As Fate would have it, I was recruited in 2010 to be an Executive Producer for the South Carolina Film Commission. For seven years, the Film Commission would accept applications for a $100,000.00 short film grant. The idea was to build the South Carolina film crew base by giving an opportunity to filmmakers and producers with SC roots, and to provide apprenticeships to college students. It was an excellent program.
As of June 2013 the program has been absorbed by the awesome Trident Technical College Indie Grants Program and divided into several mini grants. While I miss being apart of this program, I still have the rewarding experience of working with the Film Commission by hosting workshops. More importantly, I am impressed by the leadership of the Indie Grants program, whose films have been accepted by the likes of Sundance and recruited by reality TV networks.
Under my leadership, the students they got to meet, work and network with the likes of:
- Award winning cinematographer Dan Kneece
- Award winning theatre director Robert Richmond
- Award winning producers Monica Belk, Amy Shumaker and Stephanie Stockton
- Working crew like Grip Extraordinaire Harry Palmer, set designer Chad Keith, script supervisor LaShawn Garnes and many, many more
The pictures attached are from the last major project that came through the program, The Edge of the Woods, directed by Grainger David. Let me tell you, Grainger will always be cool in my book. He willingly took on the 24 interns that were hand picked to work on his film, brought out their natural talents and before we knew it the students organized a promo trailer, location scouting, developed a character concept for “The Thing” character that was ultimately accepted by Framestore and successfully created a Twitter account that garnered more than 800 followers that included a number of film press outlets, indie investment firms, and @beatsbydre. Yup, you read right. That was just preproduction.
We shot in January of 2012. The film stars Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), Sean Bridgers (Deadwood), and Maria Dizzia (Orange is the New Black). Our students were more than crafty Pas; they worked directly under key crew personnel and they left an impression.
There are so many stories I have to share from this film and other experiences with the program, and I will share more in the future!
Photo credits go to Andrew Callicott and Ben Walter.