Monday, October 23, 2006

The King Indie "Repect My Fresh" Film Festival Tour: A Recap of the Past Weeks

October 13:

Rod and I arrive at the Indie Memphis Pre-Party Keenon Nikita (Just the Two of Us) and his daughter, Ashley greet us. I also met another African-American filmmaker. I don't recall his name, but I gave him a card. You know me, I just like to work. With no acting classes at my disposal due to my work schedule, I act like crazy to get better. I also ran into filmmaker Robert Saba, back in town to promote Delusions at Indie Memphis.

Later, we all went over to the Muvico Theatres and watched the opening night feature, Come Early Morning. It was directed by Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy, The Breakup) and starred Ashley Judd. Laura Prepon of That 70s Show and Stacy Keach of TV's Mike Hammer was also in it. Very cool, realistic movie. Check for it when it goes into wider release.

Afterwards, Rod and I went to a party at the home of Chris McCoy and Laura Hocking (, and I met Adam Remsen, who was in Eat and is working on a film for the Lil' Film Fest 4. The Lil' Film Fest is a shorts series that is quarterly, has a different theme each quarter, and the winner gets a cash prize and entry into Indie Memphis. He wants me to play a role. Of course, I said yes!!! The filmmakers want me!!! I'm the people's choice!!!! Also, Michael Donahue of the Commercial Appeal took a picture of Lavita Brooks (Katrina's Wake) and myself for an online article of some sort. Pictures are cool, as long as they're not candid.

October 14:

That evening, Rod and I went to the awards ceremony. Rod got Promising Filmmaker (YES!!!!), which also included an $800 Avid Editing Suite. Just the Two of Us got Best Narrative Feature Hometowner, and Keenon accepted that. Also, The Importance of Being Russell won the Ron G. Tibbett Award for Excellence in Filmmaking. You guessed it, I'm in all of these projects. It feels good to be in award-winning projects. Thank you God!!! Later, we watched some pics and briefly went to a party.

October 15:

Rod and Keenon picked up their prizes, Rod and I watch the Shorts Program 2, which includes his short that won the first Lil' Film Fest, Imagine. I play a Death-like character called "The Spectre" in that short. It also includes a brilliant short with David Straitharn called The Shovel, and Katrina's Wake, which starred my girl, Lavita Brooks (What Goes Around). It was about a family that was a victim of Hurricane Katrina. Very poignant and touching. Way to go, Vita!!!!

Later on, Rod and I watched The Departed, the new Martin Scorsese film starring Leo Dicaprio, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, and Anthony Anderson (The Shield, Barbershop, Two Can Play That Game). GREAT Movie!!!!

Rod and I also saw Eat, the Oddly Buoyant Productions film that was a sellout!!! People chuckled at my role as a Software Developer who hates his job. I'm happy/

October 16:

Rod and I watched Fraternity Massacre on Hell Island, Mark Jones' campy, schlocky horror film. Shout out to John Pickle (The Importance of Being Russell) and Sarah Ewell (Just the Two of Us) for very funny performances.

Later, Rod and I watched Jon Sparks' ( documentary short, Memphis Muck. It was about a concert given by local bands Muck Sticky, Taco and Da Mofos, and El Dorado and the Ruckus. I had a cameo. It was neat. Afterwards, they showed Delusions, which had a lot of my fellow Memphis actors in it (including me as an extra). Good film, but it's very dirty. I always feel a need to bathe when I watch that film.

October 17:

This day was officially PSP/DDE day. For the uninformed, that's Pittstop Productions ( and Dog Day Entertainment ( First, we watched Just the Two of Us. Shout out to my friend Wanda and her friend for seeing the movie. Shout out also to cast members Arnita Williams (, Lavita Brooks (, Travis Stone (, Trent Dee, and others.

After Keenon's Film, Rod's film, What Goes Around, also showed. I was in a bit of a tough situation because it aired at the same time as Grim Sweeper. I am an exta in that film. I decided to go with Rod's film because it is my first, some of my best work, and my parents came to see it. My character of the "Film Geek" was a hit!!! Afterwards, I saw that lead actor Patrick Henry, his wife Angela, their baby girl, and my homie poet/rapper Steve Fox were also there. My mom finally met Rod and a lot of my friends. That was real cool. It was a good night for my people Rod and Keenon. FYI, Keenon's film Just the Two of Us was also accepted into the African Diaspora Film Festival in New York (which we may attend), and the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi. PSP/DDE are in the building!!!!

October 18:

I watched a horror film called Severance. It was a British indie film. It rocked!!! I hope it gets picked up for larger distribution. The premise involves a group of employees for a weapons company who go on a retreat to the woods. They wind up going to the wrong cabin, and get attacked by hunters. I don't even like horrors, but this film is on my short list of films that blew me away this year, along with Half Nelson and The Departed.

October 19:

Today was the last day of Indie Memphis, and the day that The Importance of Being Russell. This is a comedy about rednecks who wind up saving the world. I had a brief role as cranky convenience store clerk Bubba Dorido. It was funny, but the story was also very well-structured. I enjoyed it immensely, and I think the people did as well.

I was very proud of my individual accomplishment of being in 8 films (an Indie Memphis record), and the large anount of local films in this year's film festival. Local filmmakers, let's keep raising the bar. Be easy, readers.


At 8:56 AM, Blogger Jon W. Sparks said...

King Indie rules. And kudos to Indie Memphis Film Fest for a terrific week of screenings.


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