Friday, June 16, 2017

"Coming Home" continues to impress.

Over the last 48 hours I've had two bits of news about this short film that I directed come in.

First, a Review of Coming Home from Indyred.

Not a terrible review. I know to expect both good points and bad points to be mentioned, as that's what reviews are all about.   Bt when the last paragraph reads like this, I call it a win:

"As a full film, "Coming Home" manages to get it's point across in a decent, entertaining way. It's a fresh take on so many movies we've all seen in the past... and that "freshness" was welcomed in a huge way. The real kicker here? This is the set-up to a larger production and it does it's job perfectly. I personally look forward to seeing the bigger story unravel. I can't wait actually. Director Shiva Rodriguez sets out to entertain... and entertained I was. "Coming Home" could be the start of an exceptional story. I can't wait to see how it all turns out."

Then today I got a message from the Spotlight Horror Film Awards. This was a pleasant surprise:


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Trailer for Coming Home

This short film I directed is now in film festivals and recently won "Best Horror" in the U.K. Monthly Film Festival.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Coming Home public premiere

Back in December I directed a short film called "Coming Home" which Duckie and I wrote as a prologue to our feature screenplay The Family Way.

We shot it instead of a trailer as a visual aid to introduce potential investors to some of the feature's characters. But we also decided to throw it to the Court of Public Opinion and enter it into several film festivals.
So far it's been accepted into every festival that's announced selections.

This morning I was greeted by a review of the film sent to me from The Global Grit Film Festival. I won't post the whole thing since it contains some major spoilers, but here are the first and last paragraphs:

"Coming Home" is a solid, thoroughly entertaining, self-contained story. The acting, lighting, writing, pacing, and effects were all convincing. This film inspires an amount of intrigue that most shorts really can't manage, and subverts expectations effectively.

In less deft hands, "Coming Home" would have been a disaster. However, you managed to craft an engaging, interesting, and successful thriller. Bravo!

"Coming Home" is scheduled to kick off the Global Grit Film Festival in Miami, Florida on June 3rd.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Blast from the Past - Hungryland

This photo was taken while I was acting as Second Unit Director for "Hungryland" in January 2016. I was primarily the SPFX Supervisor for the film, but also directed scenes with a lot of FX and stunts.

This is also where I first met two of the young actors I cast in "The Family Way: Coming Home", Kinsey Krutzler (little girl) and Blayze Hippensteel (boy on left).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Girls in charge

Photo of me with my producer and dear friend, Lowrie Fawley.

Lowrie is another one of those first-time film actors working for me as a first-time director in Predatory Moon. Over the years we've developed both a professional and personal friendship.

While she's gone on to work on some television shows that you may have actually heard of, she still has enough faith in me to let me direct the films she produces. (Well, as long as she gets to be on cast for them too... as if I'd have it any other way!)

Friday, April 14, 2017

I love kids!

On the set of "The Family Way: Coming Home" with two of my favourite young actors - Nick Trivisonno and Kinsey Krutzler.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Screenplay contest

Duckie and I just got this from the Cannes Screenplay Contest.

You can learn more about the story and the project now in development at

Friday, April 7, 2017

Actors and Auditions

Me with actor Emre Orun, one of the few who followed directions and landed the role of "Aaron" in the film I directed, "Coming Home".

Just a quick rant for aspiring actors...

In early December I cast my next film project “Coming Home”. Although I hate not holding live auditions, I know that “video auditions” are becoming more common so I went that route.

Pretty simple, actually. Applicants contact me to audition for a role, sending me their headshots, demo reels, resumes, etc... Then if they aren't completely unsuitable for the role in question I send them a portion of the script involving that character and ask them to send me a video of them performing the piece. I don't care about film quality, so this can even be done using a phone. I just need to see if they can act.

I had roughly five dozen people submit their resumes and/or headshots to be considered. Very few had an actual demo reel, which I don't count against them because I know how difficult it is wrangling demo footage from a production no matter if it was a perk offered by the producer/director. (Hell, I'm still waiting for demo footage that was shot 4 years ago!) Those who did send me a demo video gave me a good idea of their acting range and in some cases I didn't even need to have them audition since what I was looking for was already on their reel.

Want to know how many people sent in the video audition? Five. (well, eight if I count the three who submitted a few days after the deadline, which by then I'd already made my casting choices.)

That's right. Out of dozens of applicants only five people bothered to follow the instructions. So I made my casting selections from a small pool consisting of people who sent in their taped auditions and those whose demo reels worked fine as a substitute. All the other applicants got tossed.

So far I've had six actors write me to ask me why they never heard back from me. I tell them all the same thing... they didn't send in the audition I required so I assumed they were not interested in the part.

One actor asked if I'd meet him in person, a request made after the deadline. Not happening.

One actress was quite upset as she was so certain that because she looked the part that I'd hire her based on her photo. The thing is, I know a lot of really beautiful people, but most of them can't act their way out of a paper bag.

I can change your looks. I can't change your ability to follow directions. If you can't send me requested materials by a deadline, how can I count on you to be punctual on call time and be off-script to boot?

And here's one other little tip I got from a dear friend of mine who is a professional (and working) actress. She was told by a casting agent that when calls go out for video auditions you have to be on that ASAP. The reason being that chances are that if you wait until the last minute, that role has long since been cast.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

DVD cover art for Predatory Moon

As far as I know, this painting by my friend Daniel Byrd will be the cover for the DVD of Predatory Moon.

 I have no idea when the film will be released, but I expect it will be sometime this year.