Demetrius Witherspoon talks Challenging Moments

Continuing a series of blog posts revealing an exclusive interview with the Indie filmmaker.
Click here to start from Pt 1

Before we go any further, filming for Submerge: Echo 51 starts this weekend. Click this link to check into the Submerge: Echo 51 Facebook page frequently to read updates from the set!
DW image400x400What was a tough challenge during the filming of the Submerge series?

“One day we were shooting at a park. We thought we had reserved the location for a set time, but in the middle of our shoot, a van pulled up, a group of people got out, and started setting up way early for a concert gig. They were apparently oblivious to the fact that they were in our shot, they just started setting up drums and equipment. We had to figure out how to shoot around them.

So we’re standing in the middle of the day, hotter than I-don’t-know-what, and, on the spot, my fight choreographer (Larry E. Jones) had to improvise a new fight scene to fit our confined space. Keep in mind that my fight choreographer was a police officer, and the day before, he had chased a suspect through poison ivy!

So he’s there in the middle of the heat trying to help us, as we’re losing daylight, and we DVD coverhave actors in from out of town. He had to come up with a new fight on the spot so we could get what we needed on time.

In the end, we got some good shots, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted, I had to ask the actors to come back for re-shoots, and everyone arranged to come back the following weekend so we could get some re-shoots, and between the two sessions, I got what I wanted.

Larry E. Jones is an actor and choreographer who initially came on board to play Lord Raz. Ultimately, we cast Bishop Stevens in that role, but Larry is still part of our crew and has helped us choreograph all the fight scenes. He’s currently working on the fights for Submerge Echo 51.

Check out our Links page to get follow all the news about the Submerge Films!
Blog content created by R.J. Sullivan, supervised by Demetrius Witherspoon.

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Gen Con Podcast 2 Doc Palindrome

lyte and NyreWe interrupt our exclusive interview with Demetrius Witherspoon to share the link to another Gen Con podcast that went live on Tuesday. You should plan to have it running in the background for an hour or so to hear the conversation between the Submerge cast and crew with the Mega-Awesome Super Fun Doc Palindrome Podcast. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to check it out!
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Talking about the nerdiest, geekiest stuff you can imagine, The Doc Palindrome Podcast is all about exploring the deepest cuts of pop culture from any angle you can imagine.

Host Jesse Edmond, alongside Joey Organisciak and Sean Sherman, delves into the depths of geekdom through discussion and interviews spanning geeks from every walk of life.

Check out our Links page to get follow all the news about the Submerge Films!
Blog content created by R.J. Sullivan, supervised by Demetrius Witherspoon.

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Demetrius Witherspoon Interview pt 2

Continuing a series of blog posts revealing an exclusive interview with the Indie filmmaker.
Click here to read Pt 1

Sigourney-Weaver-as-Ripley-in-Aliens-alien-aliens-8255352-800-1213

“…Ripley certainly had an influence on me.”

Who are some of your favorite strong female characters and how did they inspire Lyte and Ni’Re in the Submerge films?

“I grew up a science fiction fan, and the Alien films with Sigourney Weaver playing Ellen Ripley certainly had an influence on me. Ripley and Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor from the Terminator films were unique in their time for how they portrayed women, but now we’re seeing a lot more films with strong women characters. Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow comes to mind as a modern influence. Seeing the hero

sarah connor

“Ripley and…Sarah Connor….were unique in their time…”

go through struggles and come out stronger on the other side is a classic story, but I think it resonates with audiences to show that women are just as capable of taking the same hero’s journey, and I wanted to add my interpretation of that same idea with Ni’Re.”

The Indiana Filmmakers Network formed in 1999, spurring a great deal of interest among local filmmakers and an impressive listing of successes in a short period. Why is that so?

lyte and Nyre

“Ni’Re” and “Lyte” were inspired from a long line of strong SF cinema women.

“Two things contributed to what we’re seeing now. First, the technology has made it easier. The DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras came about, along with the digital editing software, and then after that, the ability to shoot in HD with a cell phone. What used to require a $10K camera investment dropped to a $700.00 investment, and if you’re serious about it, that’s a price point that’s more obtainable.

But I think it exploded here in Indianapolis and the Midwest because communities are open to the idea of independent films. Businesses and towns welcome the idea of letting an independent production use a recognizable landmark from their community. There’s a lot of paperwork and red tape involved with shooting in Hollywood and New York that isn’t in place here, so as filmmakers, we can do a lot of things and have access to more locations. You find that the local police and fire departments are willing to help out and make recommendations on productions.”

Click here to go to part 3!


