CAROLINA FILM NETWORK
By: Andrew Gajadhar (Executive Director)
Conceding to the reality that there has been a vast amount of talent surfacing over the course of 2016, one must sit back and enjoy opportunities to be in the presence of a live stage play with Carolina’s finest in Confessions of a Good Man. It was very affordable for a high-quality play. For just a few more dollars, you would be able to lounge in the VIP room with an all-inclusive dinner, desert during the intermission, a live performance of David Glymph on the saxophone easing the mood, and front row seating during the play. The staff was very friendly, the environment was pleasant, and the production was prompt. The new lead singer of The Root Doctors, Cyreeta Crowell, was also in attendance. Who could ask for better accommodations? The story was about a family living with many secrets of their past that eventually had to be exposed in order to grow and progress in their individual circumstances. There were many stages of conflict that made this a great dramatic production. The father seemed to be the ideal husband that was God-fearing and a role model for all his sons. His sons led diverse lives. The eldest inserted himself as the father figure of his cousin’s son and was best friends with the boy’s mother, all-the-while trying to fight against his true romantic feelings for her as she had the same for him. The cousin was a man that didn’t have the male role model of a father to guide him growing up to be a good man and father for his only child, so he kept to the streets the only way he knew how with mischief. Another one of the brothers was in an unhappy marriage based on one incident that was exposed in the past that was unbeknownst by the wife of already being exposed yet already had a dramatic effect on their marriage. The last brother was a successful lawyer that lives a life of controlling and dictating what his woman does in order to, in his mind, secure his investment in a relationship. His approach to his behavior is based on a past relationship that effected his insecurities, and he feels like he has to always be in control to feel adequate. The mother is a very religious woman that is deeply in love with her husband and supportive of him, despite any past that he may have, also with her own skeletons in her closet. The story unfolds and takes many turns as it goes along. The climax begins to unravel itself the more that the cousin continues to assert himself into the picture and challenge the very balance of everyone’s covert lives. With the unexpected guidance of other people in their lives that are at the heart of some of the conflict, they have to pull themselves together and accept life challenges as they are and move on as a family.
The setting was organized with security in place, ropes to guide traffic, and staff with clearly visible markings attached to lanyards. There were several tables set up with memorabilia along with other keepsakes as well. Entering the auditorium, you’re met with an usher that helped with seating on both sides as well as reserved seating. The auditorium was a Proscenium Arch Theater with a bordered valance in front of a fly space above the stage, and the pit was out of view.
The production made perfect use of the set design. There were two sides of the set, looking through the fourth wall perspective. The far-left side consisted of a 45-degree wall with a doorway that simulated a kitchen on the other side of it. The back wall had three elements, a stairway that went in an upward direction to the left, a wall with a door that ran perpendicular to the back wall that separated the living area of the house and the outdoor front porch and yard, and a wooden fence with an opening going 45-degrees as its opposing side to signify exiting the property. On the apron of the stage were set props of a dining room table, couch and lounge chairs on the inside of the house, while a small bench, wooden stump, and raised deck with a patio set signified the front yard. The only hand props that were in the production were mostly used to signify accessories of some of the actors. All these elements were brilliant ways of suggested realism.
The lighting only changed three different ways. While there were performances on stage, the lighting remained leveled across the viewing plane because the actors had maximum usage of all blocked areas of the stage. Interestingly, transitions between scenes consisted of music playing and lights dimming for the most part; however, they also created somewhat of French Scenes as well with the continuance of characters entering and exiting the stage while one or more characters stayed on stage for the following scene. This created great fluidity for the play. There was only one particular scene where the lighting was shifted to a more focal point of a conversation between certain characters. The timing was appropriate. There was one thing about the wardrobe, in combination with the lighting, that could have had circumspection to keep the attention on what was being portrayed by the actors. This was the jewelry. The jewelry and brilliance of some of the accents of the wardrobe reflected significantly into the audience. There were a few times that these light reflections noticeably caused audience members to flinch, squint, or temporarily look slightly away from the performances. However, it did not happen often enough to be problematic overall.
