Logline: Set in early Great Depression Appalachia, an out of work coal miner tries to refrain from the dangerous life of moonshining as a way to feed his family.
Synopsis: ‘Shiner is partly inspired by my great grandfather, who in desperation began distilling moonshine in the hills of eastern Tennessee as a means to keep his family fed at the opening of the Great Depression. The short film is also part fiction, envisioning an origin story where a character like my great grandfather begins a transformation into the kingpin of a backwoods syndicate.
After a series of brutal blows, the character of Ray feels little choice but to step outside of the law in what should be a cautionary tale to society at large for allowing such extreme poverty and financial disparity. The story offers significant parallels to our current socioeconomic climate in America. I will be sending the catalyst story as a short film to festivals and have expanded the tale into a television pilot. I plan on using this short and its festival run as a showpiece for the full series.
The ‘Shiner proof of concept screenplay was a semi-finalist for Screencraft and BondIt’s short film fund, and the pilot script was nominated for the 2016 #WriteHerList and the Capital Fund Screenplay Competition’s Hot 100. Our cast for the short includes Ross McCall (Band of Brothers, White Collar, 24: miniseries) as our hero Ray, the conflicted future moonshiner. James Morrison (24, Catch Me If You Can, The X-Files) and Louis Lombardi (The Sopranos, NYPD Blue, Entourage) will play two big city gangsters looking for a white lightning pipeline to the north. Jim Beaver (Deadwood, Supernatural, Justified) has also signed on as the small town sheriff and friend of Ray. Jamie Tisdale (From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series, The Son of an Afghan Farmer) will play Ray's favorite sister Agnes, who moves to Chattanooga in search of work.
About Me: For the last six years, I have worked in production as a freelancer, overseeing features, commercials, and short films. I have written two feature-length scripts, a webseries, and developed ideas for future projects. My first short film Feline Frenzy won the One of a Kind Award at the 2010 Royal Flush Film Festival. I have directed multiple projects, including teasers, animations, and putting together a live performance of Zompire Vixens from Pluto! in collaboration with Women in Horror 2013. One of my most complimented and renown pieces is the improv short called Darktown that I directed in the blacked out, concrete canyons of Manhattan during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I look forward to developing ‘Shiner for series and directing episodes.