Check out our Links page to get follow all the news about the Submerge Films!
Blog content created by R.J. Sullivan, supervised by Demetrius Witherspoon.

 

 

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Demetrius Witherspoon Interview Pt 1

Welcome to the first in a series of blogs where we dig in and learn more about Demetrius Witherspoon, Indie filmmaker, founder of DV Entertainment Pictures,  and creator of the Submerge film series.

With the first films in the Submerge series completed and released to DVD under the title Submerge: Ni’Re Reborn, Demetrius is gearing up to film the next installment, Submerge: Echo 51. What are his thoughts on the journey from initial inspiration to now?

DW image400x400“Anytime you look back on a project of this scope, you think, ‘I could have done this better, I could have done that better.’ But shooting the three films as I did was an education to me. You have to start somewhere. The goal is to make sure I keep getting better at what I do. Doing it the way I did, it helped me learn, from start to finish, what it takes. That way I can pass along what I’ve learned to other up-and-coming filmmakers, and it helps me to realize how complicated this process is. But I keep getting better at it and I continue to grow. And I think the progression shows onscreen.

We’ve gotten better at every part of the process and I know what each department has to deal with: from costume to makeup to editing to sales.

DVD coverThe Indianapolis film-making community is bigger than a lot of people realize. I’m proud to shine a light on what the film community is doing. The Indiana Filmmakers Network has chapters all over Indiana, where you have talent that’s just starting and also others who have done multiple feature films. Having access to those resources and knowledge helped me with solving production problems as they came up. They were also there as an encouragement to keep going, because we’re all working toward the same goal—to bring out projects together. Film-making can be very personal, these are our babies, and we want to nurture them and bring them to life. The IFN is great about encouraging each other.

The IFN also offers access to SAG actors and talented production crew, but you still have to have the smarts to know the proper way to use those resources.”

Click to go on to part 2!


Check out our Links page to get follow all the news about the Submerge Films!
Blog content created by R.J. Sullivan, supervised by Demetrius Witherspoon.

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See Submerge on the Big Screen

DVD coverWe’re pleased to announce that Submerge: Ni’Re Reborn has been accepted into this year’s Indiana Short Film Festival. What that means to you is that you can experience Submerge on the big screen, FREE, for one night only!

The screening happens Sunday, October 9 1:30 pm at the Royal Theater. Submerge: Ni’Re Reborn will be part of the 1:30 pm film block. Admission is FREE and open to the public, first come, first seated. Seating is limited.

The Royal Theater is at 59 S. Washington Street in Danville, IN, 46122. The official website has this handy map.

Submerge: Ni’Re Reborn will be part of their FREE SUNDAY SCREENINGS, a day where the festival honors up-and-coming filmmakers, including our own proud and humble Demetrius Witherspoon.

Sunday is the only day Submerge: Ni’Re Reborn will be shown, but there will be plenty of other films screening all weekend. If you’re interested in Friday and Saturday screenings and supporting the efforts of the many other talented Indiana Filmmakers being showcased, click here to review the programming and purchase tickets.

We hope to see you there Sunday, and we encourage you to show your support for this festival and all of the filmmakers participating.

The Indiana Short Film Festival is in its sixth year and is the only event solely dedicated to short films in the Central Indiana region. In 2014, it was voted the 4th best short film festival in North America by Audience Awards.

Buy the DVD of Submerge: Ni-Re Reborn from the official website.

Blog content created by R.J. Sullivan, supervised by Demetrius Witherspoon.

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Post-event report:Submerge at Gen Con

lyte and Nyre

Shonna Bedford and Erin Moore

Gen Con Indy is one of the largest sci-fi / fantasy gaming cons in Indianapolis. Known as “The Best Four Days of Gaming”, it has become an annual event where fans come to celebrate all things science fiction and fantasy, and has added, among other programming, its own film festival.

Demetrius Witherspoon screened two segments of Submerge: Ni’Re Reborn on Saturday, August 6, at 4 p.m.in the Westin Grand Ballroom III. Demetrius is no stranger to Gen Con, and he came ready to make a memorable impression this year. Members of the cast, in full costume, joined him (Shonna Bedford as “Lyte”, Erin A. Moore as “Ni’re”, Grace Carlton as “Liz”, Amy Thompson as “Lt. Nova” and Bryant Rue, who will play “Mac” in the Submerge feature slated to start filming in 2017). Makeup artists Sonja Rohn and David Schlatter made sure the crowds saw the characters in all their authentic splendor.

makeup

Shonna Bedford, Sonja Rohn, David Schlatter

“We took advantage of the weekend,” said Demetrius. “I had a chance to screen films and meet filmmakers from all over the world. I particularly enjoyed a sci-fi comedy out of Austria called This Giant Paper Mache Boulder is Actually Really Heavy, directed by Christian Nicolson.” Over the weekend, over 120 films were screened at the festival.

