We were overwhelmed with gratitude to see so many Safety Net supporters, cast and crew in the audience at the Cleveland Film Fest. We played in a block of films that included some exciting and engaging films all made by or about people also from Northeast Ohio. In this photograph snapped by the talented Elizabeth Finley, I am answering a question from the audience as Paul Sloop, Short Films Programming Manager and star, Lejon Woods stand with me.
On Wednesday, September 6th at 6 pm SAFETY NET will be screened as a part of the Stark County International Short Film Series, a long running film series that has brought incredible short films to Stark County for years.
In the still shot from Safety Net (above) you can see a quick glimpse of the fictional street where Jerry Harris' first home is. In real life, this street was played by Esther Avenue in downtown Canton. Three of the background actors (four if you count the dog) that you see in this shot are the real life residents on Esther Avenue.
Safety Net was inspired by real life stories of someone's experiences in Canton. It was written in Canton and actually filmed in Canton. We're delighted to show the film in the downtown branch of the Stark County District Library and include a talkback afterward with the filmmakers and members of the cast and crew.
LeJon Woods flew to Los Angeles where he was able to represent Safety Net for our team. I (Andrew) watched from afar wishing I could be there. My teaching schedule and the time of the screening were in direct clash (since it was the first day of school for me), so I watched with the tiniest bit of envy, a world of curiosity and a ton of excitement about his presence there.
You'll notice that in the photo, LeJon is joined by Salute Your Shorts festival programmer, Erin Brown Thomas (a great advocate for Safety Net) and our editor who lives in Los Angeles, Brian Steele. LeJon also had a huge contigent of fans that arrived at his showing from an earlier feature film that he appeared in -- Old Fashioned.
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Safety Net has been selected to screen at the Moonrise Film Festival in Wells, British Columbia. A one-of-a-kind festival, Moonrise selects a small group of films from around the world to show to a small but devoted audience in the remarkable Sunset Theatre in the heart of the Cariboo in Canada.
We're honored and delighted that Safety Net is one of the selections for this year's fest.
It's been more than five years since I first heard Henry's words:
"You do a lot of stuff for friends and family and then when it's your turn? When you're in need? You get a surprise. A lot of times people aren't there. Even the ones you helped the most. When I was at the bottom....I had quit my job. I was gonna find a job right away, but didn't. Didn't have anything in the house, was going to go bankrupt, going to give the house up..."
....and I realized that he had articulated a core experience of adulthood. Finding out that maybe you couldn't trust that the universe would always be good to you.
I started writing a story based on many of Henry's stories (with his permission and the feature film about Jerry and Felicia Harris -- $107 A Day -- emerged.
There's REAL LIFE Henry with his mom -- who inspired a similarly awesome mom in the
$107 A Day Script.
Part of my motivation for developing Safety Net -- a shorter story about Jerry Harris' experience was in hopes that we might make the feature film.
Well we are in development now. We're looking for backers and we want you to join us on the journey. If you haven't signed up for our newsletter yet -- please do so here!
We're very happy to announce the specific dates and times where you can see Safety Net!
Moonrise Film Fest - August 26, 6 pm PDT
Salute Your Shorts Fest - August 27, 2:30 pm PDT
Stark County International Short Film Series - September 6, 6 pm EST
Soo Film Festival - September 15, 4:15 pm EST
Rahway International Film Fest - September 23, 12:30 pm EST
Hope we get to see your face in the audience soon!
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After a special sneak peek screening at the Canton Film Fest, LeJon and I were able to answer questions from the audiences. I've been to plenty of film fests and it was unusual how in depth this Q & A became. A huge thanks goes out to James Waters and the Canton Film Fest for allowing this kind of in-depth forum, but also a huge thank you to the engaged and engaging hometown audience. It was great to hear about how you felt during the film and hear the great questions you brought.
A huge thanks to www.linkedin.com/in/js-eyeclectic-b1b8763/John Stone of Eyeclectic Photography for the photo above and to Kim Ann Pfau for her photo of LeJon and I on stage above.
After a four day shoot in October and one quick evening of pickups two weeks later, SAFETY NET was finished with the production phase of our journey. The film was shipped to our editor Brian Steele in Hollywood, and is moving closer and closer to a final cut.
The thing about those quintessential words: "that's a wrap" is that you can't really imagine where you're going to be or how you're going to feel when it's finally time to say them.
The clown who wrote this script somehow managed to write more than half of the script to happen at night time. This very same clown (yours truly, Andrew) wasn't thinking at all about what it is like to be a middle aged man with a day job, teenage children, AND the responsibility of acting as Producer, Writer & Director on a short film.
It means that you will stay up ALL night multiple nights in a row AND you will teach classes during the day AND you will be a good father to your children in the meantime. Well. You will try to be a good father.
The last several hours -- near four a.m. after a four day shoot with two all-night sequences -- are a blur for me. I vaguely remember an episode where I was trying to warm up in a car on the opposite side of the parking lot from where shooting was getting set up and being tricked into singing into the set walkie-talkies in harmony with my (ever-game, outrageously good-sport producer) Emily Hisey. Objective sources listening in on the walkie have confirmed that this is true.
True to form LeJon Woods was soldiering along playing Jerry as if his life depended on it and our dedicated crew (particularly Tyler Clark, Alyssa Pearson, Peter-John Campbell, Joab Roseberry & Josh Quiros
The photo reflects the reality of how "that's a wrap" feels a little more accurately.
We have started raising funds for this Safety Net, and our kickstarter launched on September 19th. In order to make this film we need many team members who are excited about the way that art can revitalize our imagination. We'd love have you on that team. Pledge today!
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