After six years, award-nominated makeup artist and filmmaker Michael Smith is in production on his SAG/AFTRA short film, Mister Stitches.
A supernatural thriller set in 1938, Mister Stitches details the grisly events following a botched bank robbery and an attempt by the robbers to use a secluded farm as a hideout while on the lam.
Mister Stitches is a unique morality tale and period thriller that’s set far enough in the past to be the stuff of folklore, but you can visit the location and still feel the terror from that night eighty years ago.
Smith raised a few hundred dollars with a crowdfunding campaign in 2013 with which he produced a promotional trailer to pitch to potential investors and gain a fan base.
Bringing Mister Stitches to life has been a goal for Smith since he first conceptualized the story in 2009. Smith says, “As I explored remains of houses reclaimed by the dense forests of rural southeast Ohio, I wondered what tales these places could tell of joys and tragedies experienced by an average family long since passed on, what if something extraordinarily awful happened there that has been lost to time? There’s something here that would lend itself to a unique story, and the gravestones in forgotten family cemeteries tell no tales, so I will.”
In 2015, Smith launched the website: www.misterstitchesmovie.com to showcase photos and videos of the production as well as talent bios.
The story has piqued the interest of local professional stage and film actors, including some who’ve worked in Hollywood. Smith says “Central Ohio has some fantastic talent and some of the film’s original cast are slated to reprise their roles from the 2013 trailer shoot which I’m especially happy about.”
Some notables attached to the project include, SAG/AFTRA actor Ralph Scott returning as gang leader Hank Smith. Scott is an active member of the Columbus independent movie scene and professional stage actor with CATCO and others. His acting encompasses both stage and screen. He can been seen in the films God Don’t Make The Laws with Paul Sorvino, Recoil, and multi-award winning Oracabessa, as well as national and regional advertisements. Additionally, SAG/AFTRA actor Todd Covert returns to play ‘handsome’ Jack Castille, one of the gangsters. Beth Josephsen-Simon, a fantastic actress who’s appeared on stage in the U.K as well as in the States is playing the farmer’s wife.
A local vintage car club to has agreed to be ‘traffic’ in an exterior scene to be filmed in West Virginia, which Michael is most excited about since finding cars of that period is far more difficult than finding authentic locations in the historic villages of southern Ohio.
The $4,000 budget for the approximately thirty-minute short goes toward paying SAG/AFTRA talent, period wardrobe, authentic props, special effects, post-production, and distribution costs.
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