Tag Archives: Film Directing

Local Independent Film Spotlight II – Chad Eric Smith

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Growing their craft from strength to strength. That’s what the movers and shakers in local independent film have been up to. Chad Eric Smith is one of those intelligent talents who’s been doing exactly that. I had the opportunity to catch up with him to get the run down on his recent adventures as well as his latest project, where he took up the position behind the camera this time…Well I wouldn’t give it all away just yet but invite you to eavesdrop on our conversation below:

Let’s play catch-up for a bit. Please share a brief overview of your background as an actor, writer, director and producer.

Sure! First of all, it’s a pleasure to chat with you again. I was born and raised in Washington, DC. At a young age, it was clear that I had a knack for storytelling and making people laugh. The idea that I could do it professionally probably occurred at 12 years old, when my grandmother took me to see a play at the Arena Stage in southwest DC. It was my first time seeing a professional stage play and I was mesmerized. She also took me to New York City to see the musical Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway. Those two experiences inspired me to become a stage performer and my mother nurtured that by enrolling me in drama summer camps. Then in High School, I became a member of Children’s National Medical Center’s theater troupe, Teens Against the Spread of AIDS (TASA), which performed all across the city.

When I attended the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, I majored in Psychology. Most people would have assumed I was a Visual and Performing Arts major because, while there, I performed in five stage plays and took acting classes. I went on to perform with the world renowned Kuntu Repertory Theatre, which was part of University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Africana Studies. I also performed on the stage of the New Horizon Theater in Pittsburgh. In 2010, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the African American Council on the Arts awarded me two Onyx Awards for my performances with both companies.

I then began my transition into acting in independent films. Some of my major credits include the superhero comedy Squid Man, the horror mystery thriller The Suffering and the award-winning romantic drama Last Night. In 2015, I starred in Harold Jackson III’s two-character, critically-acclaimed 8 episode web drama on YouTube entitled Counselor, starring opposite Curtiss Cook (House of Cards). For my performance, I received a 2016 IndieCapitol Award nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actor’.

As a filmmaker, in 2014, I co-wrote and starred in my film directorial debut, the short vampire comedy Dark Therapy, in which I received the Gold Peer Award in the “Acting on Camera – Fiction Male” category from the Television, Internet & Video Association of DC (TIVA-DC). In 2015, I co-produced and composed the original score for the silent short film #SeeTheBoy, written and directed by Eulonda Kay Lea, inspired by the shooting of Tamir Rice.

Beyond your most recent project “Rumination”, which I can’t wait to get in to, and your role as writer and director, what other works have you been involved with as an actor recently?

2017 has been very busy! In addition to my television debut in TV One’s season finale of For My Man, I performed in four independent feature films. I played a paramedic in Nothing To Do, written and directed by Mike Kravinsky, a wife-stealing friend in Nothing From Something, written and directed by Chris Perillo, a convict in The Meek, written & directed by Harold Jackson III, and a werewolf suffering with alopecia in An Accidental Zombie (Named Ted), written & directed by Anne Welles.

Well, let’s get down to “Rumination” of which I had the privilege to view the rough cut. What is the genesis of this story? What brought it about? What is the film all about?

Rumination is about a heartbroken man who travels into the past for a second chance at a failed relationship. It was inspired by my own a personal experience with grief following a breakup.

What was the writing process like? Did the pieces all fall together at once or did it evolve gradually?

The writing process evolved gradually. I started writing the script for Rumination in October of 2015 as a creative way to cathartically deal with the grief I was experiencing at the time. During a visit with a therapist, I came across the word “Rumination” while reading a pamphlet about anxiety and depression. The word, which was unfamiliar, struck me as being a great title for a movie. I looked up the word and saw that it was defined by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, the late professor of psychology at Yale University, as “compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions”. So, I began writing the script based on that idea, coupled with my personal experience. My method consisted of treating the script like a journal, having the main character, Elliott, experience and say things that were personally true at the time I wrote it. I put the writing process on hold for about a year; I let it marinate in its own words. Then, in late 2016, I returned to the script after being inspired by the FX series Atlanta, the science fiction television anthology series Black Mirror, and the psychological thriller Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele. They gave me the confidence to complete and direct my film. Plus, by this point, I had come a long way in my own healing and could turn what was personal into a universal story many people could relate to: the desire to travel back in time to set something right or make better decisions. I researched information about the neuroscience of heartbreak, as well as the concept of eternalism, the philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all points in time are equally real.

