Among the Stars Reviewed

There was a very excited audience at Frank Theatres Rivertowne Stadium 12 in Conway, SC December 9, 2017. This wasn’t a typical day for moviegoers in the area. This was opening day for the anticipated short film, Among the Stars. Writer and Director, Jack VanderToll, stood in appreciation as he watched his vision unfold on the big screen with a very receptive and proud crowd.

The film surrounds Robert (played by Ethan Williams), an innocent young man who barely evades a figure who is ruthlessly hunting him. His plight hasn’t gone unnoticed by supernatural beings Michael and Magnus, who are both fighting to either save or doom Robert’s soul. Robert seeks help from his friend Felicia as they are caught in the cross hairs of a timeless battle between good and evil.


The film begins beautifully as Robert and Felicia enjoy a quiet night together but then are abruptly interrupted by a figure who is called upon by Magnus to deliver them to his master. Robert and Felicia aren’t the only ones in danger. Michael has been lured into Magnus’s trap in his effort to save them. The fates of both mortal and supernatural hang in the balance on Earth and among the stars.

Jack VanderToll spoke on what inspired the film, “One of my favorite film themes is the theological struggle between good and evil. I had the idea to anthropomorphize these themes into characters. Good and evil are forever at war… one ultimately tries to save, the other seeks to destroy. Once that structure was found, the story and the conflict quickly materialized.”

Equipped with a Sony NXCAM NEX-FS700 and a Panasonic AG-AF105A, Michelle Elise Harding did a wonderful job as the Director of Photography and Editor of this film. When asked about how long it took to film, Michelle said, “We spent eight days filming over the course of five months due to weather delays and script revisions.” As it is with many films, there can be many setbacks as well as cool accidental visuals that can really add to the film. “The cricket that is seen in the trailer and opening scene of the film was not scripted. It landed on Director Jack VanderToll’s head and wouldn’t fly away, so it was incorporated into the final film.” (Michelle) The actors even did their own stunts choreographed by Christian Brunetti, who also played Magnus.

The goal for the film is to continue having as many new eyes on it as possible riding the festival circuit and hope for positive reception. After having a successful premiere on the coast, the film traveled to the first meeting of the year for Carolina Film Network in January. It was also a great representation of the Myrtle Beach Film Community at this event highlighting collaboration over competition. This was a great start for the film as the reception for the film was more than welcomed with warm eyes, but it also was praised for its attention to biblical reference and originality.

When asked what he wants people to take away from seeing the film, Jack stated, “I am very pleased with the story we were able to tell, and I feel the themes to my film is universal… our search for purpose, friends and heroes. These are journeys everyone in life takes in some form. After someone sees it, if they are able to consider they are never alone as they may think, especially when they look up at a starry, night sky, I’ll mark that as a success.”

Among the Stars is more than just another great South Carolina originated film. It serves as an opportunity for growth in the industry, a production of quality and perseverance, and a dream-come- true for its creators. We at Carolina Film Network recommend following this film on Facebook and Instagram @amongthestarsmovie for more screening information as well as watching its flourishment. Congratulations on a job well done!

By Andrew Gajadhar

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Registration for The Ghoulish Oktoberfest is open winner will receive $125.00.

The Ghoulish Oktoberfest is a fall themed film festival geared to bringing local South Carolina filmmakers together in order to encourage and promote the growth of film in South Carolina.

Selected filmmakers will be given a genre for their film: comedy, drama, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. and filmmakers MUST set their film during the fall season.

Completed films can be no longer then ten minutes, including the end credits.

Filmmakers MUST be a resident of South Carolina and must provide previous links to their work upon registration.

There is no entry free for participating filmmakers. WINNER RECEIVES $125.O0. 

Register here

Timeline

Registration is opened through Friday, October 6th.

Kick off event will take place Thursday, October 12th.

Films must be submitted to Carolina Film Network on Wednesday, October 25th

The Ghoulish Oktoberfest Screening will be held on Saturday, October 28th.

Carolina Film Network’s celebrates one year in operation

On Saturday, June 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., filmmakers from across the Carolinas will gather at Tapp’s Art Center for the Carolina Film Network’s First Year Anniversary. This event will showcase three films produced by local filmmakers and will include guest speaker Dan Rogers from the South Carolina Film Commission.

Films screening include The Wrong Girl by Dean Ferreira, Glass by Christian Brunetti, and Cartoonish by Ken Cohen. All three films are up for the audience choice award, the winner will screen again during the second quarterly meeting.

