Joe Morales | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | UNWAVERING

Continuing on the UNWAVERING Actor Highlight series, today we are featuring Joe Morales.

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In UNWAVERING Joe plays Tom who is the boyfriend of Sarah’s best friend Brittany. I was looking for someone who was cool, laid back, and charming. Of course, we chose Joe to fit that part.

Joe is very talented and has been a part of several films in the past couple years. He also is involved with radio and we’ve worked with him in Gretchen’s Lock.

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Here are the questions we asked Joe:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for UNWAVERING?

Joe: My favorite part of filming Unwavering was getting to reunite with some of the Gretchen’s Lock cast and crew. It is always a pleasure to see all of the familiar faces and meet the incredibly talented new faces I had not gotten to work with before. What makes it even better is that everyone is just so kind and each person just wants to make a great film. I also liked getting to ride in a hummer limo for the first time and getting dressed up for prom again brought back good memories from high school. 

MPF: What is your favorite role you have ever played?

Joe: It is very difficult to pick a favorite role I have played. They all serve many purposes and are vastly different from each other. I have gotten to play the good guy, the bad guy and the not so great guy, each of those being a learning experience. My favorite roles though are always the more comedic ones, such as Luke, a Chinese man who is addicted to gambling, in Anything Goes. What was fun about that role was making people laugh. I had to attempt a Chinese accent that I did rather poorly, and I had a scene where I lost my clothes in strip poker so I had to take off my robe and show some skin. It was embarrassing to say the least because I was and am a little on the scrawny side and this all happened when I was a freshman in high school where everything is awkward anyway, but it got people to laugh and made it all worth it.

I also enjoy getting to voice Lt. Adam Carson, a character from The Topnotch Tangler which is a segment of It’s All Been Done Radio Hour. The segment is in a superhero universe and Lt. Adam Carson works for the police department. He is always too eager and over joyed to help the superheroes save the city so it is nice to be someone who is usually happy. Check it out at and take a listen to the other segments of the show, along with the other programs we take part in with It’s All Been Done Presents at

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Joe: There are so many fantastic actors out there. The two actors that have always inspired me are Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks. Depp mainly plays very eccentric characters that have a tendency to go outside the box while Hanks plays many down to earth, but also very deep roles that have such power. Andrew Garfield has also become an inspiration to me because as I knew him as playing the snarky teenager Peter Parker from Spider Man, I recently watched him in Hacksaw Ridge and I was in awe. He brought such raw emotion to the role and I bet the real Desmond Doss would have been proud.

MPF: What is your favorite movie of all time?

Joe: John Carpenter’s Halloween will forever be my favorite movie. Aside from the performances and the cinematography, the score is what makes it just so creepy.

MPF: What are some of your hobbies?

Joe: I really enjoy going to the movies with friends, watching television, listening to music, taking my dogs for a walk and swimming. I have wanted to get more involved in photography and get back into music, but life gets in the way and I have not made time for that.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Joe: When I was little, my mom would tape my brother, sister, cousins, friends and myself doing skits of The Maury Show and Jerry Springer. We even did spoofs of Rush Hour, Tomb Raider, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. It essentially became our childhood and from there, I realized I enjoyed entertaining people with different characters from stories I wanted to tell. I then got into plays and musicals throughout middle and high school and after college, I started getting more into acting.

MPF: Favorite color?

Joe: Tie between Blue and Green, but I also really like Red to.

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the UNWAVERING film?

Joe: I have not gotten to see any of the film thus far, but from the script, my favorite character is Yusaf. What I like about the character is that you do not really know where he stands. At one moment, he seems to want to help the girls and cares about what is happening. Then he is the complete opposite. It is that mystery of whether or not he is good or bad. Even though I haven’t seen it yet, I know that Nick plays it extraordinarily well. 

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Joe: “If you dream of doing it, make it come true.” Even though the options are best in the big cities like Los Angeles and New York City, Ohio has many options for aspiring actors and filmmakers alike that make it happen, as the Mennings do with their films. Sometimes, it just takes some passionate dreamers to make something happen.

Thank you, Joe, for your stellar performance! For information about the Grand Premiere of UNWAVERING be sure to sign up for the newsletter here:

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Theresa Wylie | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | UNWAVERING

Today on the UNWAVERING Actor Highlight series we are featuring the lovely Theresa Wylie.


