In 2013 I had the unique opportunity to participate in the making of a feature film. Ashley's Shadow was penned Florida folklorist Charlie Carlson as a screenplay first, then a book. Carlson's most notable work was "weird Florida" a collection of mysteries and oddities found in the Sunshine State. That book has seen several printings and is still found in bookstores and online.
My opportunity came when the third production attempt failed. I was in Daytona with an associate consulting on producing beer commercials. At that location, as part of the brewery promotion, Carlson was part of a live webcast. When he got a break I approached him and ask to be allowed to produce the film. He agreed. With the help of my director, who had knowledge of resources on that coast, we organized the film as a mentoring project under the auspices of the FMPTA (Florida Motion Picture and Television Association). It included an all volunteer cast and crew; a greater challenge than I realized at the time. As with any project it had its share of problems, but due to the failure of three previous productions some considered it cursed. Indeed, it was.
On day two of the filming an angry Carlson fired my director who stormed off the set in a rage, beginning a campaign of hate on social media. Then, the FMPTA dissolved due to corrupt management. But I fought for the next three years to keep it together, vowing to see it through to completion; which I did.
I couldn't have done it without the cast and crew who stood by me, and those who selflessly gave without complaint like the Crankin' A's Model A club of New Smyrna Beach. Unfortunately, Charlie passed away from cancer before the film was completed. He is missed by all.
This is no masterpiece, but it represents years of effort and the sacrifices of many. As such I offer this free for all to view. Give it a look and enjoy. We had a blast making it.