Quitter

*UPDATE! Please check out our new awards!

Quitter was co-written, co-produced by and stars Hollywood award-winning actor, David Topp.

Having struggled with his own addiction to nicotine for several years and receiving social judgement as a result, it was David Topp's deep desire in making "Quitter" for it to be a PSA of sorts to generate public compassion and empathy for those who suffer from addiction, as well as address and encourage young people to show them that there is NOTHING GOOD OR COOL that comes from smoking or addictions.

Writer/Director/Producer Melanie Scot "hovered on a fine line between life & death" for many years due to two life-altering illnesses.  She overcame tremendous odds to pursue her life-long goal of being a filmmaker.  As a result of her illnesses, she knows about tenacity, the power of positive thinking and never giving up.  She made her first film at age 49.

A mysterious stranger and the phenomenon known as "dimes from heaven" appear as signs that we are never truly alone in our struggles. (How many dimes can you spot?)

The final, most important message is that, if you find yourself engaged in something that is not good for you, big improvements can occur from even small life changes and that we should never, never, never give up. The film's tagline is borrowed from Steve Pfiester's "Pfit" program: "The only thing you should quit is giving up".

Another notable detail is the all original score for Quitter was written and performed by a fourteen year old guitar prodigy, Connor Muhl. Connor is the grandson of the late Edward Muhl, the studio boss and movie mogul of every picture made by Universal Studios from 1953 to 1968.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Quitter is a PSA, an uplifting and humorous look at a young man's journey through the sometimes manic cycles of addiction. Addiction is all around us; for some it's food, cigarettes, the internet, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping or other compulsions. Through his journey, Gabriel finds out that we are never truly alone in our struggles. Everyone will find something they can relate to and smile about in this inspiring short film."

The film was shot near Los Angeles, in an area known as "The Pass" in the San Jacinto Mountains, with a three man crew from Los Angeles, CA.

The Official world-wide Press Release can be found here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/05/prweb11822712.htm

  • Melanie Star Scot
    Director
    The Box (multi award winning film), Sangria Lift
  • David Topp
    Writer
  • Melanie Star Scot
    Writer
  • Duane A. Sikes
    Producer
    (Retired Paramount Executive with over 50 film credits)
  • Melanie Star Scot
    Producer
  • David Topp
    Producer
  • David Topp
    Key Cast
    (Hollywood Award winning actor) "The Box", Hallmarks' "The Shunning", "Our Father" with Michael Gross, (currently screening at Cannes), ION Channel's "Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas",
  • Matt Fore
    Director of Photography
    Zero Dark Thirty, Limitless, The Walking Dead, Homeland, Little Fockers,
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy, Motivational, PSA, Avant Garde
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 28, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Telly Awards

    June 15, 2015
    Winner - Bronze Telly for Excellence in Health & Wellness
  • Accolade Global Film Competition

    September 11, 2015
    Award of Merit - Personal Growth
  • Accolade Global Film Competition

    September 11, 2015
    Award of Recognition - Fitness & Nutrition
  • Accolade Global Film Competition

    September 11, 2015
    Award of Recognition - Women Filmmakers - Melanie Star Scot - Writer, Producer, Director
  • Tryon International Film Festival
    Tryon, North Carolina
    October 10, 2015
    North Carolina Premiere
    Official Selection
  • The Indie Fest
    California
    November 9, 2015
    Best Public Service Programming - Award of Recognition
  • The Indie Fest
    California
    November 9, 2015
    Best Leading Actor - David Topp - Award of Recognition
Director Biography - Melanie Star Scot

Melanie Star Scot is an American award-winning film director and producer. In April 2015, she was nominated as "Best Local Filmmaker" in the entertainment magazine "Mountain Xpress". Her first film, The Box (2013) won several awards, including a Bronze Telly award, a Best Actor award in Hollywood for lead actor/co-producer David Topp, a Best Costuming Award and it was also chosen to air on world wide television on the ShortsHD TV Channel for three years.

It was a dream she sought but wasn't sure how to obtain in the small North Carolina town she grew up in. A daughter being raised by a single, working father presented many challenges. Since she was also an only child, Melanie was alone most of the time. She raised herself beginning around age eight, when she declared to her father that she was "much too old for a babysitter". She had a thirst for knowledge and how to do everything on her own. She had to. Her life made her strong, fiercely independent and self-sufficient.

Around the same age of eight, she discovered she had a deep desire to be a part of the film industry. Using sheets and blankets, she would hang curtains around the house, creating her own sound stages. She wrote her own scenes into the most popular films and television shows of that time period and performed alone, in front of her many dogs.

