A game I like to play called, “What if?”

You probably already know I’m obsessed with fight scenes featuring women.

Last year I did a whole heap of research on it. This was in preparation for a new short scripted film I wanted to make titled AK. 

downtown raleigh parking garage cropped

We shot the film AK in February 2016.

We’re submitting it to film festivals, and hope to screen it a bunch in 2017. Stay tuned for more info on the movie. Sign up for email updates using the form on the blog, while you’re at it.

My crew on the set of "AK" in February 2016.
My crew on the set of “AK” in February 2016.

Quench the thirst or not?

I thought that making a movie with a fight scene would satisfy my curiosity.

In other words, I thought making one might quench that thirst but quite the opposite has happened. I’m even more curious about shooting action sequences now.

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Please watch “The Black Belt” (for free)

Recently, I’ve shared a few documentary film recommendations.

These recommendations are by request.

People who know me well, know that I watch a lot of documentaries. I watch a lot of docs because (a) I enjoy the form, (b) want to see what others are creating, and (c) I find the subjects interesting.

Watching these docs has helped me better understand the world and my place in it.

The reason I share this documentary in particular is to help people better understand the voter ID laws, and how they’re designed to hurt one group of people.

Since The Black Belt is a short film and you can watch the entire thing on Vimeo for free, I hope you’ll give it a few minutes.

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Please watch “The Case Against 8”

By request, I’ve recently started sharing documentary film recommendations.

Last week I recommended two newer films: 13Th and Trapped.

Today I want to share an older but still very relevant documentary, The Case Against 8 (2014). It looks like it’s available on HBO, and I hope you’ll watch it.

The movie follows several people during the legal battle against Proposition 8, legislation that banned same-sex marriage in California.

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Rough Cuts Review at The Cary Theater

Last night the new trailer for Good Thing screened at The Cary Theater as part of the Rough Cuts Review.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, the Rough Cuts Review is an event organized and hosted by The Cary Theater. It’s a way for filmmakers to share their work on the big screen and get feedback from the audience. It’s a moderated, supportive, and constructive conversation for each artist.

Let me be frank: organizing your own work-in-progress screening can be really stressful.

You’ve got to (a) have your piece ready to show, (b) handle the tech aspects so the video actually plays and people can hear it, (c) organize the event so people will show up on time and in a good mood, (d) find a way to get feedback from the audience and remember what people said once all is said and done, and (e) be in the right frame of mind to receive feedback.

Wow, simply writing all of that out gives me so much anxiety. I speak from experience: organizing a work-in-progress screening is a lot to juggle as an independent filmmaker with limited resources. It’s not impossible, but it’s infinitely more enjoyable with someone else handling a lot of the logistics.

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Please watch Dawn Porter’s “Trapped”

Confession: I’ve been pretty ignorant about abortion for a long time.

I knew what it meant. I knew it was a hot topic. I knew people felt strongly about it.

But it wasn’t until Wendy Davis and her filibuster in Texas, followed by the “motorcycle vagina” legislation in North Carolina, that I started to wake up. What does all of this actually mean? Why is it a hot topic? How do I feel about it?

Curious, I started to read and research – as you do when you’re a documentary filmmaker.

The more I learned, the more curious I got about it. Abortion is a complex, nuanced subject. When does life begin? Who regulates a woman’s reproductive rights? How does faith factor into a woman’s decision? Who benefits from stipulations placed on medical procedures?

The more research I did, the more questions I had about it.

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Stop overthinking, start acting

For years and years, I was very lost.

I knew film/entertainment was the life for me. I’d always loved it but wasn’t sure where to start, how to get in, or where to look for help. It seemed like a magical, far-off land where only a lucky few got in.

Years later, I’m now directing and producing my fifth and sixth films. I’m still an emerging filmmaker with plenty of work ahead of me. But, funny enough, I get asked about those things a lot these days. The places where I got stuck, too.

So, I’mma drop a little knowledge here.

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