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December 2013 Archives

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The Gorilla With A Mustache Films team out of Asheville, North Carolina won the Best Film Award in the National Film Challenge 2013  this week and the film will go on to the Cannes Film Festival this coming year for a special screening.

Their entry, Joint Effort, is a comedy about a package delivery gone wrong.

The team, in accordance with the National Film Challenge rules was given an assignment and had one weekend to write,shoot, and edit the short film, then present it to the judges. No small feat.  

Other awards received for the film were: Best Actor -  David Ostergaard, and Best Writer  Eruch Adams and Will Eill for Joint Effort.  Joint Effort also won the Best Use of Genre -Comedy award and 2nd Runner Up for the Audience Choice Award.

Asheville is a wonderful city nestled in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina.  Most everything about the town is either quaint or magnificent.  It does have a dirty side though.

Is your water safe?

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Everyone would assume their water is safe unless told otherwise.  If toxic chemicals were leeching into the groundwater near your home how soon would you expect be notified of it?  Days, weeks, months, years?   The dumping of toxic chemicals by a manufacturing plant in this community was known for years.  What wasn't known was how it was affecting the groundwater.   In this case,it took a decade or more before it was generally known by the residents and was recognized as a hazard.  It was not required to be disclosed in the buying and selling of property in the area.

When Emmy Award winning filmmaker Katie Damien returned from several years working aboard a cruise ship she wanted to settle down and buy a house in Asheville where her parents now live.   Homes in Asheville can be rather pricey.  She thought she had found a hidden treasure when she noticed a moderately priced home in a small community just outside Asheville.

Feeling that it was too good to be true she did some investigating of her own and found this little oasis of affordable homes to be more of a nightmare than the home place that she dreamed of.

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Michael Sharpe is a writer, director, and actor from Charlotte, North Carolina who is making a transition to the west coast and L.A. to further his film career.

His last film that he wrote and directed is called Out of One's Misery.  A dark tale with a twist, starring Pat Dortch as David, a very troubled man.  Michael also has a part as Sanford, a gentleman looking for his wife and family.  Mahri Shelton and Kayli Maree Tolleson play the family members.

The part of Sanford was written for another actor but, because he was unavailable, Michael stepped in to play that role and it couldn't have been a better fit.  Michael used a soft spoken southern gentleman accent in the movie that, along with his attire, worked to evoke a sense of calm and tranquility that his character Sanford required.

Kudos to Joe Stauffer for the cinematography, along with Kenny Caperton's production design and set decoration.  Alexandra Hughes did an wonderful job on the special effects makeup.

Enjoy Out of One's Misery, then read my conversation with the director below.

The is the city of Asheville, North Carolina's...

Photo credit: Subman758  via Wikipedia)

The Gorilla With A Mustache team is one of  48 Hour Film Project's National Film Challenge contestants.  They are based in Asheville, North Carolina and are one of the 15 finalists in the competition.

The Grand Prize Winner's film will be going to Cannes France where is will have a special screening.  The Best Film Winner and the Audience Award Winner will  be shown at the 48 Hour Film Project Filmapalooza in 2014.

Here's how you can help the Gorilla With A Mustache team representing Asheville, NC to win the Audience Award.  They are the only team from the Carolinas and could use our help.

Go to their film, Joint Efffort,  on YouTube at:
After watching the film click on the "Thumbs Up" icon to give them an up vote.  That's all their is to it. 

GoPro is also giving a $3,000 for the most creative GoPro shot.  Here's their behind the scenes video they made for that.

The 48 Hour Film Project is a competition where a team is given an assignment and then they have 48 hours to write a script, rehearse, perform, edit, and complete a short film.  

A Look at Filmmaker Katie Damien

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Some people just know what they're destined to be.  

For me, I reached the last day of high school and still didn't know what kind of career I should pursue.  I thought I'd work a bit and take classes until it became more apparrent.  Eventually, for better or worse, I sorted it out and found some semblance of a trajectory in my life.

Katie Damien is one of those people that always knew what she wanted to do.  What a luxury that must have been to know exactly the field of work that was right for you. By the way she had made this decision before she was even a teenager.  So when the time came, she applied for film school at the University of Central Florida.  No backup plans.  No other school choices. The film program at UCF is where she intended to be, period.

After completing her studies and working in the Florida market Katie decided it was time to see the world.  How do you do that?  Her way was to work, under contract, in broadcasting on cruise ships.  It agreed with her and she spent several years sailing the sea and earning her keep.  

"And if you've surrounded yourself with a really good team, when everything clicks and everyone can set their egos aside, it's like magic."

During this time, when she was doing these tours aboard ship, her parents had moved from Florida to Asheville, North Carolina.  Not really needing a house or apartment since she was away so much of the time she started calling Asheville her home base and stayed with her parents when not aboard ship.  After the cruise contracts ended she took up permanent residence in Ahseville.  Which leads us to her soon to be released feature length film.

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The seed from which My Toxic Backyard unfolded came from her attempt to buy a house in Asheville. A rather continental city skirted by the Pisgah National Forest.  Progressive, with a touch of the old and new, it receives people from all over the world to see the sites and to enjoy the fresh mountain air.  It does have a dirty little secret though, as Katie discovered.

In the Queue

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