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When you arrived at the shooting phase of the project, what was the casting process like? Were there particular specifics that were non-negotiable?

At first, I considered playing the main character since I could so easily relate to him. Then, I decided I didn’t want to memorialize myself on film replaying emotions I had worked so hard to move past. Since I starred in my directorial debut, Dark Therapy, I wanted to experience filmmaking solely behind the camera. I came across actor Kelvin Drama on Facebook. I saw a video of him doing a monologue and was impressed with his sincerity. I reached out to him over a year ago to gauge his interest in playing Elliott and he jumped at the opportunity. Angus Whinfield played Elliott’s girlfriend, and Danny Gavigan played the quirky neuroscientist, Renard. Both were serendipitously cast in the film. Back in March of this year, I participated in a table read for Harold Jackson III’s “The Meek” and Danny was there, reading as the film’s antagonist. I knew Danny was an excellent actor and, as I watched him, it dawned on me that he’d be perfect for my film because of his wide range. I pitched the idea to him and he enthusiastically agreed to play the role of the quirky neuroscientist. Suddenly, while at the same table read, I saw Angus outside the glass door. She was there for a different reason. She and I had performed in an indie film together entitled Secret City Bluz. After running into Angus, it was clear to me she’d be perfect for the film. I emailed her the script and she came onboard soon after reading it. For the cast, there weren’t any non-negotiables. As an actor, I know what it feels like to have a director try to micromanage my performance. It makes me feel like they don’t trust my instincts. So, I trusted my actors’ choices, as long as they were hitting all of the emotional notes that were necessary.

Angus

The acting performances were complimentary to the story in my opinion. What was your directing experience like? What did it take to bring out the sort of emotions, inflections, expressions etc that you were looking for from your actors?

On behalf of my actors, thank you! The script isn’t very long but it was nice to hear actors, other than myself, speak my written words. We had two table reads: one for Kelvin and Angus and another for Kelvin and Danny. Closer to the time of production, Kelvin rehearsed with both Angus and Danny for their respective scenes. To bring out the sort of emotions I wanted to convey, I expressed to Kelvin many of the details from my own experience with heartbreak. He told me that Elliott was one of the most difficult characters he had to portray. He did a lot of research on depression, loneliness & torture. We also talked a lot about pulling inspiration from Will Smith’s performance in Seven Pounds, which deals with grief. For Angus, it was about exhibiting haunting grace and beauty, which helps explain, at least some of the reason, why Elliott misses her so much. For Danny, he had clear ideas right away about how he wanted to play Renard. From the get-go, he expressed that his character would be “very direct, clinical and over-exuberant about his work.” We also talked a little bit about drawing from Brad Pitt’s performance in 12 Monkeys as inspiration. There’s more ideas about his character but I don’t want to give too much away.

Elliott

The center of the theme or story may have had the opportunity to travel over in to the somber side and get stuck there, but comedy is lightly woven in to it. Was this decided from the film’s inception?

Yup! No matter how serious I get, my sense of humor is never far away. Since the beginning of the writing process, I decided to have humorous pieces of dialogue that contrasted with the rest of the film’s darker tone. Just like in my film Dark Therapy, I enjoy telling stories that are multifaceted in its tone.

Please talk about the cinematic feel of the piece. Some shots were reminiscent of Orson Wells’ Citizen Kane. What was your intention for the shot compositions, editing etc.

Cinematically, I was influenced by Black Mirror and movies like Christopher Nolan’s Inception, as well as an array of time travel flicks. I chose to shoot the film using mostly natural lighting and selected cinematographer Andy Evans based on his experience doing just that. I talked to him about how much I liked the look of Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s film, The Revenant.