The wardrobe and makeup seemed natural for the setting as well as the characters. There were clearly differences in age of all the characters, but the wardrobe enhanced the effect of their respective ages without having to do anything extra with the makeup to accommodate the character. There were times that straight makeup still could have been touched up or applied to members of the cast that would have eliminated glaring from oily skin. The attitude and persona of each character was well played with their wardrobe as well. Particularly, the character of Warren Roberts, played by Darian Hill, gave an instant insight of how he was to be portrayed before he even spoke a word. He wore a tailored suit with an almost shiny grey color, as if to be polished in appearance. Instead of a tie, he wore an ascot that matched his handkerchief under his lapel. His jewelry was very shiny, he was well groomed, and he kept an erect posture everywhere he walked while making subtle movements to keep his suit from gaining any folds or obstruction. As soon as he spoke, the words that was said completely matched his appearance. This was just one example of how the wardrobe complimented the characters.
The plot of the story was captivating, and there was never a dull moment. The characters injected humor as well as pathos into their roles that the audience could clearly relate and empathize with. There were great moments of soliloquy that were also personified through song. They even completely broke the fourth wall at the snap of a finger to freezeframe the scene while one character addressed the audience directly and came off the stage to interact with them, once with a woman addressing the women and the other time with a man addressing the men. The level of excitement and involvement of the audience showed an amazing reaction that made this play one-of-a-kind. They would then return back to their placement and continue right where they left off at the snap of a finger again. Towards the end, the cousin broke the fourth wall the same way, but his purpose was to educate the audience of how the way his character was portrayed was, in fact, the way his real life was. His heartfelt speech showed how hard it was for him to relive his role on stage time after time but how appreciative he was to have the opportunity to do it for others. His method acting was very real and genuine.
In conclusion, I would not only recommend this stage play to couples everywhere, but I would also tell every boy and man to see this because it teaches us things about ourselves that we overlook in our lives that effect how good we truly have the potential to be. I commend the directors, Tangie Beaty and Donna Johnson of WOW Productions, for a phenomenal production appropriate for the whole family.
Copyright.. What does it exactly mean to be copyrighted? How do you go about having something copyrighted? How are YOU as a creative protected under copyright laws?
Find out on November 29th when UofSC’s Carmen Maye, J.D., Ph.D. drops in to discuss Copyright.
If there are any questions that you wish to be answered please feel free to let us know. That way we can be sure to direct the conversation appropriately.
Like usual we will kick off the meeting with a series of films. All must remain under 10 minutes. Link to submission process is here: https://carolinafilmnetwork.org/home/submit/
We will also open the floor to fellow filmmakers for a small pitch session.
Our November Meeting will be held at Tapp’s Art Center beginning at 7pm. Ticket price to event is $5 in order to pay for the space provided by Tapp’s Art Center.
Director Silas Rowland launches IndieGoGo Campaign for local South Carolina Production in the form of feature film – Mr. Secret Agent Guy.
Rowland is bringing us something extra amazing in the form of Mr. Secret Agent Guy – A Feature Film about an awkward data entry employee skips town and takes on a new identity after responding to a fraudulent “Secret Agent Program”.
The filmmakers have created an amazing IndieGoGo campaign link posted below.
Carolina Film Network kicked off the September Meeting last night screening Civil, The Gullah Project, and Eva’s Plug accompanied by a sneak peek of Family Possessions; all of which were incredible films brought to us by filmmakers in the Carolina’s.
Once the screenings were over the floor was turned over to writer, Allen Johnson, who is responsible for films such as The Freemason, which starred Sean Astin and Templar Nation, which starred Erik Estrada.
Afterwards a brief Q&A session with all the filmmakers and Johnson was held before releasing the crowd to intermingle and network with one another.
Carolina Film Network – September Meeting Gallery
September Meeting Film Screenings
The Gullah Project is not available for public viewing; however, you can find out more information about the documentary film at thegullahproject.org.
The next meeting will occur at Tapp’s Art Center on Tuesday, October 25th from 7pm – 9pm. ETV’s, executive producer, Amy Shumaker, will join us. Admission cost to event is $5 in order to pay for space provided by our gracious host.
