I began making films in 2007, with no training other than a video filmmaking class offered through the AFI at the local community college and no equipment aside from a Canon HV20 camcorder and a vintage Fairfax Elevator tripod I picked up at an antique shop in Frederick, Maryland. As with the majority of no budget, DIY, independent, guerrilla filmmakers (so many that the following statement has become cliche), my journey started with the book “Rebel Without a Crew” by Robert Rodriguez. That book changed my life not only by exposing me to a different means of creative expression and storytelling (ie film), but primarily by making me believe I could be a filmmaker.
So with my ‘minimalist’ equipment and unwavering dedication, I have completed a handful of projects under the guise of my production entity Cranky Calico Productions. I cut my filmmaking teeth on the ultra low-budget short horror films Game followed by Ryan, a finalist in the 2008 Frederick 72-hour Film Festival.
With my third film, I diverged from the horror genre to produce/direct the short documentary PUKER, the story of my good friend and once locally famous skater Tim “Puker” Whistler, who overcame devastating injury and addiction to rediscover the sport he loved and left 20 years ago. PUKER screened at five film festivals in 2011, including the IndieGrits Film Festival, Maryland International Film Festival, Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, Utopia Film Festival, and was honored to be recognized with a silver award at JamFest.
My most recent film “Our Own” delved into government conspiracy and the lives affected by a government’s secrets and sins. As a result of post-World War 2 paranoia, government intelligence agencies initiated a complex, highly classified scientific effort to develop the ultimate human weapon in the name of defense. Research facilities were established in remote locations across the country and housed the investigative efforts of some of the worlds’ foremost scientists, specializing in biologic, genetic, and psychological manipulation. Despite official cessation of these behavioral modification studies in the early 1970s and destruction of classified documentation of such experiments, research continued well into present day in one small, seemingly peaceful Midwestern town. Through the years, the town has existed under the shadow of these unethical, underground experimentations and its families have suffered the program’s gruesome “failures”. Yet this secret remained hidden from the outside world…until now. Our Own is the story of Ed and Marion Bullard, residents of this town, who know how far the government will go to keep its disturbing secrets and discover how far they must go to escape them.
As writer/director/executive producer of this short conspiracy thriller (oh yeah…I acted a little bit in this one, too), I had the privilege of working with amazingly talented production teams in Iowa and Oklahoma, and was honored to screen our film at the Maryland International Film Festival, Bare Bones Film Festival, EyeCatcher Film Festival (nominated for best short and best cinematography), Trail Dance Film Festival, and Scream in the Dark…in what can be considered as close to screening in my home town as I can get (Omaha).
My current projects include moving the follow-up feature to Our Own entitled EXPOSED into production planning, and I have begun preproduction on my next short film entitled “The Shed”.
Check out my reel, films, trailers, and random fun stuff at my Vimeo page by clicking the image below…
In the immortal words of Puker, “The session was here.“
Thank you for stopping by.