Terry played the role of Sarah’s mother, Kathy. The script hit home with Terry because her own daughter got engaged and married around the same time she first read it. How’s that for coincidence?

Terry is very sweet and loving and it showed through the video audition she submitted. Without meeting her or talking to her in person I could feel the passion and warmth from her audition and I knew she was the perfect fit for the role.

Terry has been involved in some pretty great films such as Banger, Dog Eat Dog, and the recent horror film Bye Bye Man. You can read more about Terry and the projects she’s been involved with by going to her website

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Here are the questions we asked Terry:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for UNWAVERING?

Terry: My favorite part was working with the amazing cast and crew.  They were all so talented and hard working.  I’ve made some life long friendships!

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

Terry: It’s too hard to pick a favorite.  I’ve enjoyed them all!  What I loved about playing Kathy was that I could really relate to this character.   My own daughter was also engaged and getting married.  The script seemed oddly familiar and I remember joking with Josh that I felt like he must have been to my house when he wrote the script.  ?

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Terry: I’m a big fan of Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, and Debra Messing. 

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Terry: Hard to pick an absolute favorite but some I love are:  Forrest Gump,  The Devil Wears Prada,  The Proposal,  A Beautiful Mind

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Terry: In the summer, I just love being outdoors hiking or biking.  We have a lot of great parks nearby but we also love to throw our bikes in the car and check out new places.  In the winter, I like reading murder mysteries and making puzzles while counting down the days until summer.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Terry: I didn’t get started until later in life but I’ve always had an interest in relationships and what motivates people to do things.  I remember watching plays and movies as a kid and wondering how I could get involved.  It’s been such an amazing experience getting to explore my creative side when developing a character.

MPF: Favorite color?

Terry: Red

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the UNWAVERING film?

Terry: Sarah, my daughter, of course!  I love her strength.

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Terry: Network!  You can learn a lot from your fellow actors.  Also, don’t be too hard on yourself.  It’s a learning process and there will be a lot of disappointments.  That’s just part of it.  Another opportunity is right around the corner.  Work hard, be friendly, and believe in your training.  Never pay to audition or be represented!

Thank you, Theresa, for being involved with this film! For information about the Grand Premiere of UNWAVERING be sure to sign up for the newsletter here:

Also, be sure to stay connected through Facebook | Instagram


Georin Aquila | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | UNWAVERING

We continue the UNWAVERING Actor Highlight series today with Georin Aquila.

Georin played the role of a terrorist in UNWAVERING. Standing at 6′ 3″ tall and a little over 200 lbs, Georin’s muscular stature was a great fit for what I was looking for. He did a phenomenal job and helped to be the enforcer in a couple of situations throughout the film.

Although playing the role as a terrorist, Georin is one of the kindest and sincere actors I’ve worked with. He has been involved with many projects and even plays the role of a businessman in the upcoming Fast & Furious 8 film. You can learn more about Georin and the roles he’s played on his IMDB page

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Here are the questions we asked Georin:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for UNWAVERING?

Georin: Being in the warehouse with the smoke, the low light and seeing everyone get into character and making it feel like a real hostage situation.

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

Georin: Playing a Pittsburgh Steeler in the 2008 Superbowl commercial. When I put on that uniform and ran across that field it was if I was a real member of the team. It was a cool moment in my acting career.

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Georin: Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender, Sigourney Weaver

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Georin: Heat with Al Pacino & Robert DeNiro

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Georin: Outside of the acting world, I love to workout, I love creating things with my hands, traveling with the family.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Georin: As a child I would always find myself playing characters with my brothers and sisters, but I didn’t really open up my true passion for it until about 2008.

MPF: Favorite color?

Georin: White

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the UNWAVERING film?
Georin: Man in Doorway – He was just

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?
Georin: Yes… Like anything you want to be great at in life, you have to prepare, you have to study, you have to practice, you have to continue to believe in yourself, and you can never give up!

Thank you, Georin, for your awesome performance! For information about the Grand Premiere of UNWAVERING be sure to sign up for the newsletter here:

Also, be sure to stay connected through Facebook | Instagram


Danielle Nungesser | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | UNWAVERING

Today we continue the UNWAVERING Actor Highlight series with Danielle Nungesser.

