Back in my Dallas years, a friend of mine thought I’d be great for small role in a short film, called More Air for the Rest of Us directed by Kyle Killen and starring the amazing Johnny Sneed. I had a few lines as a florist where Johnny’s character comes in to buy flowers. The film had a very talented DP by the name of Clay Liford.
Fast forward a few months and I was contacted by Clay for a role in his first feature film, Flowers Grown from Powdered Bones. I played the 1 of 3 cannibalistic sisters. (You gotta see this movie!!) There is simply NOTHING like working on an indie film! The amount of freedom and creativity that gets to flow just makes magic. A magic you just don’t get from Hollywood blockbusters.
Fast forward even again, and I have moved from Texas to LA, married and now live NYC. Through the miracles of Social Media (and the occasional phone calls), I’ve been able to keep up with Clay and his talent.
When Clay announced the Brooklyn premier of his film Wuss on Facebook, I jumped at the chance to see him and catch up. I also wanted my husband to meet the talent I kept talking about knowing that his style of filmmaking was right up his alley. And I was right!
Walking up to the reRun Gastropub, I was excited to not only see my friend’s film, but to catch up with him and his life outside of entertainment! Clay arrived fresh from an interview in Manhattan and we sat and talked about old times, and what’s been going on in our lives.
The reRun theatre was the perfect venue, retro and intimate. Clay introduced a preview short from his friend Leah Shore called Old Man. (Another crazy talented animator/filmmaker!)
Our hero, Mitch Parker (played by Nate Rubin) is a substitute high school teacher turned full time after the unfortunate (and mysterious almost fatal) accident of the current English teacher. Mitch’s character at first is pretty pitiful. He’s a college graduate with aspirations to write novels…who still lives at home with him mom. The first scene sets up his timid, defensive tone perfectly at his 10 year high school reunion (where he now teaches.)
Small town suburbia is nothing like it was when he attended school. Teachers wear tasers and kids sell guns. Mitch has a classroom run-in with a gang leader and subsequently gets beat up by him and his friends. The rest of the film is fascinating. We watch Mitch deal with the humiliation while learning how these kids have learned to survive in circumstances he would have never dreamed.
The film is shot digitally but you would have NEVER known it! In fact, one audience member in the Q&A was certain it was shot on 35 millimeter ! In other words, the cinematography and shot set-ups were gorgeous!
I highly recommend this film!! I have a lot of talented friends in the industry, but Clay is one of the geniuses!
Watch Wuss on Amazon!!
Clay Liford at AFI Fest
Keep up with Clay on Twitter and his production company Well Tailored Films.
Links to Press:
New York Times Review