In post-production, I emphasized to my editor, Kelvin J., the type of films I was influenced by. We discussed the symbolism behind the color choices for the look of the film. Kelvin was also my production sound mixer/boom operator. He was able to watch the actors’ performances in person, which I believe makes it much easier for an editor to do his or her job effectively.

The music is also a very important part of my film. My father, Jonathan Bey, is an Emmy award-winning music producer and composed the film’s original score. For Rumination, I directed him to create a score that had binaural beats and isochronic tones, similar to meditation music. Since I was telling a story that involved the topic of consciousness, I thought it would be cool to have a score that included subtle auditory illusions that synced up with the audience’s brainwaves. I wanted to play with the audience’s eyes, ears and everything in between, in order for them to be immersed into Elliott’s world.

What are your short-term distribution plans for this project? (Give as much detail as possible including how audiences can see the film in the near future.

My short term plan is to submit Rumination to as many film festivals across the nation that I can afford. Rumination will have its world premiere at the Reel Independent Film Extravaganza on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 at 7pm at the Angelika Pop Up Union Market (550 Penn St NE Washington DC 20002). Tickets can be purchased at: https://filmfreeway.com/festival/ReelIndependentFilmExtravaganza/tickets

There will also be a screening and Q&A at the Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center on October 28th, 2017 at 6:30pm.

What are your expectations for the piece in the long-term?

I’m in the early writing stage of expanding upon the story in a creative way. Folks will have to just stay tuned.

What do you want viewers to come away with when they watch this short-film?

At the heart of my story is the theme of grief, and how the multifaceted response to loss can be very difficult, sometimes eliciting rash decisions out of desperation. Whether it be from losing someone you love due to death or a relationship ending, the emotions can feel exactly the same. The five stages of grief and mourning are universal, and don’t necessarily occur in any specific order. The audience will have to discern whether or not Elliott grieved in a manner that was advantageous. However, the process of making my film was a constructive example of how one can cathartically turn pain into art. French visual artist Annette Messager once said, “Being an artist means forever healing your own wounds and at the same time endlessly exposing them.” That is exactly what I did through the making of this film and I hope viewers are both entertained and inspired.

So what is next for Chad Eric Smith?

Well, all the films I mentioned that I acted in this year will be coming out over the course of the coming months. So that’s exciting! Hopefully, Rumination will be screened at film festivals all over the country and even the world. Stay tuned!

Is there anything else that you’re bursting to tell us that may not have been mentioned before?

I just want to say thank you again for taking the time to talk to me about my film. I encourage folks to “Like” the fan page for Rumination at http://www.facebook.com/RuminationShortFilm in order to stay up to date with all the breaking news. Also, fans can see what else I have going on by following my personal page at http://www.facebook.com/ActorChadEricSmith, my Instagram @IamChadEricSmith and Twitter @ChadEricSmith.

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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Vick Krishna

Welcome back friends! This week I would like to introduce you to Vick Krishna. Once again, I am thrilled to present  another local filmmaker who is making an indelible mark on the local – and even international – film industry.

I came into contact with Vick’s stellar work on Valentine’s weekend. I had the opportunity to view his recent romantic short film “onLove: A Modern Love Story”. I was immediately impressed with the acting, the production quality, and the story telling. I was drawn into the mini-movie from the get-go. For those who haven’t seen it I don’t want to give it all away and spoil this treat for you, but there are pleasant surprises that make it all that much more enjoyable.

Furthermore, I am going to let Vick tell you more about this film, himself, and his career as a whole. So please go ahead, and read on to learn more…

Hello Vick, so I just had to talk with you after viewing your short film, “onLove: A Modern Love Story”. It was engaging, and visually appealing. Tell us how you came up with the concept.

Thank you Diane! The concept came to me noticing how we can interact with our friends and families pretty much anywhere as long we are connected. That sense of true loneliness is gone these days. We are always “in-company” despite being digital.

I thought that you did an excellent job of going from reality, to “life online”, and back — Did you have any challenges producing this short? If so, what were they?

The challenge is always time as we shot the weekend before Valentine’s and I had only 2 shoot days and about 3 days to edit in order to release before Valentine’s Day. Some of the editing techniques (transitions) used are ones I have never attempted, so it was learning and executing all at once.