DanielleNungesserDanielle played the role of Chloe in UNWAVERING. Danielle brought her own style to the character and had great improvisation. Danielle recently wrote, produced, directed, and acted in her first short, Dolan. You can it view here: Also, Dani has her own YouTube channel. You can follow her musings here:

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Here are the questions we asked Danielle:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for UNWAVERING?

Danielle: Not only can I comment on how excellent the professionalism was for both cast and crew, being on set was the best! Without a doubt, we became instant family. That was the magic of UNWAVERING.

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

Danielle: I think my favorite role was playing a Hogwarts student for my Youtube video. 🙂

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Danielle: I was inspired to start acting after watching Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus in Boondock Saints. I met them back in 2014 and I told both of them how much they inspired me to start acting. Never miss an opportunity to tell your heroes how much they inspired you. 🙂

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Danielle: Definitely Boondock Saints

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Danielle: I love making comedic Youtube videos, meditating, and playing guitar. 

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Danielle: I’ve always been interested in acting ever since I was 5 years old. It was only when I turned 26 and working at a job I hated, and constantly watching The Boondock Saints, that I said I should start film acting.

MPF: Favorite color?

Danielle: Green

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the UNWAVERING film?

Danielle: Sarah, without a doubt. She has incredible strength which gave strength to the other captive girls. Not only was she full of faith, but she was full of love. That is what saved them all.

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Danielle: Harry Potter said, “Working hard is important. But there is something that matters even more: Believing in yourself. ” Work hard but keep believing that you can do it… Because YOU CAN!

Thank you, Dani, for your great performance! For information about the Grand Premiere of UNWAVERING be sure to sign up for the newsletter here:

Also, be sure to stay connected through Facebook | Instagram


Nicholas Baronzzi | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | UNWAVERING

Today on the UNWAVERING Actor Highlight series we are featuring the one and only Nicholas Baronzzi.Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 6.03.54 AM

The role Nick played in UNWAVERING was Yusaf. Yusaf is a terrorist and a complex character; charismatic at first then cold and detached.  Nick will literally do anything to get the best take possible. Whether that’s sweating in military gear for hours or falling on his face onto concrete, he goes all out with no remarks.  After Nick’s performance in Gretchen’s Lock and seeing his auditions for UNWAVERING, there’s no doubt that I wanted him to be a part of this project.

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These are the questions we asked Nick:

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

Nick: Play acting in high school was a lot of fun. Being able to feel and feed off the energy of a live audience is an electric thing. As far as film, portraying Jason in Gretchen’s Lock was relaxed and memorable. I overheard some kids at the premiere hoping that I wouldn’t die—that was nice.

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Nick: Shout-outs to Leo DiCaprio for using his celebrity to draw attention to relevant global issues.

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Nick: I have a personal Top 4 that stand above the rest I’ve seen, and they are 2001: A Space Odyssey, Seven Samurai, Pulp Fiction, and Apocalypse Now.

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Nick: I do a lot of stuff with music—play it, record it, mix it, listen to it all day and every night while I sleep. I’m also a huge nerd for Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series—I host a bi-weekly tournament for the Wii U version. Our seventeenth tournament is coming up next week.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Nick: I’m a creative, and private as I often am, I need to bring what’s inside out.

MPF: Favorite color?

Nick: Cobalt blue.

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the UNWAVERING film?

Nick: Due to the fragmented structure of UNWAVERING, I chose not to read the script in full—only the parts relevant to Yusaf, so I could preserve the coldness and distance inherent to a hostage situation. I didn’t allow myself to like any of the characters.

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Nick: Entertainment is a business; integrity is an investment.

Thank you again, Nick, for the outstanding performance! For information about the Grand Premiere of UNWAVERING be sure to sign up for the newsletter here:

Also, be sure to stay connected through Facebook | Instagram


Katie C’etta | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | UNWAVERING

Today we begin our UNWAVERING Actor Highlight series with the amazing Katie C’etta.

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The role Katie played in UNWAVERING was Sarah. Sarah is the lead character in UNWAVERING and Katie nailed everything about the role! Sarah’s character is modest and strong willed when it comes to her beliefs.  When Katie auditioned, she embodied the persona and took the character to another level that I would have never dreamed of.  While filming UNWAVERING, Katie worked extremely hard to stay in character and was flawless with her performance.