Among the topics of discussion are:
- What type of projects is ETV looking for?
- How to get your program televised.
- Fundraising for your film and the business of film.
- What time limit is ETV looking for? Minimal and Maximum requirements.
- Is there a cost to have your film or series broadcasted?
- Is it open to the public or does it have to be an organization?
If you have any questions that you wished to be covered please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the topic October Meeting. We will also be screening three films at the beginning of our meeting starting at 7:15pm. If you’re a filmmaker and wish to submit your project please click here. Also note to filmmakers: a cover image to film is mandatory. If a submission does not have an attached imaged via-link or email project will be disqualified.
Hey friends, have we told you all about Carolina Film Network – September Meeting‘s guest speaker and what’s on the agenda for our September Meeting, which is only days away?
Writer Allen Johnson will be dropping in to discuss the BUSINESS OF SCREENWRITING. Now did we mention he’s responsible for films such as The Freemason Movie, which starred Sean Astin (think Goonies) .. Or Templar Nation, which starred Erik Estrada (think Baywatch and Scrubs) ..?
See now why we decided to twist his arm and have him come hang with us for a bit? Admission to event is only $5, which goes securing the space provided to us graciously by Tapp’s Arts Center.
Civil – Explores the dynamics of race and warfare during the bizarre, twisted period of the American Civil War. Civilians and soldiers collide and ultimately must decide each other’s fates in this dark glimpse into one of American’s strangest times. Directed by Andrew Huggins.
The Gullah Project – African American’s on St. Helena Island, South Carolina have been farming and fishing their land since the Civil War. Now they must choose whether to sell their pristine coastline to retire in luxury, or find a way to persevere their way of life for their children. Directed by Denise McGill.
Eva’s Plug – An eccentric woman gives her niece unconventional advice on how to deal with issues in her relationship. Audience Choice Award at the 2015 2nd Act Film Festival in Columbia, SC. Directed by Tamara Finkbeiner.
ALSO NOTE: IF THERE IS ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR YOU WISH TO ASK ALLEN JOHNSON FEEL FREE TO PRIVATE MESSAGE US SO WE CAN GO AHEAD AND PASS IT ALONG TO HIM.
EVENT: Tuesday, September 27th from 7pm – 9pm at Tapp’s Art Center located on Main St. in the Capital City.
My recent trip to New York was definitely a time to remember. In addition to the great food at places such as the Aneri Tricaffe in the Theater District to the well-known Pio Pio restaurant not far from Time Square, I had the privilege of meeting with some extraordinary people in the entertainment industry. The level of respect and honor that they possess is well deserved, to say the least. What our community needs in the Carolinas are great connections to a vast network of industry professionals that can invest their knowledge and experience into the hearts and minds of our talented Carolinians aspiring to grow. It is my personal mission to bring these connections to the Carolinas by way of speaking engagements and project inclusions. I met with some music producers, a Broadway composer and director, Actors, a well-known and sought-after acting coach, and one of the most renowned talent agencies in the U.S. This was truly a trip for the books, and I am so honored to have been in such great company. Look out, Carolina Film Network, and get ready to expand our horizon.
Teyonah Parris An actress and a producer, she is known for her roles in several television and film features such as “Chi-raq”, “How Do You Know”, “They Came Together”, “Five Nights in Maine”, “Mad Men” TV series, “Survivor’s Remorse” TV series, and many more. She has also won several awards and nominations. She won Best Actress at the AAFCA Awards, Outstanding Actress and Outstanding Breakthrough Performance at the Black Reel Awards, and was nominated at the Image Awards for Outstanding Actress and at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Jason Michael Webb Dove Award winner, two-time Stellar Award nominee; Arranger: “Battle Hymn of the Republic” for the 2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama; Broadway Associate Musical Director of “Motown: The Musical”; Musical Director of “Off Broadway”; Pianist for the 2007 Tony Awards along with many vocalists such as Michal Bolton, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, and Mariah Carey; Orchestrator for Jacksonville Symphony, Nashville String Machine, and Carnegie Hall; He is also a Composer, Producer, Musical Director and Conductor for several Broadway Musicals that include the current Tony Award-winning “The Color Purple”, “Violet”, and more.