For those who haven’t seen “onLove” just yet, where can they view it?

They can see the film at this link . http://youtu.be/740YHKbQ2WU .

 Let’s go on to talk about your body of work. I have seen a variety online. Please fill us in on your resume — on your work overall.

So far I’ve been avid in making short films. I’ve directed/written/produced/edited 6 short films of my own. Along with that I’ve freelanced on several projects from being a production assistant, editor, assistant director, and even acting.

Where, and when did it all begin?

I’ve always loved movies from a young age. Around high school I was part of the Morning Announcements team and that exposed me to cameras and filming. I was also active in my high-school theatre, which got me into acting. Both of these solidified my interest behind and in front of the camera and I began making videos for fun trying to learn the craft.

Do you have a favorite film that you have worked on—a “passion project” if you will?

All of the ones I’ve worked on have unforgettable experiences. It so hard to pick a favorite. Each film is an adventure for me, where I get to be part of a family with the crew and actors. They all have their special moments in my life.

What is your favorite aspect of filmmaking? Is it directing, writing — tell us more?

My favorite aspect would have to be directing. It is at that stage where you finally see everything you had in your head and envisioned, in real life. It’s a great feeling to see the words come to life and you can begin the action.

What’s the ultimate goal, that you would like to attain to in the global film industry?

My goal is to simply tell a great story. Stories can do many things. They can motivate, inspire, make you cry, make you laugh, excite, scare, teach and feel something. I want to do those things well with my stories.

That is fantastic Vick! What are your thoughts about the local independent film enterprise? – Where is there need for improvement?

I think the local independent enterprise is thriving with new talents, and it’s so great that the technology to make films is now affordable so we can participate. The need for improvement might just be to continue to learn.

Personally speaking I don’t have any film school background. I learned by watching and making films. You don’t want to rush into something you don’t know anything about so take your time to learn so you can do it right. I still have so much I want to learn about visual graphics/cgi/animation, all of which could help me tell my story better.

Well your work is a fabulous testament of what self-motivation can do. Tell us about some other local filmmakers whose work you admire.

There are several great filmmakers here and some those I would like to mention are, Mike Kravinsky (Geographically Desirable), Anthony Greene (The Henchman’s War), Venu Nakshathram (The Otherside), Cisco Davis Jr. ( Zordon of Eltar: A Power Rangers Fan Film), Manan Katohora (Public Relations).

Do you have a favorite national, and international, director and/or screenwriter?

National: Spielberg & Tarantino

International: Manirathnam & Miyazaki

Screenwriter: Tarantino

Did you have a favorite on Oscar night?

“Birdman” all the way!

Which film, and actor were you pleased won an Academy Award?

I’m very pleased with the “Birdman” and Patricia Arquette winning.

Were there any disappointments for you that night?

Perhaps for Best Sound Editing if at all anything.

I gotcha! Now back to you, and your wonderful talents…What are you working on presently?  

Presently I’m working on editing a feature-length movie currently titled “The Dignified Princess” produced by Jyoti Singh.

Oh! I can’t wait to see that, and talk to Jyoti Singh about that project. We’ll fill everyone in on that soon but, how do you usually showcase your projects. Is it mostly online?

I usually just put it online. I just want to share my story with as many people as possible.

Vick, I am so happy that I got to talk with you. Thank you very much. You are the reason, I do the “Local Independent Film Spotlight”. Any final words?

Keep making films and telling your stories. And thank you Diane and the Local Independent Film Spotlight for taking the time to appreciate the local talent. We new filmmakers thrive on your words of encouragement to keep going.

 Awe! Thank you! How can everyone keep abreast of all the imaginative, and creative work that you’re doing?

They can subscribe to my YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/vickkrishnafilms    

This was absolutely my pleasure Vick. The local filmmaking, and acting talent is rich…very rich. I sincerely get charged up to enlighten our community about the wealth of performance and entertainment treasure it possesses.

Thank you for joining us today. Stay tuned for another remarkable feature next Wednesday, right  here!

