Along with his ongoing course change from teaching and educating at Bulloch Academy into full-time filmmaking, Eric A. Dodson has rapidly ventured into award-winning territory.
His quick movie “Claire” gained him the respect of Greatest Indie Filmmaker on the High Shorts Movie Competition, primarily based in Los Angeles, when the awards had been introduced on the finish of July. With a operating time underneath 15 minutes, “Claire” boils down the story of the capturing dying of a police officer’s sister to the officer’s intense interrogation of the shooter.
With a darkish, shadowy, minimalist two-light set that nourishes a way of foreboding and flashbacks that appear subliminally temporary, the movie additionally turned a finalist this summer season within the Greatest Manufacturing Design and Greatest Set Design classes on the IndieX Movie Fest.
“Here recently, in the last six months, I decided to stop teaching and coaching and focus on filmmaking full-time, and that’s where ‘Claire’ came about,” Dodson mentioned. “I had it on the back burner for a little while, met some good friends here, some people who’d never been in filmmaking, never even thought about it, put a makeshift crew together … and there it went.”
2 paths go by
He mentioned he has “had to decide on between two loves,” sports activities and filmmaking.
Dodson grew up in Thomasville, the place he excelled at soccer his senior yr with Thomas County Central Excessive Faculty Yellow Jackets. He was named an All State and All Area quarterback and Offensive Participant of the Yr.
However he had been utilizing a nonetheless digital camera from age 6 or 7, having discovered technical points from his father, a doctor assistant by career however devoted to pictures as a interest. The youthful Dodson then developed a fascination with filmmaking watching TV and flicks.
Going to Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, on a full-ride scholarship, Dodson performed soccer once more with the Shorter Hawks and was beginning quarterback his sophomore via senior years. He additionally attained a bachelor’s diploma in communications, with movie and broadcasting as his focus.
However he cautiously saved filmmaking a part-time pursuit and have become a coach as a substitute. Dodson got here to Statesboro, and Bulloch Academy, following Invoice Shaver, his former Thomas County Central soccer coach who turned BA’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach however has since retired.
Dodson arrived as operating backs and defensive backs coach, then final yr was the Gators’ defensive coordinator. He was additionally Bulloch Academy’s wrestling coach the previous two seasons and has served as elementary grades expertise trainer.
In the meantime, he had launched his little manufacturing firm, Ollie & Panda Movies, named for 2 beloved Siberian Husky canine, in 2016. Amongst different issues, Dodson produced hype movies for BA sports activities and a few extra normal promotional items for the academy.
Working with different “creatives,” filmmaking fans he is aware of within the Atlanta space, he honed his digital camera abilities and eye for set design. Subcontracted to different manufacturing corporations, he served as Steadicam operator and director of pictures for a music video for nation and rap artist Colt Ford and did comparable work with gospel artist Doe.
With Dodson because the director, Ollie & Panda Movies additionally accomplished some movies for nation singer-songwriter Stevenson Everett, together with one for CMT’s “Next Up Now” sequence.
Yr of commitments
It was whereas faculty was shut down by the pandemic final spring that Dodson sealed one massive determination, to turn out to be a full-time filmmaker.
“As soon as I sat down and thought of it and I prayed about it, I talked to my household and my spouse — her identify is Allyson, by the way in which, I higher point out her — I talked it over together with her, and you recognize it’s a giant threat,” he mentioned.
He’d higher point out her. They simply obtained married June 27. Allyson, a trainer at Brooklet Elementary, additionally mentioned sure to his journey away from teaching and educating and additional into movies.
“Now I’m full-time and I’m really pursuing my dreams,” he mentioned, “and I think my real reason why I decided to do it full-time was that I was telling all of the kids that they could follow their dreams and they could do all of these things, but I wasn’t doing it myself, and so I kind of felt like a hypocrite a little bit.”
His one remaining dedication to Bulloch Academy now’s to proceed as wrestling coach via subsequent season.
“So ‘Claire’ was that first undertaking that I might actually put my all and my time into, and that’s why it’s such a particular work for me,” Dodson mentioned.
For the character of Scott Westerfield, the household man who heard an intruder within the night time and picked up a rifle, Dodson introduced in Daniel Farias, an skilled actor, “paid him a great sum of money for his companies” and put him up in a Statesboro resort. For the position of Officer Mulholland, whose sister was killed, Dodson auditioned and forged Thomas Daniel Hendrix, from Statesboro, already an Ollie & Panda crew member however not beforehand an actor.
“And he absolutely killed it,” Dodson said. “So I think he has a bright future as far as acting and filmmaking.”
Assist from his buddies
Dodson not solely directed the actors, he additionally served as director of pictures and digital camera operator. Terrance Micourt, a Georgia Southern pupil who was beforehand Dodson’s assistant wrestling coach, served as growth operator and sound recordist. They shot the movie in three days, and with a assist from buddies subcontracted so as to add some post-production touches, Dodson known as it a wrap inside a complete funds between $5,000 and $10,000.
The result’s a suspenseful quick movie that carries an “M” for mature content material score on Vimeo. It incorporates some temporary violence, however the violence isn’t the stunning half. Perhaps it is the understanding reached.
Now Dodson is capturing wedding ceremony movies virtually each weekend for the remainder of the yr and into 2021 and dealing on a sports-related documentary.
He additionally plans to start pre-production earlier than lengthy on his first function movie, known as “Ghost Writers,” from a script he has been engaged on for greater than three years.