TRANSCRIPT Ep19 - Screenwriting and Directing Indie Film: The Shade Shepherd

Updated: Apr 12

The Shade Shepherd graphic


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Intro: All right, welcome to the successful screenwriter podcast, where we are dedicated to anything and everything screenwriting. Here, we interview successful screenwriters and filmmakers to discover just what it takes to make it in the industry.

Geoffrey: Welcome to the podcast, we have on some awesome guests today. We have on Jordon Hodges and Chris Faulisi. Jordon is the writer of The Shade Shepard, and also an actor, and Chris is the director and a writer on The Shade Shepard. Thanks for being on guys!

Jordon and Chris: Thank you for having us!

Geoffrey: I got to watch this film through a sneak preview. I thought it was pretty fun, interesting, and well written. I guess you guys are getting some pretty cool distribution on it.

Chris: Lionsgate.

Geoffrey: Lionsgate! That’s pretty awesome. That’s not easy to do. It’s available on Amazon, but before I get into that, I wanted to get your origin stories for how you guys met and how things got started. I know this isn’t your first gig together.

Chris: No, it’s not. You wanna give that story, Jordon?

Jordon: Yeah, I was on the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica, as cliché as that sounds. It was outside the Target food court. A friend of ours, Will, he was an actor in Faulisi’s directorial debut, Proper Violence. If you haven’t seen that film, it’s great. It has Randy Spencer, who plays my brother in The Shade Shepard. We talked, I liked him, and we did this 43-minute pilot/short film, he just DP’d it. He was a kid with a red camera. He was smart, and I love the way he made that film look. I was gearing up for a feature that I lead as an actor and also wrote/produced called Sand Castles and I brought Chris on as a DP. Randy played my uncle in that. Faulisi knocked it out of the park. I knew he was a writer/director and I pitched him over and over again on different treatments and stories till I got him on the hook for this one.

Geoffrey: What about this guy drew you to him, Chris? Obviously, he liked you because you’re pretty talented and you had a red camera. I’m sure it was more than that, but what was going on? You guys merged/melded, you liked his work, or did you read some of his stuff?

Chris: In the beginning, it was via our friend Will. You trust friends of friends and it was a pretty cool project. I was just working on another TV project. This was early on when I had just moved to LA. Ove the course of that, and working on Sand Castles, which was shot in Indiana, we became a lot better friends just by working on that movie together. I got to meet his family and see where he’s from. We’ve been friends ever since. He’s been pitching me on a bunch of things.

Geoffrey: That is something in the industry where you find somebody you connect with and enjoy working with. You find projects to work together on. Even Michael Bay, he’s got his crew and they all stick together from film to film. I think it’s really important to show that this is a relationship business. You guys both represent that.

Jordon: We’re very different in a lot of ways, he’s got a mad scientist vibe about him with how eccentric he is. When we come together on films, we’re very similar. He compliments the things I lack and vice versa. Chris was with me on my wedding day, we’re buddies. It’s