Vick Krishna

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“onLove: A Modern Love Story” Poster

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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Chad Eric Smith

Welcome back for another Local Independent Film Spotlight. Today I am elated to feature Chad Eric Smith. He is a talented, and brilliant local actor, as well as thrillingly imaginative story teller. After learning about, and viewing his recent short horror comedy film, “Dark Therapy”, I just had to learn more about Chad, and bring his story to you. You would understand what I mean after you’ve seen the witty “Dark Therapy”.

Stay tuned, and read on to learn more about the film, and its upcoming screening on Saturday, January 24th. I am confident that, like myself, Chad’s experiences, and drive will further inspire, and stir up your passion for theater and film.

Chad, how did you get involved with the world of acting, and filmmaking?

When I was 12, my Grandmother took me to the Arena Stage in Washington, DC to see my first play “Oak and Ivy,” which chronicled the loving but strained marriage of two early-20th-century poets, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore. I left the theater mesmerized by the actors’ performances. I also left determined to perform at the Arena Stage one day. A little while later, my grandmother took me to New York City to see my first Broadway musical, “Annie Get Your Gun.” I was again awestruck. While in High School, I became a member of Children’s National Medical Center’s theater troupe, Teens Against the Spread of AIDS (TASA). It combined improvisational theater, poetry, and hip hop, to educate our peers, parents, and health professionals about important teen health concerns. All these experiences made me interested in acting once I got to college, and ultimately pursuing acting professionally.
After college, I performed in several short films and at many community theaters throughout the Pittsburgh Metropolitan area. I also was an extra in the big-budget Hollywood films “She’s Out of My League,” “I Am Number Four,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” My first big role in a feature length film was as the mild-mannered and slightly socially awkward reporter Pete Henderson in the superhero comedy “Squid Man,” by writer/director Charlie Cline.

How long have you been acting?

I have been acting for a little over 10 years. I’ve been in a total of 18 stage plays, over a dozen independent films, a couple of web series, and a music video.

Wow! What bit you first; the acting bug, or writing and telling stories?

The acting bug bit me first. The first play I performed in was “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” by Steve Martin, during my freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. The experience of performing in front of a live audience was exhilarating. So, I just kept doing it and loving it more and more. Writing and telling my own stories happened much later.

You have performed a wide range of characters. Your acting wheelhouse is pretty vast. Do you have a favorite character which you have acted? Please fill us in on your acting experiences.

In 2010, I enjoyed playing Walter Lee Younger in the Kuntu Repertory Theatre production of the musical “Raisin” and was awarded an Oynx Award for ‘Best Leading Actor in a Musical’ by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the African American Council on the Arts (AACTA). That same year, I also won an Oynx Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Musical’ for my role as Wilson Pickett in the New Horizon Theater production of “I Gotcha! The Story of Joe Tex and the Soul Clan.” Those two are a couple of my favorite stage roles because, on top of acting, they both challenged me to sing and dance, things that aren’t necessarily easy or comfortable for me. In film, my favorite, most gratifying role so far was as a mysterious drifter named Ahmad in the upcoming horror feature film “The Suffering,” by LA based filmmaker Rob Hamilton. It was by far my most physically demanding, complex film role. My character is a mix of charisma, madness, and danger. Check out the trailer at http://www.thesufferingfilm.com.

Fantastic! Well, let’s delve into your recent film, “Dark Therapy”, about a vampire with an irrational fear of blood, and seeks psychiatric help as a result. How was the idea for this short horror comedy conceived?

In the summer of 2013, I met local actress Devin Nikki Thomas at a table read for a script by filmmaker Harold Jackson III. Right away, she and I clicked. I thought she was funny. We had a very similar sense of humor and I was impressed by her quick-wit. So, we did what all strangers do right away: We became Facebook friends. We then decided to collaborate creatively. For me, it was an exciting and empowering opportunity to bring to life the type of quirky character I’m attracted to as an actor, and for Devin to be executive producer of her first film through her production company, Unitivity Productions, LLC.

