I started really getting into filmmaking back at Clemson, where I would spend most of my Friday nights out with friends running around campus with a cheap video camera that we borrowed from the school library. Every year we submitted our short films to Campus Movie Fest. This nationwide student film organization was my first experience with film festivals.
We tried every year to make the premiere. Each time getting closer. Until finally, we made it...and won! We managed to snag one of the four jury awards for the top films, and also, grabbed a nomination for best production design. We would go on to win the Golden Tripod Award for Best Production Design at the national level. I don't think Campus Movie Fest had ever seen a 1920s, Crime/Drama/Mystery made on $125 before. Turns out, neither had we.
My love for period pieces would continue after I left college. During the height of the pandemic, once again, my friends and I banded together, and with no money, we made a 1980s, Coming-of-Age/Comedy/Drama about a group of kids about to graduate high school as they learn to deal with bullies, love, and growing up.
We shot at some really fun locations, had some slick 80s wardrobe, worked with great South Carolina up-and-coming talent, and of course, had lots of cool 1980s and 1970s cars to help build our production value. It was a blast! Not to mention, we did this all for a whopping $0.
Our latest project takes place on the eve of WWII and follows four young women as they embark on a dreamy journey into the depths of the French countryside. The evening takes shape at the finest of homes, with cocktails all around. It's an established sort of thing where everybody's somebody, except our four friends, of course. They've been invited as replacements, seat fillers, but invited, nonetheless. Little do the other guests know, they're here to steal the show. The evening swells with one very unexpected turn!
The film is short but still very special. We are happy with how it turned out, especially with the lack of budget, which for some reason, we've become unrelentingly comfortable with. We are currently in the process of submitting the short to a few festivals and will see what happens.
Nevertheless, there are more projects to be made! Movies are a top priority, but they must always take a backseat to story. It seems in our present day, story often seems to take the backseat to special effects and spectacle. However, when you can combine these two, you might just have something quite extraordinary!
I'm a director, who really just loves making movies, no matter the scale. Currently, I'm working on smaller films, but I have no doubt, with a great story, the sky is the limit.