I'm a life-long resident of North Carolina, born and raised in a small town in Appalachia. I've been fascinated by films, radio, and television and media history from an early age. At Appalachian State University, I majored in Public and Applied History and focused on courses in media, computer sciences, and other areas that could contribute to a career in combining media, communications, and history.
My full-time job for the past twenty years has been as a Consultant at Duke University in the area of faculty teaching development. In my professional life, I teach faculty how to increase student learning and engagement through the deliberate use of communication techniques, classroom activities, and best practices in the use of video and other communication and Internet technologies.
In my spare time, I've pursued a number of projects to explore and refine my skills and research in film and broadcasting.
In the 1990s, I independently directed and produced three independent documentaries about different gay subcultures - "TLC: Year With a Leather Club", concerning a leather/sm social and political group in the heart of the Bible Belt; "Goatboy and the Music Machines, which looked at the Radical Faerie subculture; and "Raider in Canada", a portrait of a gay cartoonist and his involvement with LGBT rodeo in Canada.
These feature-length works gave me an opportunity to learn the entire film production process from planning and scripting to shooting, editing, promotion, and distribution. "TLC: Year With a Leather Club" was the first feature-length work edited in Adobe Premiere and was also the first feature-length documentary streamed on the Internet. The documentaries were screened in community fundraising showings in cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto to raise funds for local AIDS charities.
In the early 2000s, I began exploring screenwriting and a couple of examples of my work in this field are linked in my profile. For over a decade, I was involved in audio restoration of over a thousand obscure and lesser-known Old Time Radio programs, documented in my blog, rand's esoteric otr.
I'm always on the lookout for interesting historical figures and events that can be turned into film projects. For twenty years, I've been researching a pioneering pre-Stonewall gay nightclub performer, Ray Bourbon. Ray, whose career extended from the English music halls, vaudeville and silent films of the early part of the last century to nightclubs and the stage in the 50s and 60s, led a storied life involving major stars like Bob Hope and Mae West, a sex change operation hoax, and a conviction for murder in Texas in 1969. I have the manuscript and copyright on Ray's unfinished prison autobiography and have restored around nine hours of his independently produced comedy recordings. The material is currently under consideration for possible development into a cable television mini-series.
I'm digging on some other historical subjects I'll post about in the future.
I am currently developing several feature film concepts as screenplays which will be posted here as they are completed. Some are genre comedy, action, and horror works, while some are lower budget historical based character-driven dramas.
I am also exploring the use of data analytics in the development of film concepts, translating my professional expertise in educational needs assessment and surveys into methods that independent screenwriters and filmmakers could use to help their work find a broader audience.
In my work, I am interested themes involving strong relationships between people, how media and technology have influenced our lives, and, as a Gay man, how "outsiders" and misfits carve out their own space in the world. And I enjoy humor - you'll see hints of W.C. Fields, Stan Freberg, Groucho Marx, Mel Brooks, and contemporary figures like Zach Galifianakis in my work.
I am available for consulting - let me know if you need someone to talk about historical details and background for a project you're working on or ideas for using analytics to fine tune your screenwriting and filmmaking concepts and marketing.
The Overpass Budget: $1M - $5M | Independent In 1976, four Southern working class bikers carry a dead friend in a motorcycle sidecar coffin on a road trip to fulfill his last wishes and uncover his secret past.
Sex Party Planet of the Lesbian Vampire Vixens Versus Gladiators. With Zombies. Budget: $5M - $10M | Comedy A group of space explorers fall victim to the many trendy concepts and plot directions that multiple writers expose them to as they land in a parallel world based on ancient Athens.
Raider in Canada: Portrait of Sean Martin
Video by Cool Cat Daddy Productions (Documentary) Director Since the 1980s,, cartoonist Sean Martin has brought to life the characters of "Doc and Raider", two Gay men in a committed relationship who deal with AIDS, homophobia and everyday life. The documentary, using the framework of a Calgary Gay rodeo that Sean Martin participates in each year, looks at the influences on Martin's work and the search for his own space within the Gay community.
Goatboy and the Music Machines
Video by Cool Cat Daddy Productions (Documentary) Director Goatboy is Brian Thornton, a master craftsman who restores antique musical instruments, a modern-day "mountain man" who has isolated himself in the hills of Tennessee, and self-described "Radical Satyr". The documentary looks at the personal struggles of one man who questions our ideas about technology and the role of myth in shaping our ideas about Gay sexuality and masculinity.
TLC: Year with a Leather Club
Video by Cool Cat Daddy Productions (Documentary) Director A documentary that looks at the educational, fundraising, and political work of the Greensboro, North Carolina Tarheel Leather Club, one of over six hundred Leather/SM clubs nationwide that create spaces for learning and exploration about radical sexuality. Through in-depth interviews and coverage of the organizations work in a typical year, the video examines the motivations of individual members in their work for the Club, their impact on the local community, and how they have survived in the heart of the Bible Belt.
Appalachian State University