Three Films Under Your Radar
May 18, 2017 by Katharin "K" Mraz
Here are three productions that might not be on your radar yet this Spring. Each of these projects highlight diverse casts and promote people of color in the media. Let's take a look:
Jeremy Earl, co-owner of Byonity Entertainment, is the writer, director, and producer of CONSTANCE MURPHY, a follow-up episode to Byonity’s previous project, MARKHAM TACTICAL, which came out in 2016. Philip Earl, Jeremy’s brother and business partner, teamed up with Jeremy and fellow producers Jay Beck (also the Unit Production Manager), Robert Moore (Executive Producer and Script Supervisor), and Sheila McPherson (Producer) to make CONSTANCE MURPHY happen.
The story centers around a married couple after the death of their ten-year-old son. Constance Murphy (played by Dayanara Hurn), is a former DEA agent and current Private Investigator. The character is dealing with her own grief while trying to track down the people responsible for her child, Thomas’s (Shannon Brown) death. In doing so, she has encountered more than she can handle, and has to go back to the one person she was running from, her husband John (Jeremy Earl). Additional cast includes Chicago locals Dev Kennedy, Arianna Lexus, Erik Hellman, Jin Park, Rian Kelly, Josh Bywater, Jim Saltouros, Travis Night, and Bassam Adelfattah.
Holding down the crew side is Bayley Pokorny (Director of Photography), K Mraz (Production Designer/Costume Designer), Kimberly Aikman (1st Assistant Director), and Jasmin Gallardo (Hair and Makeup), Claire Simon (Casting), Ryan Harder (Sound), and Mark Voss (Editor). Backing them up was the support of the Matteson Police Department, who, alongside the Director and Jay Beck, helped with all the stunts, weapons tactics, fight choreography, and location’s security throughout the film. In the end it looks like CONSTANCE MURPHY will be quite the success.
DRIVE SLOW is a coming of age film about a black teen living on the South Side of Chicago. He is contemplating how the environment around him influences the decisions he makes. Written and directed by Terrence Thompson, it is the young storyteller’s second short film to date. “Black teens get a bad rep in the media across the world and especially on the South-Side of Chicago," said Thompson. "I just wanted to write something that humanizes that experience.”
Terrence is working with Executive Producers Lucia Palmarini and Alex Thompson, Runaway Train Productions, as well as Free Spirit Media and The Chicago Track to make this dream a reality. The purpose of Free Spirit Media Pathways cohort program is to help young adults ages 18-25 break into entry level positions with hands on training from industry professionals, access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and opportunities to network and build relationships with industry mentors. The 2017 Free Spirit Industry Pathways members involved in the certification program are Joshua Brown, Martin (Marty) Harris, Bethel Kifle, Quristal Lopez, Steve Moody, Olivia Grace Pearson, Joshua Perez, Miles Santiago, Ryan Thomas and Terrence Thompson.
Zoe Lubeck (Producer/Director of Photography), Todd Hieggelke (Producer/Locations Manager), Raphael Nash (Producer/ Music Supervisor/ Wardrobe) are leading a team of experienced filmmakers which include Cesar Ortega (Sound), Reshimi Hazara Rustebakke (1st AD), K Mraz, (Production Designer), Addae Shelby (Gaffer), Ashley Battle (1st AC), Carlos Velaquez (Key Grip), Ian Bearden-Vrai (Best Boy), Akil Buggs (Dolly Grip) Penelope (Hair/Makeup), Darren Sanders (DIT), and Jeff McCarter (Locations Scout). These individuals are the cohort’s mentors and teachers throughout the production, as well as artistic and technical collaborators to each other, as they would be on any set.
As this film goes into post-production Screen Magazine will be updated on screenings and release dates for DRIVE SLOW. Click here for more information on how other young adults can get involved in the Free Spirit Media and The Chicago Track’s pathways certification cohort program.
There is a new web-series shooting the next two weeks on Chicago's far west side near Oak Park called THE HAVEN. The story surrounds multiple women and employees in a domestic abuse shelter. Although the subject of domestic abuse is a serious one, the series keeps it light and funny while still touching on the sensitive topic.
This female team of filmmakers and theater professionals is lead by creator Mia McCullough and includes director Layne Marie Williams (Women of the Now), producers Elizabeth Laidlaw (also playing the role of Meredith), Grace Hahn, and Megan St. John. Now shooting episode three of four this next two weeks, the production expects to pick up the two remaining scripted episodes later this summer/ fall. All shoot days are scheduled to shoot in Chicago. More information as this web-series develops in Screen Magazine!
Katharin "K" Mraz is a Chicago-based Producer, Screenwriter, Production Designer, Actress, Model, and the owner of three media companies based out of Chicago, Ladie K Productions, Inc., Creative Works Media, Inc., and Smart Pretty Designs, Inc. Learn more about K here at LadieK.com or email her at info@LadieK.com