Overthinking: “too local”

28157820_576168246078082_6331405260346621952_nI’ve talked about artists and audience connection before… and here I am talking about it again.

When the hometown screening of Commit to the Song was held, many people in the audience knew the people on the screen. Many knew most of the story already. That personal knowledge, I would think, would stir up personal feelings.

But how would an audience of strangers react not knowing anyone on the screen or much, if anything, about the film in advance? I had a concern that somehow this film might be “too local,” if that makes sense.

The film screened last weekend at the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, AL, and it was my first time to test that.

I was having a discussion with another filmmaker about that issue, and he said, “Most documentaries that I watch, I don’t know any of the people in them.” And of course, he’s right. (This is a good example of how I sometimes get lost in the fog of my own thoughts. Overthinking.)

What really stood out to me after the screening in Florence was when an actress from South Carolina came up to me. She had tears in her eyes as she said, “Your film is the only one in the festival so far that has made me cry.”

And there it was, that audience connection to the art that we, as artists, desire.

Next screening will be this Saturday, March 10, in Dothan, AL. Details here.


‘Commit to the Song’ debut

Last night felt great. I’m not sure how else to really say it other than that. I think all artists desire for their work to connect with others, and the feedback, crowd response, laughter, and tears from last night’s hometown screening of my new documentary felt great.

Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull made its first public debut at the Capri Theatre in Montgomery last night.


Specially made for the event by Liger’s Bakery.

I want to thank the people that made this screening happen: Sandra Nickel, Don and Glenda Armstrong, George Jacobsen, Will O’Connor, John G. Veres III, Johnny and Beth Veres, Sarah Thornton, Melaine Bennett, Greg Thornton, the Cloverdale Playhouse staff, the Capri Theatre staff, and Liger’s Bakery who helped cater the reception.

Thanks to everyone who came out to watch the film, and I appreciate all the kind words and feedback on it.

I’m still processing parts of it, honestly. There were family members of the film’s namesake in attendance – traveling from other states (FL, GA, NC) to see this film in Montgomery, AL on a Tuesday evening. And to hear what it meant to them was very touching.

My friend Robert “Bubba” Hall, who is one of the stars of the film, said this:

“It will make you laugh, cry and cheer, also teach you about believing in something bigger than yourself and what is possible if you do good things for good reasons.”

I hope other audiences will connect with it and get that same sentiment out of it.

Many thanks to the Alabama News Network for covering the event. Read their article: “Documentary Honoring Legacy of Local Musician Community

Upcoming screenings:

March 3 – Florence, AL – George Lindsey UNA Film Festival. (Screening at 11 a.m.)

March 10 – Dothan, AL – Featured Players Cabaret. (Screening at 8 p.m., followed by musical performance.)

‘A Doll’s House’ promo and ‘Commit to the Song’ trailer

I recently teamed up with C. DeWayne Cunningham (Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions) again for another promo video for the Cloverdale Playhouse, this time for their upcoming production of A Doll’s House that opens this Thursday. #TMFCJSV

And… the trailer for my new documentary Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull is up!

So far, there are three upcoming opportunities to see it:

Tuesday, Feb. 20 – Montgomery, AL (details)
Saturday, March 3 – Florence, AL (George Lindsey UNA Film Festival)
Saturday, March 10 – Dothan, AL (details coming soon…)

#Shooters4Hire: #TMFCJSV (@JoshCarples & @iBeTheSHOOTER) working on a promo for the GoodPeople at @Cloverdaleplayhouse. Henrik Ibsen's "A DOLL'S HOUSE" directed by Caroline Reddick Lawson in collaboration with @norasplayhouse in NYC. . . Nora, a woman who plays at being the perfect wife of a wealthy husband, spends much of the story seemingly shallow, flirty, giggly, and begging her husband for spending money. Her husband treats her like a doll in a box, giving her pet names like “my little bird”, “my little squirrel”, and “Miss Sweet Tooth”. He scolds her and speaks to her as if she were a small child incapable of understanding grownup things. For a time, she seems content with this life. However, Nora’s journey in the play created much turmoil, resistance, and harsh criticism from audiences, men and women alike. The character of Nora Helmer is known as one of the first female heroines of modern drama. . . "Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House" runs February 8-18, 2018 . . #Cloverdale #NorasPlayhouse #Local #MGM #LiveTheatre #Theatre #RiverRegion #Drama #Community #Volunteers #Acting #FilmLife #RodeMic #Canon #SetLife #NoDaysOff #iDGT #TMF #CJSV

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‘Happy Wife’ is up!


Check out this horror short by writer/director Jack Goody.

I acted in it alongside Mallory Ivy, and Tara Merryman handled makeup duties. Enjoy!

Montgomery Film Festival IX intermission


I got to be in a couple of fake ads for the 2018 Montgomery Film Festival that was held last night. See this year’s intermission.

