This was me in the film, being sneaky in a rural lakehouse:
Check it out!
The first shoot for Nellie is wrapped. We shot in the Ohio State Reformatory museum, famous for serving as the title location in the movie The Shawshank Redemption.
I play the title character and had the privilege of working with talented cast and crew, including some special effects make-up artists who added significant poundage to my face.
The one thing that disappoints me is that I didn’t see a single ghost.
That’s a wrap! On me at least. I spent two days in a remote and not at all creepy* part of Ohio, where there was no cell service and I had to wait to show everyone what I was doing on Instagram.
I got to drive this vintage vehicle:
And got some early morning shots of this beautiful lake:
See? Not creepy at all.
*It was the answer to “how rural is too rural?”
I’ll be working on a feature-length film shooting in Cincinnati in August. It’s called Blue, about a young woman trying to rebuild her life after a failed suicide attempt. The shooting schedule is remarkably aggressive: a full feature shoot in 12 days!
I’m going to play a tremendously unhelpful receptionist at an unemployment office who doesn’t actually care about anyone else’s employment. It’s going to be GREAT.
I managed to get the role even though my audition tape was framed like this:
I just got back from Los Angeles, where I worked on a lovely feature called Abby and Tabby: Alone in the Desert. This film is so exciting, on so many levels.
First, the talented cast worked off of an outlined script, improvising a lot of their lines. The results are exceptional and of-the-moment.
Second, this film was largely conceived, performed, and crewed up by a female team. Jessica Erin Martin took on multiple roles, as writer, director, producer, and actor (Tabby). Co-star Ashley Lenz (Abby) produced and acted in the film.
My jaw still remains a little bit on the floor at what these women have accomplished and I was very happy to be a part of it — along with many other excellent crew members — and to see a Joshua tree for the first time.
All the way back in October 2015, I started the first round of a short screenwriting contest via NYC Midnight.
Each round allowed 48 hours to write a 5-page script based on an assigned genre, location, and object that had to be included at some point in the story.
Here’s a sample of my assignment parameters:
The competition wrapped up back in January and results were shared recently. I received a 7th place Honorable Mention, placing me in the top ten out of over 600 writers.
I’m proud of this achievement and now have three different short scripts I hope to produce in and around Columbus, OH over the next year. Which is a whole new level of “insane voluntary undertakings that will shorten my life”.
P.S. If you like just HAVE a bunch of extra cash and want to patronize the arts or something, maybe let me know…
Yesterday, I attended the premiere of Finding St. Isabel. The theater was packed and the audience definitely seemed to enjoy the hard work that dozens of talented crew members put into making this film happen. A few lazy actors contributed as well…
Here’s one, on the right:
Also pictured on the left is director Nikki Rodriguez, who sacrificed a lot of sleep to bring Suzanne Rivecca’s short story “Look, Ma, I’m Breathing” to vibrant life.
I couldn’t be happier to have been a part of this project. Now, Nikki and her crew are submitting the film to festivals around the country. So excited to see how Finding St. Isabel makes its way through the world!
I won… A very, very short story contest. Also known as: flash fiction!
Flash fiction is incredibly fun because it combines some of the linguistic flexibility of poetry with the storytelling power of prose. Lydia Davis is a pretty well-known author in this area.
I enjoy the challenge of attempting to pack a big punch into as few words as possible. In this case, just fifty.
Here is my story:
Here is the link to the contest results announcement, on the host website. They are a great resource for writers!