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Here’s the link to Katie’s site that showcases her many talents and blog posts:

These are the questions we asked Katie:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for UNWAVERING?

Katie: My favorite day on Unwavering was the day we shot all the prom scenes. It was so special being able to dress up like we were attending the prom! My character had a very unique prom experience and it was so fun being able to make that come to life! 

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

Katie: My favorite character that I’ve ever played is definitely Sarah. She’s the character I’ve spent the most time with and the character that I connected to most easily. She seems to be a very mild mannered and shy person but her determination to stay true to herself when it comes to her beliefs is something that she and I have in common. With Sarah I let my guard down and really aimed to feel everything she was feeling and stay true to that. It was an exciting and fulfilling experience that taught me so much about myself through this character. 

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Katie: Some of my favorite actresses that I look up to and am inspired by most are Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, and of course the Queen ?Meryl Streep for their unique and mind blowing talent.  

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Katie: The Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite movie of all time. The trilogy is actually what got me into filmmaking. When I was 9 years old I spent all of my free time researching how these films were made down to the very last details. My first monologue ever performed was Cate Blanchette’s opening monologue which I proudly performed to my bright eyed and bushy tailed fellow acting camp attendees when I was 10 years old. ? It was special. 

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Katie: I really love traveling. I’m the type of person who gets anxious if I stay in one place for too long. I believe it was Cate Blanchette who advised to travel often so that you have lots of experiences to feed back into your work. I’ve also recently taken up photography! I typically photograph my friends, family and of course my beautiful dog. I also design jewelry made out of chain, leather and vintage nails. 

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Katie: I first became interested in acting after seeing the LOTR films as I explained above. Something about being able to create a world entirely different than reality and make it come to life was extremely appealing to me. Over the years that fascination shifted from fantasy to recreating more realistic stories. This craft allows me to think and feel like human beings other than myself and give life to characters that otherwise would only exist on a page. It’s really a very special privilege. 

MPF: Favorite color?

Katie: My favorite color is gray, like the sky before a thunderstorm.

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the UNWAVERING film?

Katie: Is it narcissistic to say Sarah? I think she’s a very special character in the film but if I had to pick a second I would choose Aaron for being such a dreamboat and always saying and doing the right thing for Sarah when she needs it. Not to mention he’s the type of guy to take risks and help those who can’t help themselves. 

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Katie: I think the best advice that I could give an aspiring actor is to believe in yourself, keep your confidence and most importantly do the work. Break a leg!

Thank you again, Katie, for the incredible performance! For information about the Grand Premiere of UNWAVERING be sure to sign up for the newsletter here:

Also, be sure to stay connected through Facebook | Instagram


Gretchen’s Lock | From Inception to Grand Premiere | Part III

Today we are continuing on the behind the scenes of Gretchen’s Lock. In case you missed the other posts you can read them HERE and HERE.

Filming: Day 2

The second day of filming started out with beautiful sunshine. There was a bit of Autumn chill in the air but the sun was warm. The forecast was calling for rain in the night and a 100% chance the following day, which we’ll get into in the next post. The campsite was already set up but we had to unload the equipment and prep everything to film. After the first day we were able to consolidate some equipment and I also wanted to keep things moving quickly since we had a bunch to film.

We smoothly executed Scene 04 where the campers talked about investigating the lock further. We wrapped up around lunchtime and got the drone, vehicles, and jib ready to film the car sequence. The only thing we were missing was the 1923 Dodge Brothers Phaeton Convertible.

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I looked at my watch and saw that it was an hour past when the car was supposed to arrive. I wasn’t really worried at this point because we were filming the other cars pulling into the parking lot from the road so we had some more time. We did a couple takes with the drone and jib filming the cars pulling into the parking lot off of Sprucevale Road across from Hambleton Mill.

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We were finishing up and everyone started moving the equipment back to the camp. I stopped and looked down at my phone to see that I had a few texts. As I stated before, reception service is a bit spotty where we were filming. I scrolled through them and saw that Robert, the owner and driver of the 1923 Dodge, was having some issues with the car and the tire blew out. Now it was time to panic a little. I then saw that he sent the texts about two hours ago and I never responded because I just received them and he still wasn’t there. The panic level started to raise slightly. At this point everyone was back at camp and I was about to make my way down the drive and suddenly my phone rang…

To my delight it was Robert! I was at the perfect location to get a call and to my surprise he was minutes from the parking lot. How’s that for timing? My panic quickly faded and was overtaken by excitement and relief. I stayed on the phone as he turned into the parking lot. Whew! I happily greeted him and hopped in and he drove us to camp.

