Well, now I can finally talk a little bit about it. Or at least share the synopsis and trailer for Ghost 14:
When an urban explorer finds a camera in the woods, he becomes entangled in a decades-old murder that puts his own life in jeopardy.
It’s a found-footage horror film directed by Shane Gillis, Rick Gardner, and myself, starring L.C. Holt (You’re Next, V/H/S 2), Rebecca Ivey (Spiritus), Rudy Banes (Death to the World), Jeff McKinney (Riding with the Rabbi), and me (from other movies and stuff.)
Film festival submissions are just now starting for this, so I’ll update as news comes in.
It’s been a while since I’ve released a Glorious 70mm album that wasn’t directly tied to a film or podcast. (Looks like it was back in 2015 when I did a collaboration with my friend Tequila Nylon.)
So… I’ve got one coming out on Sept. 22, the date of this year’s autumnal equinox, which seemed fitting since the new album is titled “EXT. SEASONAL IMAGERY” and has four songs, one for each season.
If you’re unaware, Glorious 70mm is my film score project that I began in March 2014, and sometimes I just make instrumental pieces to release, even if it’s not (yet?) tied to a film.
With this new release, each song is a little over 10 minutes long, creating an ambience that I thought fit the mood of each season. It contains a lot of synth, except for the song “Fall” which has a guitar-based background with piano over it.
That’s always the hard one. I think most artists feel an almost constant need to create, so when you’re between projects, it’s easy to feel kind of lost.
Somewhat related, there’s also the “post-show blues” that happens at the end of a project. I know that hit me earlier this year after the close of Sweat. When you spend almost every day for over two months becoming a character, there’s a bit of grief when the play closes. Or at the end of a film project. People become like family in a short amount of time, and then everyone is off to something else.
Towering Above is about to return to Headless Dinosaur Recording to begin work on a new album, so that’s something to look forward to as a “next,” but I want to do more acting, make more movies and music videos, write more songs, write more screenplays… and I don’t know exactly where to begin on any of it at the moment.
Sometimes the initial idea is the hard part for me. Hopefully something will spark soon.
If you’re wondering about a point I’m getting to here… um… I don’t really have one. This has been on my mind recently, and I haven’t blogged in close to a month, so it was time to express my thoughts. Hopefully it was an enjoyable read anyway.
Thanks for reading, and for your support and encouragement. Hope to see you at a show soon. Much love.
Uhhh… while I’m on this whole merch/promotion thing, I also have some prints available of some of my photography if you’re looking for some new art to hang on the wall. Those are handled through Society6 here.
OK, with that out of the way, there are a couple of upcoming shows I’m involved with. I mentioned them in a post earlier this month, but here’s your reminder:
Friday, July 9 I’ll be performing at Alabama Shakespeare Festival as part of their Garden Glow music series (with Megan McMillan and Neal Lucas.) I was told the last performance in this series sold out, so if you’re planning to come, get your tickets ASAP.
Saturday, July 17 at the Sanctuary: Towering Above, One Like Son, Lonleysev. Details here.
With vaccines and stuff, it looks like things are slowly getting back to some sense of normalcy, which means… [drum roll] live music is picking up! [Insert crowd noise here.]
So yeah, my first public solo performance since my album release show in March 2020… about a week before everything went to shit… is coming up next month. I’ll be part of the “Garden Glow” series at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
The Montgomery Advertiser wrote about that series and the artists that will be performing. You can read that here. It starts this Friday, and there are four nights of music currently scheduled. (I’ll be joining Neal Lucas and my friend Megan McMillan on July 9… Speaking of Megan, here’s a music video I directed for her a few years back.
Next up is Towering Above. Our first public performance since the plague is set for July 17 at the Sanctuary. We’re joining One Like Son and Lonleysev. Details here.
There have been a few instances over the years where I have been asked where my film company name came from, and there have been a few misconceptions as well. I don’t remember ever writing about it publicly, so I figured I might as well take a few minutes to explain the origin of the name Terrible Master Films.
I’ll address some of the misconceptions first: It’s not related to the transatlantic slave trade, American chattel slavery, or really, any form of slavery at all.
I can see where that misconception may come from, though. I mean, I’m a white guy in Alabama who has directed films that involve race, history, and social justice like Remembering Anarcha, The Time is Now, and in·dig·e·nous, so maybe some people think the name is somehow used in irony or something. But no, that’s not it.
It comes from a quote that stood out to me during a period of deep depression a few years ago:
“The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.”
Brain Pickings shared a graduation speech given by David Foster Wallace. The speech, commonly known as “this is water,” references the quote thusly:
“…Think of the old cliché about ‘the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.’ This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master…”
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that this is not the first time I’ve discussed mental health, and as I said above, I stumbled across that quote during a deep depression I was in. I had finally started seeing a therapist and was doing a lot of reading about life, philosophy, and mental health.
That quote was powerful to me. The way I looked at it, when I’m in control, I can make my mind do the things I need and want to do, whether it’s writing a song, working on a film, or just trying to be creative in general. But when my mind was in control, it became the terrible master, leading to depression and feelings of worthlessness. (For others, it may be anxiety or a variety of other things.)
So the name Terrible Master Films serves as a personal reminder for me that mental health is important, and to attempt to keep the terrible master at bay.
Today, May 4, 2021, is the official release day for Remembering Anarcha! The film my team and I started working on back in 2018 is now publicly available to purchase on many video-on-demand platforms across the U.S. and Canada.
You can find it on Apple TV and iTunes (special thanks to everyone who pre-ordered!), Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, Google Play, Microsoft, some cable and satellite VOD channels, and more!
There are also DVDs and Blu-rays available through online retailers.
On this day, I’d like to share a portion of a recent Facebook post:
I want to take a moment to give a shout out to a few people. First and foremost: Michelle Browder. Her art, passion, and activism inspired me to make this film, and she continues to educate and raise awareness about Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey through her “Mothers of Gynecology” project. (Be sure to check out https://www.anarchalucybetsey.org/)
I also want to give a shout out to my fellow producers: C. DeWayne Cunningham and Royce Williams. They came on board knowing that this was a passion project with no budget, and they have been supportive every step of the way.
And through this project, I made friends with author J.C. Hallman. His research is fascinating, and I’m looking forward to reading his forthcoming book “The Anarcha Quest.”
Thanks to everyone who has supported this project and pre-ordered the film. I hope you both enjoy it and learn something new. I appreciate the support. Much love.
First things first – you should see “Sweat” at the Cloverdale Playhouse (it opens tonight!), and you should get your tickets soon. Tonight’s show is sold out. According to this Montgomery Advertiser article, “Early performances have sold out for this thought provoking American worker tale that runs Thursday through May 9, but you can still get in to see it”
“Set in Reading, Pennsylvania between 2000 and 2008, “Sweat” is a thought provoking look at the lives we build around ourselves. In this case, it deals with a group of unionized steel mill workers whose company is suddenly making changes. Between layoffs and picket lines, ordinary lives are suddenly caught in a war between community and capitalism.”
There’s strong language, by the way, so… you know… get a babysitter or something.
It’s been shared a lot on social media, so many thanks to everyone who’s shared it, pre-ordered the film, bought tickets to the play, and continue to support the art I’m involved with. It means a lot, and I am very appreciative of it.