece about a guy (played by Ethan Saut) who catches a ghost and throws it in the microwave. I operated the camera and edited the film with music and animation by my brother Joe Kendrick.
B:00 was a fun and casual endeavor, but really just an excuse to blow up a marshmallow Peep in my kitchen. Better than eating one, am I right? Despite that, the film was one of several award winners, personally selected by the Cat Fly Film Festival for a merch bag. The Grail Moviehouse is currently playing B:00 in the opening pre-show clips before their film screenings.
Almost a year ago now at the top of 2021, I helped AVLFilm launch a Discord server for the Asheville film community, and started a social media series of posts relaying #AVLFilmHistory where I highlight a film from Asheville’s past with new posts every Wednesday and Saturday. Actually almost caught up to the modern day now! I’m told that the ten second contest sprouted from a germ of an idea of mine, but I don’t remember either way to claim any credit.
A ten second film? So you mean a TikTok.
Shut up. It’s different.
Any updates on your longer short films?
NO MEAN FEET secured its film festival premiere at Festival Angaelica, streaming online over the holidays from December 21st to 31st. Joe and I participated in a Q & A with festival programmer Breven Warren where we talked the making of the film, and brainstormed ways to support indie filmmakers in a space where creativity and commerce don’t always intersect.
THE REPLICA RAID II was also invited to play at Flickfair, another virtual film festival occurring at Flickfair.com over the month of December. Watch THE REPLICA RAID II among about 100 other films with an online pass for the entire month. RR2 was completed in 2018, but played in the Geek Short Film Festival screening tour during 2020 where Flickfair programmers first saw the short, and reached out with a guaranteed invite for selection in their event.
Nice to see THE REPLICA RAID get some love.
Not only is the short still screening, but I also have a completed script for THE REPLICA RAID III trilogy finale which I co-wrote with Rome Widenhouse, and plan to put into production sooner than later. I’ve also written a six-page short comic titled THE REPLICA RAID: “Stealing in Sequence” that I intend to include in a comic book anthology collaboration with the Lumo Station LLC.
I know you’ve got another movie in the works.
Right! Principal photography for 4SIGHT was completed on Tuesday, November 8th where I directed the last two in-story commercials for Dr.ONE and H9DSIGHT, which both featured Brooks Wallace. I was joined once again by Rome Widenhouse on camera, Sirus Widenhouse on sound, and Cat Wityk as a line producer, who were the through-line crew on the rest of production, as well as Garin Wilson who piloted the drone, repeating his role from RR2.
I saw Brooks Wallace previously act in Asheville 48 Hour Film Projects from past competitions, so I was grateful to bring him on board for the 4SIGHT short, and collaborate with him for the first time. He brought an innate brand of goofiness to the character of Fred that elevated these scenes to the height of their humor. Brief breaks for jokes was important to me for a short so focused on the existential dangers of surveillance technology.
4SIGHT officially moves into post-production now that the commercials are completed. I recently supplied a shot deck of color examples and still grabs to Sam Zeilender, who is jumping into colorist duties now after working as the Director of Photography on the core scenes with Chloe (Alisha Hawthorne).
I recently secured extra voiceover work from Tracy Fuller who portrayed Chloe’s mom. She and I met at the Tryon Equestrian Center to record her lines in a gift shop. Cat Wityk provided temp voiceover as the commercial narrator, but we ultimately landed a voiceover legend in Susan Eisenberg, the voice of Wonder Woman in numerous DC Comics animation and video games.
As one of my collaborators remarked, “We made Wonder Woman say ‘look up your own ass’” and yeah, we kinda did, but that was never the point.
Of course not. That would be crass.
Well, 4SIGHT is a sci-fi comedy, with an emphasis on comedy, so don’t blame me. I’m just the writer, director, and producer. Practically blameless.
Anything else going on?
I completed a major email marketing campaign for the Other Southern record label where I assisted in the promotion of the “GET RIGHT RIGHT NOW” music video by Manifest Sons before their full album debut of “Rich Idiot Condos.” I contacted roughly 500 music blogs based all over the world, and shared a press release seeking coverage for the pop-punk outfit.