After everyone checked out the 1923 Dodge, Jacob (boom mic operator) and I climbed in the trunk of the Monte Carlo to get the scene of Dominic and Jason talking as they pulled into the parking lot by the campsite. There’s probably a picture out there of us snuggled in the back seat with our equipment but who knows where that is. At any rate, we got their dialogue in a couple of takes and moved on.

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We began filming the parking lot scene and the clouds started rolling in and the wind picked up. There’s even a blooper of the $100 bill blowing away in the wind.

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Here’s a cool still I shot of Tyler (Man in Suit) and the 1923 Dodge before Robert took it back to Cortland (This vehicle and others can be rented for events. Check out BMZ Classics for more info).


After we finished filming in the parking lot we went back camp, ate dinner, and began preparing for the night scenes. The wind was still blowing and it was sprinkling very lightly. We covered up all the gear we could with tarps to prevent it from getting wet.







This area of Beaver Creek is unique in the way the sun sets in October. It quickly goes behind the hills and sets early. Not to mention the clouds aided in the early sunset. Thanks to Pakob and Nick we had a roaring fire and began filming. I love how you can feel the warmth of the fire as the light from the flames danced on the characters faces. Also, the dark woods set the mood on how the rest of the night started to unfold in the film.

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As the night continued, the sprinkles started turning into light rain and we each had an umbrella to cover some of the equipment we were using to film. The rain was absolutely perfect! Just as things started to pick up in the film the rain got heavier. It made the scenes in the woods much more creepier and I was extremely pumped to see the raindrops in the beams of the flashlights. A couple of times water droplets fell onto the lens and I left them there because they created a unique look to the footage.

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We wrapped up the scenes and frantically began loading the equipment into the cars. The tarp coverage wasn’t ideal but we were lucky that none of the equipment got ruined. We were able to leave camp by 10:30 pm. On the ride home this time I couldn’t stop thinking about the weather for the next day. We contemplated a few things at dinner time about rescheduling the next days shoot but it wouldn’t have worked with everyone’s schedule. I arrived home and began to unload the equipment into the garage to dry it out. I checked the forecast that still said there was a 100% chance of rain all day. I looked around for a moment. The rain pounded hard on the roof as I stood there looking at the waterlogged equipment wondering what to do. I thought hard, prayed, and decided to wait until the next day before I made a decision…


Gretchen’s Lock | From Inception to Grand Premiere | Part II

Today we are continuing with the multi-part blog about Gretchen’s Lock. In case you missed the first part you can check it out HERE.

Filming: Day 1

After getting everything prepped and showing everyone the lock, the cast and crew were eager to begin our filming journey. We headed down the Vondergreen Trail that leads to Gretchen’s Lock and decided to shoot with the sun behind the actors. Like I said before, the weather was absolutely perfect for our days of filming. The bright sunshine coincided with the adventure the campers were on and their joking manner. So, we found a section of the trail that seemed like a good place to start. We looked at the trail that went slightly uphill and thought everything was in place.


Sound and cameras were rolling, “ACTION.”  As myself, the three members running audio, and Danielle started trekking backwards the terrain proved to be challenging. A couple of steps into the take the boom mics were hitting branches I was tripping over rocks and roots and everything was going a little too fast. Side note, operating the Glidecam is an art form itself which I have not mastered by far. We decided to move a little slower and Danielle guided me by holding onto my belt and tugging to warn me if there was a step up, a rock, a root, a squirrel, whatever I couldn’t see behind me. After a couple of takes we began to find a rhythm and finished out the opening scene.


As we arrived to the trail offshoot that leads to Gretchen’s Lock the sun was still brightly shinning. However, as soon as we walked down to the lock the sun went behind the hill on the other side of the creek leaving Gretchen’s Lock in a shadow. I think the geography of the area and the bend in the creek set up Gretchen’s Lock to be dark, cold, and quiet which adds to its mystery. We quickly executed the takes and finished up before dinner time. Scene 1 was in the bag and we made the 15 minute hike back to the parking lot.

