The “FudgeIt” ad is a sequel to last year’s. Both of those are on the Terrible Master Films website and YouTube channel.

Film and tacos… kinda

Just a few quick updates here…

One of my tweets ended up on the Montgomery Advertiser in a story about a candlelight vigil for a Taco Bell that burned down recently.


This weekend also signals the return of the Montgomery Film Festival. Check out more about the festival and the films that will show on their website.

They are also bringing back their famous intermission with fake advertisements. (Here’s a link to the one my friend Royce Williams and I submitted last year. Warning: language NSFW.)

Also, festival director Anton Jackson was busy working on the new “Capital Carnage” spot this weekend:


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And in other film festival news, my new documentary Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull will screen at this year’s George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, AL.

More news coming soon. Thanks for reading!

Farewell, Seville

16123149_439246523073163_3870630364015755264_nI had been talking to some filmmaker friends of mine about doing some live session videos, and last year – January 2016 – we started production.

Prior to production, though, I had been thinking a lot about location. What had a nice and interesting aesthetic? What positively showcased themes of “local” and “art” and “color”? And then it hit me – Seville Beauty & Barber Shop in the Old Cloverdale area of Montgomery.

So I contacted my friend Jen Powell at Seville. I told her the idea of a live performance filmed with multiple camera angles, and she responded with enthusiastic support.

And on May 23, 2016, the “Live at Seville” EP was released.

Yesterday, Seville announced on Facebook that they would be closing as of March 1, 2018.

The comments and shares underscore what this place meant to the Montgomery community. It will be missed.

And while I know that the talents of the staff will lead them to more opportunities and new beginnings, I am thankful that Jen (and Malerie Bussell) allowed us (with the help of filmmakers C. DeWayne Cunningham and Sylvester K. Folks) to capture part of the essence and aesthetic of Seville on camera, even with five sad songs.

Thank you.

See the entire playlist on YouTube.

‘Commit to the Song’ original score by Glorious 70mm


Some new film score music for 2018!

Back in September, I mentioned the completion of my first feature documentary Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull.

There are a couple of very emotional moments in the film, and I wrote and recorded a couple of pieces of music for them under my film score project: Glorious 70mm.

Two of the three tracks are heard in the film, and the third track is an alternate version of the first. It has another layer of music on it, which I like, but I didn’t think it worked as well in the actual film.

Like all of the Glorious 70mm releases, I have this one set as “name your price,” even if zero. Yes, that means you can type in “$0.00” and download the music. However, if you’d like to help cover some film festival submission fees by throwing in a couple of bucks, I’d be grateful.

Track listing:

  1. The Middle of Fairview
  2. Hallucinogenic Drugs
  3. The Middle of Fairview, Part 2

Download it here.

For updates on the film, be sure to like the Commit to the Song Facebook page.

‘Happy Wife’ / White Christmas


No, I didn’t run off to Vegas and get married for Christmas. “Happy Wife” is the title of a new short film by writer/director Jack Goody. It’s the short film I mentioned a few days ago that we filmed the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Anyway, the trailer has been posted to social media if you’d like to see it:

Also on Instagram.

And on Christmas Eve, Blue Yonder released their live video for “White Christmas.” A Terrible Master Films production directed by me. Royce Williams helped out with cameras and lighting, and Robert Shimp of Technical Earth Recorders handled audio.

I think that’s all for now. So, best wishes to you in the new year!

Christmas 2017. #findthebeautyintheworld

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Happy holidays!

It’s been a little while since my last update, so I want to start off wishing you happy holidays!

As for me, since my last update, I’ve been trying to stay busy.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, I stepped back in front of the camera in a short film production written and directed by Jack Goody. I shared camera time with Mallory Ivy (a Spiritus alum) and worked with makeup artist Tara Galloway Merryman. I’ll share more on that once it’s ready.


From the set of that Jack Goody horror short.

After that, I got to catch “Little Women” at the Cloverdale Playhouse thanks to my friend C. DeWayne Cunningham. And speaking of the Playhouse, tomorrow night is the monthly Guitar Pull, which is the event that sparked my upcoming documentary Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull.

After that, I handled audio for a short that DeWayne was directing and shooting for our friend Lee Khole. She and C. Stephen Browder were the actors in that one.

I got together with Royce Williams after that to work on a fake ad we hope will be in the Montgomery Film Festival intermission next month. We did one last year for it – the language is… uh… NSFW, although we did bleep it all out. Click here to see it.

And Royce and I worked together on a project this past weekend for Blue Yonder. He and I filmed while Robert Shimp (Technical Earth Recorders) handled audio. That’s a new Terrible Master Films production that’s currently in the editing stages.

I think that’s about everything… and of course, once these projects are ready to be seen, I’ll post updates.

Thanks for reading and happy holidays!