Category: expecting goodness short film festival

Independent filmmakers Chris White and Emily Reach White to helm third annual Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival

When local film enthusiast Josh Foster, Hub City Press, and HUB-BUB launched the upstart Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival, no one knew what to expect.

Most grass roots film festivals don’t last beyond a year or two. But flash forward to year three, and the festival’s co-creators find themselves with too much of a good thing. Last year’s film festival featured 12 writers and 12 filmmakers from all over the state and sold out the 500+ seat Chapman Cultural Center Theater three weeks before the day of the event.

“HUB-BUB hosts over 100 community events every year,” says Cate Ryba, Executive Director at HUB-BUB, “and the press has a full plate, too. We looked at how the festival has grown in just two years and realized it had grown beyond our staffing capacity.”

That’s where Chris White and Emily Reach White come in. The Greenville filmmaking couple is normally wary of film festivals.

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Emily and Chris

“They are so expensive to enter,” Chris sighs. His wife Emily adds, “and if you’re lucky enough to get in, even more expensive to attend.”

But the Whites adore Spartanburg’s Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival. Their adaptation of Thomas J. McConnell’s “A Proof For Roxanna” won the audience prize in 2012, and their film company was a corporate sponsor for last year’s event.

“Emily and I exemplify the marriage of film and literature,” Chris says, “I’m a total cinephile and she’s crazy for great writing. When Expecting Goodness approached us about leading the festival, we were nodding before they even popped the question.”

Expecting Goodness Film Festival is the only one of its kind in the world, pairing acclaimed short stories with South Carolina filmmakers who adapt the stories into screenplays and short films. More importantly, for the Whites and other independent filmmakers, it’s a festival that knows how to take care of and connect filmmakers.

“We’ve always felt at home in Spartanburg,” Emily says, “Especially at HUB-BUB and The Showroom. The Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival is just another way Spartanburg shows hospitality to emerging artists.”

As co-executive directors, Chris and Emily plan to build on two years of incredible success, extending that Spartanburg hospitality around the state with more screenings and more prizes and perks for filmmakers and writers. All while maintaining the festival’s grass roots, hometown feel.

“We want to make Expecting Goodness even better,” Chris says, “Emphasizing not only the importance of great stories as a basis of great films, but community-building as critical for emerging filmmakers in South Carolina.”

The Whites know the value of both story and community as it relates to film. They have independently produced three feature-length movies and a dozen short films in the past three years, all from their home in the Upstate of South Carolina. With Hollywood calling, they remain committed to their home state and to the process of “handmade films for friends.”

the Scared is scared: Changing Messages

I think the phrase “wisdom from the mouth of babes” is rather fitting here. 

I wanted to share this short film because, as it was shared with me, it has a message that somewhat changes… it evolves and becomes something much deeper. 

This process is one that, I’m sure, was replicated among our filmmakers and writers as they were crafting their films and their stories. What started off as a simple journey of two animals having a great time at the pool turned into a stance on closure, fear and letting go. 

As our artists started their stories, did their message change? Did it grow into something deeper? 

Even looking at this film, it’s easy to tell that, for just seven minutes worth of film, it took a lot of people and work to make it come together. Each person involved in the film added their own touch of personality–whether it was in the music, costume design or in the set– and added to the filmmaker’s original design to make it… more. If say, for example, the music had a rockier, harder sound, we might think quite differently about the message of the film. But all of the film’s components came together, meshing with the theme of the story and producing something that we all can think about when times get rough: “the Scared is scared of things you like.” 

What will our artists say with their works? And, likewise, what will their works say to us? 

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to get your tickets now before we are completely sold out! 

 

Best, 

Alf the Intern 

A Great Journey

by Abe Duenas

A lot has taken place since launch night of this festival back in October.  Pre-production online meetings, storyboarding, scouting, casting, online meetings with a CGI animator in Brazil and countless other related tasks.  As I type this, I will have completed 95% of my principal photography.   I know my other fellow filmmakers are just as hard at work crafting their stories. I have heard from the underground com lines that we are all in for a treat come “Premiere Night.”  For me, this has been a truly satisfying experience not just because of completing a film, but mostly due to the experiences shared during this voyage.  There is Peter, who is my lead, an extremely gifted actor about whom some may say is in the twilight of his career, but has shown me that he is still in his prime.  

Peter and Abe on the set

There is Fabiano and Renato out all the way in Brazil, who have worked tirelessly on creating a character who I thought would have to be played by a folkmani finger puppet.  The amount of hours they spent on just one shot dwarfs any other task I had to complete.  Working with them has really impressed me how hard artists will work on a labor of love if they believe in the story.  There is also Earl from Earl’s Tire here in Gaffney, who willingly allowed me to shoot at his location.  Sometimes as artists we feel that the community will not support our work because they don’t always support us with their checkbook.  But I appreciate his contribution more than if he would have given this film money. I still cannot believe how perfect the location was for this film.  I cannot forget people like Billy, who lent me his Gramophone, or  the wonderful ladies of downtown Cowpens antique shops who opened their arms to this film by lending us tons of props, and other passerby people who would give me a good lead on a hard-to-find prop.

Abe Duenas and Peter with the gramophone

 

Ian, an extremely talented photographer, also helped light my scenes with the always willing Joe and Beau. I can’t forget Jeanette helping out as AC and April– she is like the person in jail who gets you stuff you need. I had the support of Emily and Katherine for the film with their acting.  All of these experiences occurred because we simply wanted to tell a story. 