As pizza arrived the cast and crew quickly bonded and we gathered around the fire talking about filming the first scene. This group of people seemed to click instantly as we began setting things up for the night scenes.




Because the area we were filming is primitive, there was no access to electricity. We set up a generator for the lights we used for the campfire scenes. We placed the generator back in the woods and ran a couple of 100 ft extension cords. After running cords and setting up the lights we started the generator. Immediately the noise was quite prevalent and was going to be an issue with the audio. We covered the generator with a box that had ventilation and carpet to absorb the sound. This seemed to eliminate a lot of noise.




We position the actors and cameras and began to film. Right after the first take the lights faded out and the generator stopped. I looked up from my camera with concern. We walked to the generator and heard it making a hissing sound. I removed the box and felt the heat coming from the generator. Obviously we didn’t have adequate ventilation and it was overheated. We needed to relieve the pressure so it didn’t blow up (we joked about doing another film with pyrotechnics to calm everyone’s nerves. Gretchen’s Lock II: Gretchen’s Out for Blood). I was able to unscrew the gas cap and to release the pressure and we let the generator cool down for a few minutes. We started it back up and continued filming and decided we’ll deal with the noise in post production. As we finished with the campfire scene we headed into the tent.

The cast was super ornery at this time as they snuggled up in their sleeping bags and blankets. One of my regrets was not filming some of the antics that were happening in between the takes. After the cast got comfortable inside the tent four of us crew members went in to film the scene. Huddled in the corner was Danielle, Jacob, Amy, and myself. We knocked out that scene in a couple of takes and we moved outside to finish up the day 1 of filming.

At this point I decided we weren’t going to use the generator anymore because it was becoming a hassle. With the help of white foam boards we were able to light the actors as they walked through the woods. The story seemed to get more real as we ventured into the woods with flashlights, a camera, and a crew of foam board holders. The woods were very dark even though there was a full moon each night we filmed. At one point there were no flashlights on and the only light you could see was the moon in the distance and the glow of the campfire. We finished out and were done by 10:30 pm. We gathered all the equipment and loaded it into the cars and left the campsite.

On my way home I finally had sometime to think since Danielle drove separately. I was still in disbelief that this was actually happening and amazed that everything went as smooth as it did for the first day. I quickly grounded myself and began to plan things out in my head for the next day’s shoot which was jam packed…



Gretchen’s Lock | From Inception to Grand Premiere | Part I


Gretchen’s Lock was our first independent film. Both Danielle and I spent a lot of time visiting Beaver Creek State Park with family as we grew up not knowing each other. Five and a half years ago, before we got into photography and way before video, we went to explore Gretchen’s Lock for the first time together with our pug, Norris. It was an early Autumn day and there was a chill in there air. Of course, that was heightened as we approached the lock.

After exploring we made our way back to the parking lot. Jokingly we said, “Someone should make a movie about this place.” Like I said before, this is way before we even got into the industry and we didn’t remember that we talked about it until just before we started to film. Digging in the Facebook archives today we found this post that blew our mind! Seriously, this is CRAZY!!

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Fast forward to last July, after photographing over 100 weddings and dabbling in a few promotional videos, I had the idea of making an independent film. I wanted to make a film about something local, something outdoors, and something relatively low budget. Beaver Creek came to mind because of its beauty and wonder. As I started to develop ideas, Gretchen’s Lock popped into my head. I began research and found out even more legends in the area that I’ve heard in passing but had never connected.

I began writing a screenplay in mid-July and finished the bulk of it sitting on the porch of a cabin in Amish country near Sugarcreek while we were on vacation in August. As soon as we returned home I quickly wanted to get things underway. I drove down to the park, hiked to Gretchen’s Lock, snapped a few photos of the lock and Hambleton’s Mill before I left and put a poster for a cast & crew call. Danielle and I joked in the evenings saying, “Who do you think we can pull into this production?” We thought maybe some family friends and perhaps a handful of people could be dragged in. After posting the cast and crew call poster our phone, email, and social media blew up with interest of people wanting to be a part of the production. I think my phone rang nonstop for 3 or 4 days! The reach of the poster was over 67,000 people! Yikes!

