GigSpotting.Net: Writers Archives

Home Film Music Theater Videos Interviews Gigs Events Talent Resources Contact


Find us on Google+


Recently in Writers Category

Kira Bursky's Tree Hugger - Update

| No Comments
Brad Hoover, Kira Bursky, Wayne Culpepper.jpg
Editors Note:

The Kickstarter to raise funds for Tree Hugger is nearing it's end with one more day to go. The goal is about halfway met but the funds will only be available if fully funded.  Kira is very generous with her time whether it is exposing new talent in her cast and crew or calling attention to social issues in the films she creates.

When I asked her about why she takes on these subjects here is what she told me.  "It's so hard for me to answer this question because I have so many things to say about this! But, simply put:  I am drawn towards telling stories about things that make me uncomfortable. If I feel uncomfortable about a topic... then I must make a film about it! 

These social issues become synonymous for taboo issues. I feel so passionately opposed to allowing this pattern to continue. So this is why when I feel uncomfortable. I know that I need to say something. If I don't, I am contributing to this culture of being quiet about things that make us uncomfortable. I think it is my duty as an artist to address topics that are 'hush hush.' In my work (just to name a few of the topics) I've dealt with depression, sexuality, warped body image, and now sexual assault and abusive relationships-- these are all topics that are hard to talk about. But we need to talk about these things! If one person lets down their guard and tells their story, who knows who will be listening and touched by the honesty. It can start a chain reaction of recreating this culture of taboo to a culture of free voices and open arms. I believe I, as well as every other human being, should feel comfortable expressing themselves, even if expressing themselves means talking about something scary or seemingly 'shameful.' That word 'shameful' should not be tied to those who are suffering or have been abused. No one should be embarrassed, guilty, or ashamed.

I guess that wasn't really simply put. But I'll try this once more: I often choose social issues because I need to address them. I just need to."

Filmmaking is her passion and she has set a modest budget for the quality of films she delivers.  If you're not already familiar with her skills please check out some of the links below and acquaint yourself with her work.  There are many fine examples on Vimeo such as Bye Bye Lullaby, Girly, Clean, Sleepyhead, and Fool's Paradise.

Now is a great time to be generous to her and her goal of bringing awareness of sexual abuse to the screen in a way only an artist can.  There are many nice perks for every budget and any one of them would be a special present for a friend or loved one if given in their behalf.




To learn more about Tree Hugger and how you can help go to:





Death & The Robot

| No Comments
Death&TheRobot.jpg

Death & The Robot is a stop-motion animated film directed by  Austin Taylor  and written by Austin and Alex Thompson.

Made at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts on a very tight budget ($1,500) it involves 2D animation and CGI as well as the actual stop-motion figures used in the production.

"The film takes place on a world where there is no longer any life - just an endless sea of graves - and a personification of Death has grown terribly bored without any more life to take. When she (yes, Death is a "she" in the film's world) meets a hapless steam-powered Robot who has been secretly sustaining an underground greenhouse for centuries, an unlikely friendship emerges between them - but at a severe cost..."  - Alex Thompson 



Potpourri

| No Comments
From another era.

Ella Grace Misenheimer.jpg
Photo Credit: Kim Nance Misenheimer


What would it be like to not trust anyone?  No one to rely on. To feel the need to protect you and yours at all costs.  To act first..., on instinct, and ask later.


Guns, Water & Food 1.jpg

A glimpse into this world is what you will see in Jesse Knight's Guns, Water & Food: An American Story.  A short film made in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  What would you do after a disaster where all forms of civilization ceased to exist?  How would you cope?

I've known a few men who were scarred by the effects of war and what they had to endure to survive. Never, did they talk much about it but you could tell in the way they would avoid the subject that it haunted them.  Suffering in silence. Not wanting to remember, only to revisit it in their nightmares.  The terror they must have felt and now wish they could forget.  

I mention this because sometimes, what goes on in the mind can be our worst enemy.  Whether real or imagined, irrational thoughts can lead to actions we wish we had not taken.  Such is the case with the character in this story.



HONEYSPIDER_CAPTURE_02.jpgIt is a rare occasion that you can watch a movie in the same building that was used as the actual setting for scenes in the movie but you will have that opportunity this weekend with Honeyspider.