Nancy Carson Noted as one of the top rated children’s talent agents in New York City and is internationally respected, she has launched the careers of such megastars as Britney Spears, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and many others. She has been a frequent guest on shows such as “The View”, “The Today Show” and more. She is an advisor to the Actor’s Equity Association’s Children’s Committee and set the standard for requiring tutoring for children actively in the industry. She is also a member of the National Association of Talent Representatives and has written over 18 books, to include the acclaimed “Raising a Star,” the parents’ guide to helping kids break into theater, film, television or music.
Lelund Durond Thompson Recognized as one of the most sought after photographers, writers, and acting coaches, he was the first African American to receive his MFA from the CASE/Cleveland Play House Actor Training Program. He has served as Associate Producer and Director of Photography for music videos and webseries “Homegirls”; has been published in the New York Times, in Playbills for Broadway productions, and has included shoots for Ricky Martin, Daniel Radcliffe, and Perez Hilton. Thompson has also served as a personal acting coach for actors in “Orange is the New Black”, “Django Unchained”, and Martin Scorsese’s “Vinyl”; He, along with Dove Award-winning producer/writer Jason Michael Webb, wrote an original musical for Classical Theater of Harlem called “The First Noel” which also premiered at the Apollo Theater, and they also wrote “Wildflower” which was the debut album from Tshidi Manye of Disney’s The Lion King.
Shirley Faison Mother to the Award-winning Actor/Producer Donald Faison, she is also one of the most respected and demanded Talent Agents known in the industry. She has over three decades of experience in the industry as a Producer, Director, and Executive Director of Theater. She has also received an AUDELCO Producers Award for Musical Production, frequently speaks at Weist-Barron/ACTeen and Actor’s Connection, and is a panelist for Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens and Kemet Productions, “Road to Stardom.” She represents all ages for theatre, film, and television at the Carson-Adler Talent Agency alongside Nancy Carson.
Michel Florez One of the original actors who was the voice of Diego for “Go Diego, Go” series. He was also a featured actor for “As The World Turns”, “One Life To Live”, and “Jimmy Neutron”.
Jordan Battiste Recording artist at Tommy Boy Entertainment, he is also a Cinematographer, Editor, and Director. He was also a Music Director for The City Kids Foundation in New York from 2010 through 2014.
Bert Price He is the Music Director at The National Black Theatre: Institute for Action Arts as well as an Audio Engineer and musician. He was formerly an instructor at The New School and President at Circle Entertainment LLC, and is also the CEO of Status NYC Center for The Media Arts.
Article by Executive Director Andrew Gajadhar
Carolina Film Network’s series of monthly meetings will now be held at Tapps Art Center located in the heart of the Capital City. This month will we have guest speaker Shannon Ivey who is an actress, director, activist, educator, and Tedx Presenter.
During the meeting she will cover the dos and donts for actors to leaving a positive impression on a casting director. She will also discuss the steps needed and the things to look out for when casting your latest film.
If there are specific questions you as an actor or director wish to be covered please send us an email at email@example.com or leave a comment in the comment section below.
Its the fourth day of our Women in Film series and with that comes celebrating and admiring the work of a photographer who is based out of the Midlands. She is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina, where she was awarded Photographer of the Year, an on-staff photographer for Jasper Magazine, and an event photographer for the 2016 Hopscotch Music Festival.
Her name is Bree Burchfield.
Burchfield’s work includes portrait photography, fashion photography, as well music photography; so musicians and actors take note!
It’s day three of our Women in Film series and today we are showcasing, A Mother’s Plea, a film about a graduate student with a promising future until one unfortunate incident turns his dreams into a nightmare. The film is directed by Leasharn M Hopkins and stars Cris Griffin, Cynthia Lara, Celeste Moore, Maxwell Highsmith, Merritt Vann, Pat Yeary, Q Thomas, and Devon “Pierre” Wright.