I’ve been playing my guitar often lately, usually jamming over electronic drum loops. I feel the ache to record again, and hope to make my own EP. It’s been a personal dream of mine, and I know I’ve got the songs, but I keep thinking I’ve written newer better ones, so we’ll see how the tracks shape up over the next few months. I promise to share a demo here as soon as it’s ready.
No doubt there is more Watchtower stuff.
We always stay busy over on that YouTube channel where we talk about Batman in a new video just about every Sunday. Most recently, I delivered a spontaneous review on HBO Max’s BATMAN: THE AUDIO ADVENTURES podcast which featured a voice cast full of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE alum. I also wrote and hosted a video essay that researched the true origins of BATMAN BEYOND villains from various contemporary Bruce Wayne stories, which has acquired nearly 40,000 views at the time of this newsletter drop.
I’ve also continued to participate in coverage on BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE and JUSTICE LEAGUE INFINITY comic series, and recently sat down with JLI colorist Nick Filardi for an interview about his comics work over beers, since we happen to live in the same city. Be on the lookout for that conversation to hit the channel sometime before the year is over.
My potential poetry chapbook just underwent major edits, so I’m nearly at the design stage for that project. My goal is to release a run of self-published chapbooks next year with about 25 poems that I wrote during the pandemic.
I’m also working on two feature film proof-of-concept scripts, both only the first 10 pages for what could be two expansive stories. One is an original concept geared for a local production house, and the other is work-for-hire based on a flow arts toy-line. Both scripts nearly have first drafts finished.
You’re a busy man, but can you recommend any media that holds your attention lately?
I’m as much a consumer as I am a creator. I recently purchased a Nintendo Switch, so aside from beating all my friends at “Mario Kart 8”, I’ve been playing a lot of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” which came out about four years ago, so I’m a little late to the game, but seriously, it’s great, and sending me back into a nostalgic headspace when I played earlier entries like “The Wind Waker” and “Link’s Awakening” throughout my childhood.
Here’s my friend code, so add me on the Switch if you feel like it.
LAST NIGHT IN SOHO recently hit theaters, which I caught at the aforementioned Grail Moviehouse. I’m a big fan of Edgar Wright as the director behind SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ, so I was excited to see how his style would translate into a thriller. I knew to expect a psychedelic drama set in the seedy pop-art fashion world of 1960s London, but it was much more of a ghost story. The film also included “face of the year” Anya Taylor-Joy, so it was a beautifully suspenseful experience all around.
NOCTERRA is a comic book series published by Image Comics, and written by Scott Snyder with art by Tony Daniel, who are two creators familiar to me from their work on BATMAN over the years. NOCTERRA showcases an apocalyptic future where a dark void encased the Earth. Some humans survive in sanctuaries of artificial light, but if caught in the darkness for more than a day, they start a transformation into shadow monsters. Val drives a truck with the Sundog Convoy, delivering supplies between outposts in hopes to save her dying brother. The comic dropped six issues and a special so far, and was already optioned for an upcoming live-action series on Netflix. I’m here for the rest of the book, but greatly look forward to the show.
We may be looking at each other’s Spotify Wrapped right now, but one song that played often in my car when traveling was “Gimme Some” by Weval. Something about the pulsing bass line kept the track in rotation, but then I heard it in an HBO Max commercial, and it became a little less special to me. “Gimme Some” didn’t make my top songs of 2021. That honor somehow went to LCD Soundsystem’s “oh baby” even though I really didn’t play it that often.
There may not be another newsletter before the end of the year, so let me take the chance to say a happy holidays to everyone. Here’s to bigger and better things in 2022! The creative seeds of today will be sowed tomorrow.
As always, my resolution is to drink more water. You probably should too.
Maybe I will!
Well, good! Maybe you should!
Ahh! You scared me!
Now you know how it feels. Bye.