Honeyspider was written with the Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, North Carolina in mind by Kenny Caperton who satisfied his teenage desire to see the latest movies there.  It is a story about a young woman who works at a local theater whose birthday is on Halloween. A friend encourages her to attend a party after her shift at the picture show not knowing what they are about to encounter.

Working with Josh and Kenny is unexplainable. They are the most understanding people. Being able to see the passion/love that they have for filmmaking in person is absolutely amazing. They are willing to cut loose and have fun when needed but they also know when it's time to be serious. They are willing to work with you and do whatever makes you comfortable. They are two of the most amazing people I have ever met. For me it was kind of challenging at first I wasn't able to channel my inner Jackie, because she was a complete opposite person of who I really am but I ended up getting used to it. - Mariah Brown - Jackie Blue in Honeyspider

The Gem Theatre, a setting in the movie, is indeed a gem.  Originally opened in 1936 by the Cannon Mills Company.  It's seating capacity at that time was 1,200 people.  In 1942 a fire in the rear section of theater.  Because of the war effort there was no money to repair the damage.  In 1948 The Cannon Mills Company rebuilt it.  During the 40s and 50s it played host to stage shows such as Jimmy Dickens and Grand Ole Opry, Fred Kirby, Tex Ritter, and Roy Rogers with Trigger.  The Gem Theatre is one of the oldest single screen theaters left in the country and has continued to be open to the public since it was rebuilt.

Another thing that was on Kenny's mind during the creation of this movie is what will the title be?  A long time fan of the Smashing Pumpkins he thought of an early B-Side song by them called 'Honeyspider'.  Now he had a title.  " I've always loved that title and when trying to come up with a name for my script about 1/3 into writing it, I looked through a huge list of Smashing Pumpkins song titles and that one really stuck out and I thought it would be great title for a horror film. So after choosing that title it influenced the script. And while we were in post-production searching for music to use in the film, of course that song was at the top of my list. I tracked down Billy's management and told them about the movie, my love for Smashing Pumpkins, etc and I guess he saw something in the project and gave us the rights to use the song."

One other thing Kenny needed was a director which he found in Josh Hasty, a director he has been working with since Judith: The Night She Stayed Home, a short film they made together nearly 5 years ago.  They've made two movies and a commercial together to date.  Though there is is a great distance between them.  Kenny is from North Carolina and Josh from Ohio.  There is no divide in what they like about making movies, especially horror movies.  One compliments the other.


Zacharay Davenport.jpgGreener Grass, is a "short film about isolation, transparency, and suicide chronicling two students wasting time while waiting for a flight".  This is a project by Zachary Davenport that will be his final film for school before graduation (he goes to the University of North Carolina in Wilmington).

Zachary is a promising young writer and director who already has some great work behind him and certainly more to come.  He is raising $3,000 to make sure this film can reach it's full potential in getting what he needs to make the movie such as renting a quality camera, a truck, generator, props, costumes, makeup, and a little left over to feed the crew and actors which are volunteering their time.

He has already raised about two-thirds of his goal but needs to raise the last thousand in the next 34 hours.  If he does not meet his goal of $3,000 then the campaign will go unfunded and there will be no money for the production which will make it difficult to complete the film and certainly not reach the potential he has imagined it to be.


Athena_Worldly_Possessions_Event.jpgTonight in Shelby, North Carolina is a premiere event that you don't want to miss.  Athena, a long awaited feature length movie by director Robert Filion and the highly anticipated Worldly Possessions from Brad Hord.

"Brad Hord, Robert W. Filion and the Don Gibson Theatre cordially invite you to a night of bloodcurdlingly exquisite entertainment featuring the very first screenings of Worldly Possessions (a short written by Brad Hord and directed by Robert W. Filion), and Athena (a feature length motion picture written by Michael Louis Calvillo and directed by Robert W. Filion). "

Athena

| No Comments
Athena Poster.jpgAthena is a feature length movie from director Robert Filion that will be premiering this weekend in Shelby, North Carolina at the Don Gibson Theatre.

Many years in the making it is a story about a man, Carl,  who has lost his wife and has the emotional scars that situation has left him with.  Then there's Emily, who has everything going for her except Carl.  What they do share is a voice in their heads, the voice of Athena (Mahri Shelton).  Where will this voice lead them?