Lighting on the set and getting ready for filming

Donde Come Uno, Comen Dos, at it’s core, is a film about friendships. I am glad to have been able to come away with many of these because of this project. This will mark my most creatively ambitious film to date.  I hope the audience is entertained and I look forward to making new friends come Premiere Night.

Abe Duenas's Movie Poster for Donde Come Uno, Comen Dos

The Festival: Eight Weeks and Change Away

Greetings EG Fans!

With the holidays behind us and our festival fast approaching, it’s time to kick our outreach into high gear and share the hard work and vision of our diverse and talented group of filmmakers.

Each week, we want to post a wealth of content from the upcoming films and filmmakers. Clips, pictures from the set, stills and abstracts, and posts from the filmmakers themselves will see their way to the EG Blog, so keep checking in with us each week for updates. We’re also keeping the doors open for guests to write blog posts for us on a wealth of topics related to film and writing, so be sure to contact Alf at Alicia@hubcity.org if you want to be featured on our EG Website Blog.

Tickets for the festival will be going on sale SOON. You can purchase them January 19th (this Saturday!) starting at 6 a.m. for $15. We were completely sold out last year—so expect another sold-out show and get your tickets early!

We hope to see all of our fans on March 23rd! Mark your calendars and Expect Legacies!

Best wishes,

Alf.

THE EPIC SPARTANBURG

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Spartanburg, you should know that it’s quite epic.

Yes, 2011-12 HUB-BUB Artist-in-Residence Steve Snell created the adventure art project THE EPIC SPARTANBURG at the beginning of the year. Steve invited the Spartanburg community to tell him about adventures they’d like to have–adventures that he could capture on film and turn into videos that truly made them look epic.

I (Kari) went out into the woods south of Spartanburg with the mission to build my own shelter for the night. I had never been camping before, so a large part of the challenge for me was the idea of sleeping exposed outside. I was afraid of snakes, of bears, of rain. I won’t tell you what happened, but I will say that it was instantly epic for me, an experience that I will always remember as something that changed me. 

Thus was my adventure, and you’re going to have to come to The Showroom on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7pm to see how epic I and my fellow Spartanburgers became.

So, watch this video and get excited. (And ignore the call for adventures.)

How it’s done

We’re a nonprofit, as you know, which means we often have (and get) to be creative. Well, we did just that Monday night when we held our first-ever livestreamed event to select the filmmakers and stories/writers that would be a part of the 2013 project.

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Stephen tests the lighting and the sound in our makeshift set in our Hub City Writers Project office as we get ready to go live.

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Lighting is very important when you’re drawing names and building a statewide project.

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It’s decided!

Only the registered filmmakers and writers could watch Stephen, Alf, and I as we drew names to determine the 7 emerging and 7 experienced filmmakers and their selected stories that would make up our project (MEET THEM HERE). We can also now reveal that our surprise 15th filmmaker is Abe Duenas, whom we have invited back as our 2012 Best Film winner for The Widower’s Pearls. (And whoever wins 2013 Best Film will be invited back in 2014.)

We’re thrilled to introduce the 15 filmmakers and 15 writers to you at Launch Night on Saturday, when you can meet them and sign up to help on the films. In the meantime, here’s a look at them by the numbers:

  • 6 of the 15 stories are South Carolina Fiction Project winners
  • 11 women are in as writers or filmmakers
  • 8 of the 30 participants are from Spartanburg

Let’s look at it in map-form, shall we? I think we can safely say 2013 is a statewide film festival. So exciting!

What it’s all about

It’s been an exciting few weeks watching registrations come in for filmmakers from Columbia to Landrum. I’m not lying when I say there’s an audible celebration with each new registration because we love the Expecting Goodness project and want others to love it too.

Register to be a filmmaker and, if selected via lottery, you become part of a community of writers, filmmakers, actors, musicians, artists, and technicians across the state that is invested locally and creatively. Our filmmakers accept the opportunity and challenge of using a story as inspiration for a short film, and then they get to work with the writer through the process. Collaboration. One art form into another. Words into images. It’s a beautiful thing.

There is art for art’s sake, which is valid and wonderful, but that’s not what we’re doing here. We have this project that allows a number of people to take part in a creative process, to make something together, to celebrate our talents and possibilities, to have amazing experiences and make memories and show off our state. It’s art for our sake. Yours, mine, South Carolina’s.

So, register if you’re an emerging or experienced filmmaker. Get involved if you want to be a part of the films, or if you want to volunteer to help. Take part in the art.

Year two, and we want you

We started talking about the second Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival on its inaugural night, as we celebrated with wine and conversation in the Zarza bar. What had been an experiment had become a success–beyond our thoughts but not beyond our dreams. We immediately started thinking about how we could grow it while maintaining the grassroots feel, the closeness to the films, the showcase of talented writers and filmmakers.

After several months of meetings we settled on making our little one-of-a-kind festival a SOUTH CAROLINA festival: our state’s writers connected with our state’s filmmakers. If the mission was to showcase talent, why not showcase our state’s talent?

So phase one was to find writers and their stories. We reached out to state organizations, schools, and publications for their recent contest winners, and then we reached out to writers across the state to send us their recently-published stories. What we got was 35 stories from writers all across the state: Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia, Mt. Pleasant, Beaufort, and all over in between. What we got was a treasure of stories for filmmakers to choose from to use as inspiration for a short film this year. What we got was really excited about the whole 2013 project!

And here we go! Filmmaker registration starts one week from tomorrow, September 19, right here. If you’re a South Carolina emerging or experienced filmmaker, we want you in the project. Yes, WE WANT YOU!