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Grace Carlton, Shonna Bedford, Erin Moore, a Gen Con guest, and Demetrius Witherspoon.

Demetrius estimates that about 35-40 people showed up for the screening, an overall solid turnout, given all the events at Gen Con. “The Q and A afterwards was terrific; the audience was engaged and really into the film. We also showed the trailer for Submege: Echo 51 (Click here to see it yourself.).  Members of the audience said they could see the progress and they couldn’t wait to see what was next. They appreciated how the films explain themselves and build on to the larger ideas as they go along.”

 

Lyte in hall

A Lyte in the tunnel!

Submerge: Echo 51 star Shonna Bedford flew in from Orlando to be at Gen Con. “Shonna hadn’t really been a part of anything like this, and Gen Con is a big event to start with. She brought a lot of energy. The crowd responded to that energy and to seeing our characters in full costume. People took all sorts of pictures, and as the writer-director, witnessing it all, it was quite humbling,” The cast and crew participated in a couple of podcast interviews, including “Gaming with Scott”, which has already gone live.

And the excitement didn’t stop at the convention center. “We stopped at a local restaurant for dinner, and the customers and servers all stopped what they were doing to find out what we were about, and we had a crowd around us wanting autographs and pictures. It was mind-blowing. There was a family at the table behind us, an extended family, from little kids to grandparents. The youngest daughter was ecstatic. Her mother brought her over to get autographs and we gave her a poster. She was still awed by the whole thing when she left.”

liz and kids

Grace Carlton playing with Gen Con kids.

The crowd response to a sci-fi film being shot in Indianapolis was incredibly supportive. “The family was so giddy about sitting next to us. They were excited about what we were doing and asked all sorts of questions about the film. The grandmother (who I’m told was 90 years old but she didn’t look it) passed me a note that said how great it was to meet us, and they put their phone numbers on the note, and offered to be extras in the movie. It was overwhelming to get this sort of celebrity treatment. It pulled at my heartstrings.”

with Gaming with Scott

At the Gaming with Scott taping.

Demetrius and the crew are preparing to go deep into production in the next weeks, building sets and costumes and preparing to push Submerge: Echo 51 forward. There are no public appearances planned for the next couple of months (but you will hear about them here first).

In the meantime, get ready for a series of interviews and behind the scenes blogs covering everything about the production, starting with an interview series Q and A with Demetrius Witherspoon himself! We’ll post that over the next few days.

Check out the Submerge Series official website.

Blog content created by R.J. Sullivan, supervised by Demetrius Witherspoon.

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Submerge on Gaming with Scott Podcast

Gaming with scott taping.jpg

Cast of Submerge recording for “Gaming with Scott.”

Hello and welcome to the Submerge: Echo 51 blog, your resource for the latest news about the Submerge Films. Submerge: Echo 51 is the latest in an epic series of science fiction short films conceived and helmed by Noblesville, Indiana filmmaker Demetrius Witherspoon, founder of DV Entertainment Pictures. The film goes into full production later this year. We have an IndieGogo site where you can support this project directly. Click here to learn more about that.

Things have been moving fast since we started planning this blog. A few days ago, Demetrius sat down and offered an in-depth interview on the project, his thoughts as a filmmaker and SF fan, and how he came to create the Submerge Film Series. So that’s coming your way really soon.

But first…Even as we were planning that out, Gen Con Indianapolis was upon us, “The Best Four Days in Gaming” and one of the largest events in the city. The cast and crew converged on the Gen Con Film Festival and screened two of the short films to an enthusiastic crowd and then talked about future of the series. So we needed to get up and running so we could tell you that story.

with Gaming with ScottBut first…Did we say things are moving fast? Because one of the podcast shows on site, Gaming with Scott, has already posted their interview with the cast and crew!

To start listening, click on this link scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the play button.

But before you leave, don’t forget to take a good look around, bookmark this blog, and check back frequently. We’ve set this blog up especially for our growing fan base, a place where we can open up about the incredible world of the Submerge Film Series and bring behind the scenes tidbits to you from all angles.

You could say that this is where we will go beneath the surface! (Yes, yes we said that.) In the meantime, leave any questions you have about Submerge in the comments section and let us know what sort of information you’d like to see here.

Enjoy the interview and we’ll see you soon.

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