You possess the main role of the Vampire, which was brilliantly performed. However, what was the writing process like? Did the ideas, and dialogue flow naturally, or were there instances of struggle?

Thank you! The idea and dialogue definitely came easy and a lot of it was improvised during filming. I knew right away that I wanted to create a cinematic-looking comedic skit with an improvisational flair, similar to Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele,” which I’m a big fan of. I’m also a big fan of Johnny Depp because of his knack for playing flamboyant, eccentric characters and I had recently seen him play a vampire in Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows.” So, that was my initial inspiration. When I started brainstorming ideas for the first rough draft of the script, I first thought about a skit about 2 vampires who give up blood because they become Jehovah Witnesses. Then, the idea of a vampire with an extreme, irrational fear of blood popped in my head like a lightbulb and Devin was like, “I’m game.” I began writing it in November of 2013 and then sent it to Devin and she added to it.

Those are great places to find inspiration. How did you prepare for your role as the Vampire?

I named my vampire character “Erebus” because it is the name of the primordial deity who personifies darkness in Greek mythology. I liked the idea of his name representing something opposite of his harmless, apprehensive, and constantly mortified demeanor. I liked that juxtaposition and irony. I sent the script to Carl Randolph and Robert “Bob” Yoho Jr., who were the special effects/make-up artists for “The Suffering,” and they really liked it and came on board to help bring Erebus to life. Bob designed realistic-looking, custom-fit fangs for me and Carl did my make-up, nails, and gave me white eye contacts. Devin purchased my blousy shirt and lace front wig. Transforming into Erebus took a little over an hour in the make-up chair and really helped inform my mannerisms and voice.

In the film, it appears that the “fantasy world” collides with the “urban world”. Was this intentional?

Yes. Even the fact that my vampire character is wearing jeans in the film was a conscious choice to collide fantasy with urban. I remember seeing an interview by director John Singleton in which he said that when a filmmaker is very specific culturally, it becomes universal and special. Not to be all deep, but I really like the idea of universality being found within cultural specificity. So, I thought that having urban references, especially references that were very specific to the DMV, with a black vampire as a lead character, would be funny and relatable to many.

The role of the psychiatrist is played by Devin Nikki. She was a natural. What was the approach to this character in the planning stages?

Devin is great as Dr. Anne Rice! Her name is a nod to the popular author of the series of novels The Vampire Chronicles. Devin decided for her character to have a southern accent to make her character quirkier. She was also very meticulous about her character’s appearance, as well.

There is certainly comedy throughout the short, but the horror portion certainly does peek through, including a twist. It is a fair balance. How was this accomplished?

It was certainly a collaborative experience. The original script had a simple comedic ending. When Devin made edits to the script, she added a darker ending and I loved it. It accentuated another idea I was trying to present, the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Omar Juarez (Bad/Splice), our awesome Director of Photography, also edited the film and did some cool color correction that really hit the nail on the head regarding my vision. He was assisted by Manuel Santos. My father, Jonathan Bey, is an Emmy award-winning producer and composed the film’s original score, making it sound simultaneously quirky and ominous. I told him to think of the music of composer Danny Elfman. Audio engineer Michael Balasia further enhanced the sound of the film and added a few really funny effects. The wonderful performances of actor Niko Tarlay and actress Honey St. Dennis definitely helped emphasize the comedic/horror balance, as well. Everyone really elevated the project superbly, in my opinion, especially considering that we shot the film in a single day.

The comedy film premiered at the West End Cinema in Washington, DC, in October 2014, and later went on to receive awards for the film work, and acting performances. Please tell us a little more about that.

Yes, it premiered at the West End Cinema as part of the 2014 Reel Independent Film Extravaganza. It was a thrilling experience and the audience loved it! There was lots of hearty laughter. The following month, at the National Press Club, the Television, Internet & Video Association of DC (TIVA-DC) awarded Unitivity Productions, LLC a Bronze Peer Award in the “Independent Short” category for “Dark Therapy” and awarded me the Gold Peer Award in the “Acting on Camera – Fiction Male” category. It was a very exciting and gratifying night!