Attending the meeting as guest speaker is Dan Rogers from the South Carolina Film Commission. Rogers will be discussing resources South Carolina filmmakers can utilize such as the Indie Grants program, finding the perfect location for your film, and how to register with SCFC’s registry.

Dan Rogers from the South Carolina Film Commission lead the conversation last night discussing the role the SC Film Commission plays with bringing film to South Carolina.

Carolina Film Network is a non-profit organization that promotes local film in the Carolinas. It also serves as a link between entrepreneurs and industry professionals to stimulate economic growth. Carolina Film Network meets once a month in collaboration with Tapp’s Art Center.

Three films, a casting director, and New York based producer filming in Columbia will be in attendance at Carolina Film Network’s First Quarterly Meeting

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – On Tuesday, April 25th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., filmmakers from across the Carolinas will gather at Tapp’s Art Center for the Carolina Film Network’s First Quarterly Meeting. This event will showcase three films produced by local filmmakers and will include casting director Tara Lynn Marcelle of E. Marcelle Casting, Inc., as guest speaker.

Films screening include horror film Debbie Lynn directed by Sean B. Krumbholz, Our Star Trek: The Fifty Year Mission directed by Christopher Tevebaugh and Spark directed by Daniel Merlin Miller submitted by the director of photography Michelle Elise Harding. All three films have screened at previous meetings, winning the audience choice award. They will once again compete for the audience choice award, the winner’s film will then progress to Carolina Film Network’s First Annual Film Festival.

Among the guest visiting, will be casting director Tara Lynn Marcelle of E. Marcelle Casting, Inc., who will be discussing the casting process along with the red flags creatives should look for in order to avoid being taken advantage. Marcelle is currently the head casting director for Sid Roth’s, It’s Supernatural. New York based producer and cinematographer Jordan Battiste will also be in attendance. He is currently filming, What Matters, a feature length drama in Columbia, S.C.

Carolina Film Network is a non-profit organization that promotes local film in the Carolinas. It also serves as a link between entrepreneurs and industry professionals to stimulate economic growth. Carolina Film Network meets once a month in collaboration with Tapp’s Art Center. For more information go to www.carolinafilmnetwork.org.

Admission to event is $5 at the door or online. To preorder tickets please click here.

Carolina Film Network to premiere Silas James Rowland’s ‘Dudeman’

Dudeman a short film directed by Silas James Rowland will premiere during Carolina Film Network’s November Meeting tomorrow at Tapp’s Art Center. The film, which also stars Rowland is set in 1977 and follows, Dudeman Pressley, a guy who has just been robbed of his weed and money and is running out of time before his supplier George takes out the trash.

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When asked what the audience can expect Rowland replied, “Dudeman is a different experience from anything I’ve done. It’s a lot more open world. Very dialogue and character driven.” Rowland also stated, “Working with a diversity of talent from those inexperience to those who show excellence in theatre really tested my abilities as a director and if anything knocked me on my butt. It was worth it. I learned a lot. And I have to say this is my favorite thing I’ve done thus far.”

Rowland started making movies when he was in 8th grade attempting to bring alternate egos to life on camera. He has produced 7 short films, over 40 skits, and is currently working on a feature film titled, Mr. Secret Agent Guy.

Carolina Film Network’s November Meeting will take place at Tapp’s Art Center from 7pm – 9pm. Bait, Teenage Caligula, and The Art House will also screen at the meeting. Followed by guest speaker Dr. Carmen Maye from the University of South Carolina who will discuss Copyright Law.

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Carolina Film Network – November Meeting Update

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Wonder what we’re doing at the Carolina Film Network November Meeting? Well we have a variety of sorts. From our guest speaker Dr. Carmen Maye who will be dropping in to discuss “Copyright Laws” to screening Teenage Caligula, The Art House, and premiering Dudeman a short film brought to us all by Silas James Rowland of Exploding Head Theory.
There is a few more special things to come; however, we’ll have to tell you about them later.
We are also opening the floor to filmmakers for a “Pitch Sessions” in order to learn what everyone else has going on in the film community here in the Carolinas.
Admission cost $5 in order to help pay for the venue provided by Tapp’s Arts Center.

Review: “Confessions of a Good Man” a inspirational stage play

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.

Carolina Film Network – November Meeting Announcement

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.

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Director Silas Rowland launches IndieGoGo Campaign for local South Carolina Production

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 pkimpw30muohp8gz2bv9after responding to a fraudulent “Secret Agent Program”.

The filmmakers have created an amazing IndieGoGo campaign link posted below.

Mr. Secret Agent Guy – A Feature Film IndieGoGo Campaign

Carolina Film Network – September Meeting Overview

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 info@carolinafilmnetwork.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.