2008 would become the year we'd film an investment trailer for Cole's company, Glass City Films. GCF was co-founded by OSU grad Cole and a man named John Klein, and it so happened he, like me, also went to Notre Dame for film (just coming in the year after I left). Cole reprised his role as Bailey Palmer in the investment trailer. I got a crash course in directing for film (ya know, that wasn't a school project --- big honking difference), and an 8-minute extended trailer (for a movie that didn't exist yet) was born. In the end, that investment trailer helped GCF secure a budget and in the Fall of 2009, we began filming the feature. Only now, I was focused on being the screenwriter and Cole stepped in the direct.
That film would take less than month to shoot, both in Columbus and in Toledo. It was a whirlwind. I was going back and forth from the film set to helping my own theatre company open a show. And they were shooting in my house, so it was kind of crazy. But just as quick as it started, filming wrapped. That was five years ago. A year later, in the Fall of 2010, we began screening the film in Columbus, Toledo, and Chicago (where GCF is primarily based now). It was pretty sweet.
"Separation Anxiety" went on to hit some festivals, getting nominated and winning some awards like Best Drama at the Riverbend Film Fest and Best Director at Trail Dance (where it was also nominated for Best Drama and Best Actress for Kiana Harris). Laila and I got to travel to Alexandria, VA, in the Fall of 2011, with Cole for a film fest screening and it was such a blast. I was both excited and humbled to have my film included in the line up at each of these festivals.
This movie was made on a tiny budget (film-wise), somewhere around $50,000 (you'd have to ask GCF, I'm not a numbers guy, I'm a words guy). The leads were OSU grads (and a student I think), Tyler Seiple, Kiana Harris, and Corbin Jones. And we had two film vets in our key supporting roles: Polly Adams (United 93) as Lily, and one of the best TV dads ever, John Wesley Shipp as Mr. Palmer (seriously, JWP is a gem to work with; and he was Dawson's dad on Dawson's Creek and he's Barry Allen's dad on The Flash on CW!). I still remember John Klein asking me who I'd cast as Mr. Palmer if I could just cast anyone, and I said (I thought wistfully) "John Wesley Shipp, of course." And then John Klein got him for the film. Awesome.
For so many years, there were only a handful of friends and family who ever got to see this movie, and so I'm beyond thrilled that it's now available for everyone to watch. Being a little indie-drama, I know it's not going to break box office records, Avenger's style, but that's cool. I'm just glad that people have a chance to see it now and I hope they like it. I hope they rent it. I hope they buy it. I hope they find something in the film that speaks to them and I hope they share it with their friends.
Here are some photos from some of the premieres from 2010. I'll leave you with these to close out and encourage you to visit my Separation Anxiety film page where you can watch the trailer and some behind-the-scenes action and see if its your kind of movie. Even if it's not, I bet you know someone who would like it, so please do me a favor and tell people about the film and send them my way (or to Amazon or Google or their XBOX, etc.). Happy viewing! (But seriously, bring tissues... it's a dramedy... with the drama).
and the award goes to...
Congratulations to Kiana Harris who took home the award for Best Actress at the annual Naperville Independent Film Festival for her starring turn as Jess in SEPARATION ANXIETY! It's always fantastic when talented people working on a project of yours are recognized for their contribution. Kiana was the first person I cast back when we were making the investment teaser. This was 2008 and I had the pleasure of directing her for a few days. She taught me a lot, as I had only directed for the stage until that point and I'm lucky to have had someone like her on board so early in the process. I had seen her previous film (GLASS CITY) earlier that year and on the way home from that screening turned to a friend of mine and said "that's her. That's Jess." When Cole Simon took the reigns for the feature so I could focus on the writing, we were pretty much in sync that Kiana would continue on as Jess. Her work helped shape what Jess became during the film's development -- this award is completely deserved. I'm so proud of her, and the entire cast & crew. We were also nominated for BEST FEATURE FILM, BEST DIRECTOR - Cole Simon, and BEST ACTOR - Tyler Sieple. You can visit http://www.naperfilmfest.org for full festival information.
Nominated for four awards at the annual Naperville festival including BEST FEATURE FILM, BEST DIRECTOR - Cole Simon, BEST ACTOR - Tyler Sieple, and BEST ACTRESS - Kiana Harris, you can catch the Naperville Premiere at 7pm on Tuesday, September 18, 2012. Visit http://www.naperfilmfest.org for full festival information, tickets, and directions. The festival runs eight days from the 15-22 of September. With its proximity to Chicago (the current artistic base of Glass City Films), several members of the production team plan to attend a second screening on Thursday, September 20.
10 minute play hits Philadelphia in June
Courtesy of Luna Theater Company
Luna Theater Company presents their inaugural new play fest this summer with the Solstice Play Festival and I am thrilled to be involved. Got an email this week from their Literary Manager Jeremy Gable to invite my new 10-minute play, The Cosmonaut in Human Resources, to be part of this week of world premieres! Cosmonaut was developed in my MFA playwriting seminar this past Fall and I'm excited to have its first staging happen at Luna! Here's a line-up of the shows they're producing in this year's festival:
Cole Simon (Director) and myself.
This weekend, I'm in Alexandria, Virginia for the Alexandria Film Festival to see a screening of my film "Separation Anxiety." In case you didn't know, I wrote the screenplay for the film based on my own play of the same title. In attendance this weekend: my girlfriend Laila, and my friend and Director of "Sep," Mr. Cole Simon. I'll keep this quick, but let me touch on the highlights.
Thoughts. From my brain. Anything to do with how we tell stories and the stories we tell each other. Literally and figuratively.
Writer. Husband. Father. Effulgent dreamer. A Fightin' Irishman (@NDdotEDU '01). A playwriting Bobcat (MFA in Playwriting, @OhioU '13). I write plays. I'm a geek. I wanted to be an astronaut. I go places in my head.