“Dark Therapy” will also be featured at this Saturday’s (January 24th) Rosebud Film & Video Festival, at the Artisphere in Arlington, VA. What is the significance of that for you?

I’m just really happy that it’s continuing to be accepted into film festivals so that people can see it on the big screen. In fact, on that same evening, it will also screen at the Indie Night Film Festival at the world famous TCL Chinese Theatre on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame! I’ll be flying to LA, for the first time, to participate.

How can fans, and avid movie-goers get tickets to attend this weekend’s screening?

Folks in the DMV area can purchase their tickets for the Rosebud Film & Video Festival at https://www.arlingtonmedia.org/rosebud. Ticket’s are $10. If they are in the L.A. area, they can RSVP for the Indie Night Film Festival at http://www.indienightfilmfestival.com/event/3-3/.

What are the extend of your plans for “Dark Therapy”, moving forward?

We have submitted “Dark Therapy” to several film festivals all over the world and expect to get responses throughout the remainder of the year.

In your opinion, what is the forecast for the Independent Film climate in the DMV area? We’re not L.A., New York or even Toronto but do you think that the independent film industry can thrive locally?

Yes, I think the independent film industry can thrive in the DMV. There certainly are lots of talented people in the area. As a DC native, I would like to see more and more filmmakers and producers capturing the images of the diversity and historic landmarks that make the city so great. I do think, though, that DC officials need to do a better job at creating economic incentives to attract more film and TV production companies. From the things I read and hear about, I feel there’s too many jurisdictional and bureaucratic hurdles in DC, which dissuade filmmakers. That in return makes it more challenging for local actors to find high quality, paid gigs to audition for. That’s also part of the reason Devin and I decided to produce our own project.

What advice would you give to budding actors, and storytellers in this area, seeking to recognize their dream of performing and filmmaking?

I would tell actors to be selective about the type of work they choose to be part of. Don’t compromise your personal integrity just so you can add a credit to your resume. Being an actor is as much about your brand as it is about the craft. And your brand is made up of both what you choose to do and what you choose not to do. I recently saw an interview with actor David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Selma,” and he said something that really resonated with me. He said, “You erode your talent by being in things that are lesser than your talent. You are only as good as what you subject yourself to by way of the material, the people you work with, and the parts you accept.”
I, also, definitely recommend doing theatre. I believe theatre is the best training an actor can receive because it truly is the actor’s medium. It’s where the actor has the most say as to how he or she portrays the character he or she has been entrusted with. Plus, the energy one receives from a live audience is an amazing feeling. If you are a film actor, arrive on set on time, know your lines, listen and react to your scene partner, and be cognizant of continuity so the editor will love you. With regards to technique, well, as the late, great comic George Burns once said, “Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

Priceless advice! So what’s next for Chad Eric Smith?

My upcoming roles include me as a restaurateur in the feature length romance “Last Night,” by writer/director Harold Jackson III, a distraught artist in the feature length drama “Secret City Bluz” by writer/director Ambessa Jir Berhe, and a werewolf suffering with alopecia in the feature length comedy “Zombie Ted,” by writer/director Anne Wells. I’m also currently writing a new original comedic screenplay.

How can we stay abreast with your actor, and filmmaking work?

The best way to keep updated on what I’m doing is by “Liking” my Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/ActorChadEricSmith. People can also follow me on Twitter @ChadEricSmith and Instagram @Chad_Eric_Smith. In addition to being an actor, I’m also a musician. Some of my music can be heard on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/chad-eric-smith.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me Chad! I would like to wish you much success with “Dark Therapy”, and all your future endeavors. Again, your story is inspiring. I am convinced that the your limitless imagination, and purposeful drive will transport you to your goals, and even further.

To everyone, I highly recommend securing your tickets for this Saturday’s screening of “Dark Therapy”. It is a entertaining treat!
To reiterate: Tickets for the Rosebud Film & Video Festival at https://www.arlingtonmedia.org/rosebud. Ticket’s are $10. If they are in the L.A. area, they can RSVP for the Indie Night Film Festival at http:/www.indienightfilmfestival.com/event/3-3/. 

Chad Eric Smith

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Dark Therapy Poster

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