a fun little commercial shoot

I got the chance to goof around on set with some friends a little while ago. The casting process was ironic because during the callback, I was flying to Los Angeles for a separate casting while the director for the commercial was flying from LA into Nashville. When I realized what was happening, I tweeted at Seth Worley and told him I was bummed to miss his callback. Wonder of wonders, I ended up getting the gig anyway.

This also marked another chance to hang out in front of the camera for my DP friend Chris Adams.

And yes, there were a lot of busted takes from all the improv that went down.

Here’s the end result.

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BONES – short film

A short film I worked on over a year ago has finally hit the interwebs. BONES was a brutal shoot… long days… freezing our tails off… chasing those perfect blue hour shots…

But it paid off.

Director Matt Underwood and Beta Angarole invited me into the dark world that they created, and I was glad to accept the challenge of bringing such a twisted-up character to life. I made the decision early on to change physically for the role, and I ended up losing 11 lbs over 16 days leading up to filming. It was crazy how that decision connected me to the character on such a visceral level.

**graphic content. intended for mature audience**

“Prelude” short film update

Excited to announce that “Prelude” has now been accepted to its second festival. Both Nashville Film Festival and Hill Country Film Festival will be showing my film in late April.

Super proud of the entire team that came around and helped me bring this dream of mine to the screen.

Versorium – short film

Ryan Smith called me up a couple months back and asked if I’d be down to jump in on this project.
I love it when people don’t just talk about making stuff . . . they pull on their boots and do it.

If you find artists who put some bite behind their bark, befriend them; work with them; learn from them.
They’re the ones who won’t still be sitting in the same place five years from now.

A study in hats

As I was going back through pictures of past jobs, I noticed that some of my favorite roles included characters wearing some kind of hat (I’m including helmets and wigs).

Interesting wardrobe allows an actor to disappear into a character much more easily than when I hear “and can you bring a bunch of your own clothes for wardrobe options?” I realize that using your own clothes is part of the deal on a lot of low budget films, but I love it when a director has a vision for their characters that’s super specific. It tells me that they’ve done the work to honor their characters, and it puts me at ease.

Just something to ponder for you directors out there…

hats

Projects (left to right from top to bottom):
Popeye the Pizza Man
The Originals
Travis Manion Foundation PSA
Riffraff
House of the Righteous
Popeye the Pizza Man
Champion
Marine Corps training video
Burt’s Eye View

A look back

Two years ago, I was in South Carolina working with my buddy Justin Robinson on his latest short film “Popeye the Pizza Man.” It was an experience that left me drained. I put so much preparation into that role, and when the time finally came to step in front of the camera… I’m not gonna lie, it was hard. It was a hard film to do. Not just for me… for Justin as he wrote and directed, for the other actors, for the crew. It was heavy. It was dark. I’m thankful for the splashes of comedy sprinkled through it, because when I go back and re-watch it, I tend to forget how heavy the whole thing was.

Not long before filming, Justin emailed me and said he wanted to give my character, Lewis, a little more depth. He wrote this monologue at the tree house and sent it to me. Man, reading that scene… I kinda sat back and took a minute because I knew what it was going to take. But I wanted to do it. The gift of a nuanced character combined with great dialogue is what I live for… I hunger for it. I need it.

That night on set, I was walking around in circles in the dark listening to my music while Brent Christy finished setting camera, and when we finally sat into it… it was like a graveyard, it was so still. Because of the camera and lighting set up, a couple of crew guys were only feet away from me. I remember watching the audio guy check his set up, and then turn his back to me to give me even more privacy. After the first take, no one moved. Justin came around, knelt next to me, whispered some direction, and then he crept back around the camera and called action.

To be given that much respect as an actor… if you’re not an actor, I don’t think I can describe it. I’ve been on sets where I had an emotional scene and people from the crew, to the producers, and even the DP once, were cutting up, telling jokes, standing in my eye line… completely not getting what they were doing. Clueless. And so I say I’ll always work with Justin and with Brent because they protect their actors.

Lewis was a gift. I’ll always remember him. I’ll always have a part of him left with me, and I know I left some of myself with him that night.