After sending out hundreds of emails and receiving information forms from those who were interested we narrowed down the crew members and the potential actors we’d be auditioning. We set up the auditions for September 20th, 2015 and got things moving at Beaver Creek by applying for a permit to film there and reserved the Group 3 campsite. We were blown away by some of the auditions and started to assemble the cast.


After reaching out to fill in a couple of the roles we had our team! I finished tweaking the script and we had one and only production meeting and table read. Due to the quick nature of wanting to film at the end of October, a good handful of cast and crew couldn’t make it to the meeting. Despite that fact, after the meeting I felt energized and ready to get more things rolling.


October is usually the busiest time of the year for our photography business. From weddings to family sessions to high school seniors our schedule was jam packed. What a great idea to schedule films dates in the busiest month of the year, NOT! Danielle sometimes looked at me like I was crazy. We were running around from all of the sessions, taking care of our 8 month old, and gathering equipment, supplies, and working around everyone’s schedule to come up with a solid film schedule for the three days we filmed in October. October was surely a whirlwind of chaos, but things started falling into place.

The week before filming we had photo sessions almost every evening, a wedding on Saturday, and another session on Sunday before we began filming on Monday, October 26th. That Friday, the 23rd, I got up at 3:30 am, went to Walmart to get supplies, went to a few hardware stores when they opened, hit up Hobby Lobby to get some other supplies, and then, of course, stopped at Chick-Fil-A for an early lunch.


I sped my way back home to begin working on things. As the day quickly faded away I realized there were some things that just weren’t going to get completed. We packed up and headed to our wedding the next day and then to our session Sunday evening (our session was in Bethany, WV so it took an hour and twenty minutes to get there). After arriving home late, we got everything we could together.

As the restless night ensued, I got up at the crack of dawn to load everything up for filming. I was quite tired, very anxious, and hoping everything would go as planned. Everything was loaded up, I headed down to the park, met up with Joe, and we began unloading. It was a beautiful Fall day. The leaves were so colorful, the sun was golden and warm, and there was an Autumn chill in the air. If there was any day to be representative of an ideal Fall day, this was it.


Butterflies were still fluttering away in my stomach as other crew and cast members arrived. When I saw most of the cast coming out of the shuttle, it hit me. This is actually going to happen.


Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be directing and filming a screenplay that I wrote and that there would be so many people willing to commit most of their time for three days to make it possible. After I met a few for the first time it was back to reality.

We began setting up the cameras and getting the audio equipment ready to go. The cast prepped for the day as the crew gathered equipment to hike to Gretchen’s Lock, which was about a 15 minute walk from the parking lot. I lead the pack with my camera on the glidecam attached to the stabilizing arm and vest still in disbelief that this was actually happening.





I wanted to show everyone Gretchen’s Lock before we began filming to set the tone. After a brief overview it was time….


Gretchen’s Lock Cast & Crew

Gretchen’s Lock; a machine. Cast; the fuel. Film Crew; the moving parts grinding away to make the machine move efficiently.  There were so many incredible people that we got to work with to produce Gretchen’s Lock. Without them this production would have completely fallen apart. They were dedicated, imperative, knowledgeable, and willing to do anything it took. Even those with no experience jumped in, got their hands dirty (literally), and turned into pros 5 minutes into filming. It was fantastic to have worked with such a great group of people. Maybe it was being out in the woods, in the rain, in the mud, or sharing a part of ourselves and pouring it into the production, and there will forever be a bond between us. This cast and crew came together and created something special to say the least. We will be forever grateful for the hard work everyone has put in and will cherish the friendships that were forged while filming.

Here’s the amazing cast & crew of Gretchen’s Lock. We wish everyone was here in this photo, but unfortunately schedules don’t always align.


Here are some other photos from the filming of Gretchen’s Lock:

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Thank you to everyone who was involved in the making of the Gretchen’s Lock film! Without you none of this could have been possible! We feel truly honored to have gotten the chance to work with every single one of you. We look forward to future productions with you all!

For more information about the Gretchen’s Lock film & for tickets to the showing in Columbiana, go HERE. We’re thrilled to bring you a locally made independent film production featuring local legends and made in Beaver Creek State Park! Thank you for your support in our endeavors & we hope to see you at the Grand Premiere of Gretchen’s Lock TODAY, April 23. The 6:30 pm showing is SOLD OUT and the 8:00 pm showing is getting close to selling out, as well. Get them while you still can!