Private Project

ShadeTree Mechanics

A stern, yet compassionate mechanic seeks to heal racial divisions the only way he knows how.
“ShadeTree Mechanics,” is a comedy-drama-buddy feature that revolves around the lives of two unreliable mechanics, LUTHA and SLEEPY, who in their individual bumbling ways, attempt to maintain a functional mechanic shop in a close-knit neighborhood of Hopkinsville, KY. Lutha maintains a stern façade to camouflage his deep compassion for life and has no clue how to fix a vehicle. Sleepy understands vehicle mechanics but his narcolepsy hinders productivity. Adding to the shop’s daily comedic dysfunction are two neighborhood friends who use the shop as their second home and help ensure that work is kept to a minimum. Finally, a continually scheming, profit driven neighborhood dwarf, LIL BILL, risks the entire neighborhood’s health by selling outdated packaged meat from his gold spray painted shopping cart, complete with cash register and stereo system.
“ShadeTree Mechanic’s” subplot centers around the neighborhood’s endless curiosity for Lutha’s motivation in stringing up a motor from the shop’s shade tree. Unbeknownst to the neighborhood characters and the film’s viewers, Lutha bought the motor out of the truck white supremacists used to drag James Byrd, Jr. to his death on June 7, 1998 in Jasper, Texas.
When Lutha’s cancer diagnosis is revealed, the viewer’s perspective on his gruff behavior starts to change and speculation deepens as to the motor’s purpose. When everyone is shocked by Lutha’s sudden death in the film’s climax, it is through reading Lutha’s will to the assemblage of now beloved neighborhood characters, that his secret plan to heal racial divisions through a simple but constructive gesture is at last revealed. Lutha’s far seeing plans laid out in his will continue to generate positive outcomes for the remaining shop’s characters and all are invited to rethink how they might go about healing racial issues not only in the ShadeTree neighborhood, but beyond.

  • Donald Hollowell
  • Donald Hollowell
  • Donald Hollowell
  • Vincent Notice
    Key Cast
  • Tylwer Craig
    Key Cast
  • Reggie Sharber
    Key Cast
  • Donald Hollowell
    Key Cast
  • Dick Pointer
    Key Cast
  • Jackie Finch
    Key Cast
  • Donnie Frierson
    Key Cast
  • Skye Lemon
    Key Cast
  • JR Roper
    Key Cast
  • Matthew Curtis
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 14 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Local Screening of Origin
    United States
    November 3, 2017
Director Biography - Donald Hollowell

Don Hollowell makes his writing, producing and directorial debut with “ShadeTree Mechanics.” Shot in Hopkinsville Kentucky the film draws on many unique and challenging personal experiences. Shortly after graduating from high school he realized getting a college degree was very important. After college he landed in the mortgage industry, only to suffer a setback when the housing market collapsed in 2008. Subsequently, Don turned to art, and it was while drawing in a coffee shop he was asked to play a role in an indie movie. This introduction to the film industry encouraged him to write creatively and teach himself the skills to bring his vision to life. He is currently working on a number of new scripts.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Everyone is born with a talent that we must share with the earth and this is how we live forever.