Independent film was something that I didn’t really know existed until I was in my early 20’s.  While working at a small production company in Rome, Georgia, I discovered that people could actually make movies on their own and find audiences outside of big commercial movie theaters.  I was instantly smitten by the whole process and had a deep urge to learn more.  So I did.  Over the next 3 or 4 years while I lived in Atlanta and eventually back in Birmingham, I worked on many small film projects… usually for friends.  It took a while before the thought occurred to me that I could make my own films too.   It all happened while I was taking a screenwriting class with Elizabeth Bradley (now Elizabeth Hunter).  I never thought of  myself as a writer and my arm had to be twisted to even consider being in the class.  But behind that insecurity was a very confident person just waiting for an opportunity to make a dream come true.  I first started out with a totally random idea to write about these young kids who moved to New York, but I struggled to find their story and what to say.  This is when Elizabeth told me the most powerful advice for any writer out there – write what you know.  What I knew then was weddings since I was a wedding videographer & editor at the time.  I also wanted to write something very dark… but for those of you who’ve seen what I ended up with, that couldn’t have been farther from the final product.  From the second that I had the first rough draft of Piece of Cake in my hands, I knew I was going to make it.   And I also knew that I wanted someone well-known to be in it.  Well, after a live performance by Mo Rocca at the Alys Stephens Center in 2005, I knew exactly who I wanted that person to be.  I think within in a two-week period after seeing him in person I had sent his agent in New York the finished script and he had accepted the part.  The next biggest thing I did was partner up with Alison Britt, who came on as the producer and played the main character Claire.   We had a cast and crew of over 60 people, not including the extras in some of our biggest scenes.  Piece of Cake was a huge undertaking, and one that I still think was worth every second of to this day.  As for future film projects, I currently have a film called Crush in festival submissions with my friend Rebecca Pugh, and I hope in the next few years to have a feature film in the works based on the book that I want to complete.  We will see what the future holds.

As for Mo Rocca, most of you know that he is coming in town again to perform at the Alys Stephens Center this Friday night.  I have been given some tickets to give away in honor of this, so pay attention to my Facebook page today at noon, then my Twitter feed tomorrow at noon for some fun trivia.  I will definitely be there, wouldn’t miss it.  I also have some cute videos from cast and crew with special messages and memories about Mo to share on Facebook over the next few days.

Watch Piece of Cake here!  It’s finallllly on YouTube.  🙂

The Birmingham News (click to enlarge)

Birmingham Magazine Article (click to enlarge)