"It was so much fun having a part in bringing such a complex and intriguing character to life. Robert is always such a professional and a pleasure to work with." - Mahri Shelton - Actor


We had a conversation recently with Robert and some of the cast.  See the trailer for the movie and the conversation below,

The Kill Switch

| No Comments
The Kill Switch Poster.jpgThe Kill Switch, written and directed by Louis Bekoe, is a statement about bullying and student violence. 

Louis himself has experienced this and was going to a school in Greensboro, North Carolina when an assistant  principal there was shot by a student.

Soon this film will be entered in film festivals around the country but for a limited time, this weekend, it will be available for the public to watch online.  See the link at the end of the article.

I had a chance today to talk with some of the cast, Louis, and Excutive Producer Darren Conrad about the the film.  Read what they have to say below.

Louis, who is also the an assistant director on the Partners series, would like everyone to know " ...this is one of many films created by North Carolina indie filmmakers and actors and there are more to come!".  Darren is also working on his first feature film Just North.
Zacharay Davenport.jpg Zachary Davenport is in his last year of college at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington.  He is going to be an outstanding director and writer if his previous work is any indication.  Zachary loves to deal with relationships and can always be counted on to bring emotion to his productions.

So far I've seen  three of his films including Things are for Stealing, a gripping story about a rural pastor who chases away, with a gun,  two boys he suspects have been stealing from him.  An emotional tale of love lost.  a moving story with lots of character detail skillfully executed by Zachary and his crew.

Christopher Tolleson played one of the boys in this film. About the movie Christopher said " I worked with Zach a few summers ago and he gave me my first lead role. I had a lot of fun and loved shooting with him. We were in the woods and he made the shoot fun. The days went by really fast. He explained things to me and gave me ideas on how my character should be. I was glad to be able to work with him!" 

you're the thief.jpg
Christopher Tolleson in Things are for Stealing

Honeyspider Trailer

| No Comments
Here is the Honeyspider trailer from Paramount Scope.  Written and produced by Kenny Caperton along with Josh Hasty as director.  Filmed in North Carolina and Ohio.

This is a cool thriller of a movie.  All Jackie Blue wants to do is enjoy her birthday which coincidentally falls on Halloween.  After being convinced to go to a Halloween party on campus her night out turns into a nightmare.








Joshua Sheik Headshot.jpg

Voting for Round 3 of Project Greenlight ends tomorrow.  In this round voting for the film of one of the 20 remaining filmmakers will be held on Facebook.  Popular demand will determine which one of the final 20 will automatically advance to the final 10.


As far as we can tell Joshua Sheik is the only contestant left that is currently living in the southeast so we wish everyone else the best but we are putting our effort behind him to represent us here in the south.


 Read some of the testimonials about Joshua below and add your own with Facebook commenting at the end of the article if you'd like to show your support.  Every bit helps.


Finally if you agree and want Josh to be one of the final 10 then go to the link below and vote for him and his film Excuse Me.





Click here to vote for Joshua Sheik (Sik) and his film Excuse Me.


The voting period will be from 3:00 PM ET 9/15/14 until 11:59 PM 9/26/14



To learn more about Joshua read our article about him here:


Joshua Sheik and Project Greenlight


Project Greenlight - Top 20 Winners



Absurducopia Preview - The Antidote

| No Comments
In Episode 2 Kira and Wayne experience an epic fail in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.


ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Fail - The Musical




Project Greenlight - Top 20 Winners

| No Comments
Thumbnail image for Joshua Sheik.jpg
Congratulations to Joshua Sheik for making the top 20.  You can read about our interview with Joshua here:





Joshua Sheik and Project Greenlight

| 2 Comments
Joshua Sheik.jpg

Joshua Sheik began writing stories at a young age and by the time that he was 10 he had directed his first play/movie called Murder on Saratoga Street which he followed up with six sequels.


After graduating high school, he attended West Point military school . From there he was commissioned as an Army Aviation Officer, became a rated helicopter pilot, was deployed twice to Iraq, and made films for his troops. During this time, he learned about being responsible for others and leadership skills. Which he says, is "one of the most important pillars of being a director." He feels that "the greatest directors are not only artists, but they are also grounded leaders".


