The Future of Man
An anti-medicine cult controls every aspect of Josie’s life. When she’s forced to break one of its core tenets in order to save her young son, she risks public humiliation and permanent isolation from her family.
About The Project
I was raised in the Worldwide Church of God, a Pasadena, California-based religious cult, founded by the evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong, that prohibited its members from using modern medicine.
When I contracted a near-fatal pneumonia infection at the age of six, my father, a high-ranking minister, and my mother made a bold choice to defy the church’s strict rules and take me to a hospital, where I was given antibiotics and saved.
It can be hard for someone who has never been in a brainwashing cult to understand why someone in the situation like the one my parents were in can’t just pack up and leave.
Organizations like the WCG, while venerating the family unit publicly, actually weaponize familial relationships by teaching (and forcing) members to ostracize relatives who leave or are disfellowshipped. My parents’ familial, social, spiritual, and professional lives were all inexorably tied to the church.
When I was sallow, colorless, and becoming weaker by hour, they must have certainly struggled with a brutal internal conflict. On one hand, there was clearly something seriously wrong with me and their parental insticts would compel them to use any means necessary to fix it. On the other, taking me to the hospital could very likely cause not only terrible devastation to all of our personal lives, but a permanent “F” on a test from God.
My goal for this short is to capture and dramatize that conflict.
Hair & Makeup
About This Team
As an active member of an improv community, I’m lucky to have lots of friends with talents in every aspect of the filmmaking process. I’ve never really had to “cold call” anyone, and I usually don’t have to run auditions.
My wife Kerri is co-producing and co-directing the film with me. Since 2009, we’ve been learning the art of filmmaking together, and I’m beyond blessed to have a great life partner and collaborator in the same person.
On our first day of shooting, we were lucky to work with director of photography John Hale, who has shot many web projects for us, and always impresses me with his ability to use cinematography in service of story. He’s also profoundly pleasant to be around.
Amy Bury, an improv teammate, is in constant demand as an actress in her community, and I’m thrilled to have her play the main character in The Future of Man. She’s ridiculously talented and tremendously humble.
Production sound mixer Kirbie Seis came highly recommended by several of our filmmaking friends, and when we shot our first scene with her, their praises were confirmed. She was professional, pleasant, and delivered great audio.
I was already familiar with Jack Hunter’s brilliant acting from my capacity as an editor for Cracked.com, where Jack plays the wildly popular Roger Horton, host of the “Honest Ads” series. I’m flattered that he liked my script, and used his time to contribute to it.
Leah Catherine, who I also know through improv, did a remarkable job with hair and makeup on our first day of shooting. She understood exactly what we needed and executed it professionally. I was very impressed, and look forward to hiring her for the rest of the film.
Pei Pei Chung is a great friend and fantastic composer and sound designer, and she helped us polish our first scene at a substantial discount.
Ted Evans is a crazy-talented voiceover artist and good friend who has never hesitated to record something for me. On this project, he provided the voiceover for the intro to Abel J. Davidson’s fictional TV show.
Mylissa Fitzsimmons has made several great shorts, has connected me with editing gigs, and didn’t hesitate to offer help in several capacities as a producer. She’s a great friend and I’m grateful for her help.
Breven Warren put together our first web series, Youth Pastor Kevin, and in doing so, demystified the production process and helped us launch our film careers. She founded and directs the nonprofit, Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. Her festival experience continues as she has either worked for, programmed with or been a juror at; Sundance Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, Downtown LA Film Fest, Indie Spirit Film Festival, Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, Turner Classic Film Festival and Scriptapalooza.
Everyone mentioned above has helped me initiate my vision by offering their services for less than they’re worth. I’m looking forward to raising the funds to pay them to help me finish my film!