Happy Endings Are a Rarity, But Pessimism Is Pointless

While updating this website, I discovered that it's been over two years since I published anything on here. Oddly enough, those two years were easily the busiest two years of my entire filmmaking career. I moved from the mountains of North Carolina to Austin, Texas, where I currently live. I started working with dozens of new collaborators. I released my first feature film. I wrote multiple screenplays that were produced. And I directed my second feature film.

But I don't want to get ahead of myself.

As virtually everyone reading this knows, in the summer of 2017, I released my debut directorial feature: a romantic horror-drama entitled Happy Endings Are a Rarity. All throughout the film's production, we would theorize about how badly people were going to hate the movie due to its unusual tone and inherent weirdness. We were half-joking, of course, but we genuinely didn't expect anyone to like the movie. I guess we were kind of pessimists in a way. Well, at least I was.

Before we released the film, I sent out screeners to some of my favorite websites and magazines that I thought may take an interest in what we were doing. Miraculously, some pretty high-profile genre publications covered Happy Endings Are a Rarity. Even more miraculously, every single one of them gave it a positive review. Hell, Dread Central (a website I've been reading religiously since I was in high school) referred to it as "much more than a horror film."

Joshua Millican of Horror Freak News and Dread Central wrote a lengthy review of the film that I found genuinely touching. Numerous other publications had nice things to say about the movie, and the loved we received (and continue to receive) means more to me than I could ever put into words. I've cried happy tears on more than one occasion thinking about how deeply supportive complete strangers have been to us over the past year.

The unexpected success of Happy Endings Are a Rarity inspired me to go out and direct another feature. Matt Kiser (who had been the cinematographer on virtually every single Slash Gang production) wanted to direct a feature, so I wrote the screenplay Grimmwood for him. (As of this post, I've seen a rough cut of it and think it's really fun.) We produced Grimmwood and my second feature, Five Wild Animals, simultaneously in the mountains of western North Carolina. We worked with two casts of incredible actors that I suspect will remain lifelong collaborators and friends of mine. The love I have for these people that I've known for less than a year is a testament to how understanding, wonderful, and crazy they all are. I cannot wait to unveil these movies so that you guys can see their performances. Holy shit, y'all. They're incredible.

Earlier this year, we released the teaser trailer for Five Wild Animals, and the response has been (mostly) positive. It's a really exciting movie that I'm extremely proud of, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with people that I feel sure will appreciate it.

While we're currently in post-production on Five Wild Animals and Grimmwood, I'm mere days away from directing an experimental slasher movie I wrote entitled We Dream the Night Away. It's my third film as a director and something unlike anything else I've been involved with. It's killing me not to reveal everything about it, but I can promise that you won't see it coming.

I'm also in active pre-production on a currently untitled movie that I co-wrote with the great Maddison Bullock (go watch her movie ICE immediately), which we'll be shooting in Nebraska later this year. I can't provide too many details yet, but I'm extremely excited for this one.

There are numerous other projects I'm working on that are in various stages of development that I won't bother diving into here, but I can't stress enough how fulfilling all of this is. After years of feeling stagnant and talentless and as if my dreams were a joke, it finally feels as though I'm on the path to success. Everything can fall apart at any moment, but I've made it this far, and, at the moment, that's more than enough for me.

We have YouTube channel where I'll be posting a video update within the next few days. I hope you will all subscribe, because doing so helps us immensely. Anxiety & Depression: The Slash Gang Podcast drops later this week, and I hope you'll all listen.

I've never been happier. Things have never been better. Life only sucks if you allow it to suck.

Slash Gang f-f-f-f-for life.