Being on the East Coast, she thought the Hollywood dream was unobtainable. With no one to tell her otherwise, she pursued the "safe" route: college and climbing the corporate ladder. She poured herself into her career and worked sixty to eighty hour weeks for over 20 years. The physical stresses became too much and she was struck down with two life-altering illnesses which ended her daytime career and she lost everything she had.

At the age of thirty-six, she found herself divorced and a single mom, trying to raise a young son alone. She was broke and extremely sick. It gave them an inseparable bond.

When her son grew up and showed the same interests in film, she vowed to support him in any way that she could and help him obtain his dream, remembering her own from so many years ago. She began by driving him daily to his acting classes forty-five minutes away and because it was so far from home, she spent many hot and cold days and nights, waiting in her car, reading and walking their dog around the school campus.

When her son began to have successes as an actor, because he was a minor, she accompanied him to his film jobs. When she stepped onto her first film set, she says "I felt like a duck that had been raised in a chicken coop and someone had finally found me and thrown me out into the water - where I belonged - and it was euphoric!"

Thus, her film career began. She began taking any jobs she could on as many film sets as she could, working for free in order to gain the experience she wanted and understand how a film set operated. She did everything from craft services, wardrobe, horse wrangling, boom operator, slate girl, production assistant, camera assistant and script supervisor.

In 2012, she co-founded her own production company, Topp Scot Productions. After "The Box", she wrote and produced Quitter (2014) and Sangria Lift (2015) . In 2014, she became a Producer on the dramatic and successful short film, Our Father (2014) starring Michael Gross, which is currently screening at Cannes.

She is working on her own feature length films, "Dancing in the Dark" and "Phoenix 454" slated for 2017 and 2018

Although she produced and directed her first film at the age of 49, she shows no signs of slowing down, in fact the opposite seems true.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Hello! And thank you so much for watching!

Quitter is my second film. My first film, "The Box" has won several awards, most notably a Best Actor award in Hollywood for David Topp, a Telly award for outstanding non-broadcast entertainment and it has been contracted to air on the ShortsHD Channel on DirecTV for the next 3 years.

This is my 2nd film in partnership with Duane A. Sikes, a retired Paramount Pictures executive with over 50 film credits.

Because it is a silent film and addresses the universal issue of addiction, “Quitter” has no language or cultural barriers and "strikes a chord" with audiences worldwide. It's the story of a young man whose addiction is holding him back from achieving many of his goals and the tough and often humorous path he takes to try to break his addiction. It's an artistic film that was written with the hopes of inspiring others to make positive life changes.

Its highlighted point is that, regardless of how many times we run and fall, we should never beat ourselves up; we have to keep moving forward. We should take those small steps that make us feel better, that make us happy and never, ever give up.

The films tagline was borrowed from Steve Pfeister of the PFIT program: “THE ONLY THING YOU SHOULD QUIT IS GIVING UP".

Mysterious items and an unexpected character appear in the film to add an additional layer and serve as a reminder that we are never truly alone in our struggles.

Screeners have given “Quitter” glowing reviews, describing it as "a stellar work of art", “engaging”, “humorous”, and “never a dull moment”. The avant garde film stars Hollywood award-winning actor David Topp, who's been compared to "a young Robert Redford and Brad Pitt with a little Matthew McConaughey thrown in for spice". :) Topps' embodiment of the main character holds the viewers attention from beginning to end. Topp is a talented young writer and filmmaker who's acting skills gained national attention and a loyal fan base from his Hallmark movie "The Shunning" by Michael Landon, Jr as the supporting lead and romantic love interest to Danielle Panabaker, as well as his successful Christmas movie that continues to air annually on the ION Channel, “Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas.” On May 4, 2014, David Topp won Best Actor award in his age category at the prestigious Young Artists Awards in Hollywood for his dual lead roles in the last Topp Scot Productions film, “The Box”.

Another notable detail is the ~all-original, all-guitar ~ music score for Quitter was written and performed by a FOURTEEN YEAR OLD music prodigy, Connor Muhl. I had many professional, experienced adult musicians submit their samples to me and only Connor grasped my vision for the film from his very first music sample. Connor is the grandson of the late, great Edward Muhl, the studio boss and movie mogul of every picture made by Universal Studios from 1953 to 1968 !

The film also features the very lovely former Miss Indiana USA of 2012, Megan Myrehn.

Topp Scot Productions is an independent production company with bases in Southern California and North Carolina. I shot the film entirely on location about 80 miles east of LA in the San Gorgonio mountain region known as "The Pass" in early 2014 with a three man crew from Los Angeles. Director of Photography Matt Fores' credits include "The Walking Dead", "Homeland", "Little Fockers", "Limitless", "Real Steel" and many more.

We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it. For more info, please visit our IMDb pages and Facebook pages listed to the right.

Thanks again,

With gratitude and warmest regards,
Melanie Scot