Anil Dhokai - Accomplished Director and Cinematographer

| No Comments
Anil Dhokai headshot.jpg
Anil Dhokai is both a master freelance cinematographer and a talented director.  Spending most of his valuable time in one or another mode of telling stories with motion pictures.  Anil goes wherever the work takes him whether it's across town or halfway around the world and is an asset to every production he works on.

A partner in Strawhouse Pictures which has just released  a special edition of The Strange and Unusual DVD that is also available on Instant Play at Amazon.com.  It is a feature length film that stars Karen Boles, Tim Ross, Christy Johnson, Dervin GilbertErika Chase, and Sean Beck along with many other popular actors from the Carolinas.  


This is BIG!

| No Comments
Big - Behind the Scenes 1.jpg

To produce Big co-directors Kira Bursky and Wayne Culpepper have gone small.  Using only themselves as both cast and crew they have created a dark comedy musical for the Charlotte 48 Hour Film Project.  The film will be shown this Thursday at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte, NC.


I don't quite know what this is going to be about but it appears from the trailer that a fellow who want's to make it big is going to get some help from his tiny companion.  Kira is leaving me to wonder until the film has been released.


This began as project when they entered the 48 Hour Film Project in Charlotte and drew the category "Dark Comedy".  As if dark and comedy with a two person team wasn't enough they decided to make it a musical dark comedy.  Why not?  Everyone likes a challenge right?


Big - Behind the Scenes 6.jpg

Kira said "Prior to this past 48 Hour Film Festival, I had competed in the Asheville 48 Hour Film Festival 5 times, 4 of those times with Wayne. Each time we had a crew of 15-20 people. Don't get me wrong- I LOVED working with all of those amazing individuals. But, Wayne and I thought: hey, how about we try competing in the 48 Hour Film Festival with a two person team? And once that idea was in our heads, there was no turning back! So this past weekend we did it! We co-directed and co-starred. We drew out of the hat Dark Comedy... making it my 3rd dark comedy in a row! But to add 
on another challenge, we decided to make it a musical dark comedy. It was a crazy weekend of composing music, filming, green screening, and following our intuition!"

There is some talk of making it a web series also. We'll just have to wait and see.

Big - Behind the Scenes 7.jpg
When I asked about how it felt to be working with only each other to rely on for direction and acting she said "It was both freeing and exciting! This was the first time I acted in one of my films. Wayne and I were talking to one another about how if we had had a whole crew there on set, we wouldn't have been so uninhibited. Since we are so comfortable around each other we were able to really have fun and  feel free to fully dive into our characters. It was also nice for me to have the opportunity to be cinematographer for one of my films. Normally when I have a full crew every position is filled, but because it was the two of us we got to truly do a little bit of everything! It was fun being able to explore all forms of art with this film. And it's also nice to share this film with Wayne because we get to both experience the joys of making something together!"

Dorchesters Revenge.jpg
There will be a red carpet premiere screening of Dorchester's Revenge: The Return of Crinoline Head in Charleston,, South Carolina.


A Place Called Home Banner.jpg

A Place Called Home is a short film written by Kayla McBrayer and directed by Angel Defreitas that deals with domestic abuse.  It could be your neighbor or best friend that is having to deal with this injustice and you might never be aware of it because it is accepted and not talked about outside of the family.

The narrative is from the children's perspective as seen through the eyes of the oldest daughter and how abuse can affect the whole family.

Starring Kayla McBrayer, Rhonda Lynn Jones, Chris Matheny, and Payton Stover.  Crew members include Angel Defreitas as director; Hanna Stover, Kayleigh Stover, and Ella Grace Misenheimer on makeup with Derek Miller and Derek Jones on audio.  Catherine Hester was the photographer and Kimberly Brouillette designed the poster.

A Place Called Home - Cast & Crew by Cahterine Hester.jpgA Place Called Home - Cast & Crew by Cahterine Hester Top row: Kayleigh Stover, Angel Defreitas, Rhonda Lynn Jones with her daughter Ashley, Chris Matheny, Kayla McBrayer with Payton Stover, and Ella Grace Misenheimer. Bottom row: Hanna Stover, Kimberley Broullette, and Derek Jones.

Check out the interview below to find out what Kayla and Angel had to say about the film and their experiences as filmmakers.