For many Memphians we enjoy our city with all it's history and fame, quaint neighborhoods, great music scenes on Beale Street, and for the past several years, our Indie Memphis world has slowly become quite impressive. This year the Indie Memphis Festival was named one of the Top 25 in the Country, and we are catching the attention of filmmakers everywhere.
That's only part of the news that we are announcing today. The Avarice film team has scored the number one spot for the gala opening of Indie Memphis 2013, accompanied by the new cult classic "Day After Tomorrow". We are all quite honored for this, and the cast and crew were on hand for the premier of Avarice at the gala, and after a few photos on the red carpet, we answered some Q&A from a large audience at the Playhouse on the Square, the cities new multimillion dollar facility.
As the cinematographer for Avarice, I was so excited to stand alongside our producers and directors for this event. We began filming Avarice several years ago, and after months and months of pickups and edits, our little short film has taken on legs and is beginning to pick up awards in festivals across the country. Last month it picked up "best fantasy film" at the Nashville Wizard World that was attended by such industry leaders as Henry Winkler. With all the hard work, shooting in crazy hot weather, and weeks & months of shooting, it's very rewarding to see the excitement about the film. Visit the website to find out more about the film and the film company at timidmonster.com/avarice
The producer Dan Baker, director Rachel Taylor and I have worked together on several projects over the past 5 years, and we seem to keep getting more work that keeps the team busy. Their company has grown and evolved into the "Timid Monster" name, and they are actively screening Avarice in indie festivals across the country. I also need to mention our wonderful leading actress, Hayley Parker, whom I truly adore. She has done several short films, and is getting more and more roles every year. We started filming Avarice when she was 11 years old, and she was just a happy little girl with an incredible work ethic, today at 14 she has a passion for success, and is humble, caring and happy. Her parents are very proud of her, just as I am. Our time together on set has always been fun and I hope to work with her again on future projects.
As we hope to win more accolades with the film, I want to offer thanks to the entire crew that worked on Avarice, Dan Baker produced and edited the film and did an amazing job with all the special effects. This film has been Dan's baby, and he has finely crafted every detail in the editing room. The sound designers, Kent Smith and Kerry Kernan created an amazing cinematic film score, and the 20 or more cast and crew members did an amazing job with wardrobe and set design. I enjoyed working alongside our DP Paul Skidmore, and so many of the crew members on this project, and know that they all are very excited to have been a part of this film. I really enjoy working alongside Rachel Taylor, the director. She's easy to work with, patient with the camera setups, and has a good communication philosophy with the talent and the camera crew. She knows what she wants from a scene, and instead of getting tense she just smiles and says lets try it again. Working with a director like her makes the day fun, and thats why we like making films together.
From a cinematographers view of this project, I loved the artistic nature of the film. It really fit into my style of shooting. Working on a film crew takes special teamwork, and willingness to work hard on each take until its right. I loved shooting on the Canon 5dII camera system, compared to shoots I've done with cameras like the Red One, I think it performed extremely well. The 5d was a relatively new camera when we began shooting Avarice, and we had to innovate on the fly to make some of the scenes work, yet almost every other scene was a breeze to shoot. The way the 5d captures light and color is it's strong suit, and the sharpness of it's lenses helps the HD camera sing for the detail shots.
Keep checking back as Avarice continues to tour film festivals across the country, keep your fingers crossed for it to get mainstream attention from the Memphis indie film vibe that it now has under its belt.
Here's our team on the red carpet at the opening gala for Indie Memphis and we accepted Q&A from a large audience in the screening theater. Thanks Memphis for all your support!