Father & Daughter Film Report

Say "OKLAHOMA" and more than likely the first thing that comes to mind is the OU football team that produced such players as Billy Sims, Brian Bosworth, Adrian Peterson (and yes, to accommodate all our OU fans, the list goes on and on) not to mention all the great coaches too.  Those into musicals will of course think of the very first musical ever written by the team of composer Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, resulting in the box-office smash that ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances, winning countless awards - including a special Pulitzer Prize in 1944 - and of course the Academy Award for the 1955 film adaptation:


Yes, the title of the musical has an explanation mark after it, and we suggest the same grammatical symbol be placed after this film festival:


Founded in 2001 with a one night screening of short films from Oklahoma film makers at City Arts on the State Fairgrounds by Justan and Jayson Floyd (mom provided hot dogs & snacks for the 50 or so people who showed up), deadCenter has evolved into one of the top film festivals in the world, attracting over 25,000 fans.

COME EARLY...a typical showing, and nearly every showing we attended was sold out...and for good reason, great films, interesting category blocks (Strange Encounter Shorts, Rebels & Rejects Shorts, Rated "R" for Ridiculously Awesome Shorts, Freak Fest Shorts, Game Changer Shorts, to name a few.  With creative titles for just the categories, you can bet the films were creative and unique as well...!

Great Films? Wonderful films, hands down. You can't attract crowds like above if you weren't putting up some great flicks.

Atmosphere? With over 400 fabulous volunteers in the revamped downtown area of Oklahoma City, one of the best.

Workshops? Education?  Of the most innovative sort.  More on this later, for as you know, film education is a big deal here at the Father/Daughter Film Report. 

Let's check out some of the films first, shall we?

Click on image to see the film or trailer:


After you watch the trailer, there will be some information on how you can get the film for $1.99. Do it. It always amazes us how in such a short time (in this case, 12 minutes) a film can totally captivate and move you emotionally.  Deeply emotionally.

Writer/Director Benjamin Cleary's first attempt at directing can certainly be labeled an unqualified success, for one, you will see countless awards listed on their website:


Not shown on the site - yet - is that is was up for an Academy Award in 2016...

...and won.

Get the film and see why...one of the best films - feature or short - we've ever seen...in any category.

Every once in a while, a film will come along that is so over the top, so campy, you sit there with a slight smile going, "Well, this might be kinda fun".  Then something happens as the film develops.  It gets real. It gets deep. It gets profound.

All the while remaining fun....and clever.

Click the image below or HERE to see the trailer for:

667, Neighbor of the Beast

 which by the way, is a film that does just that...

We think you get the idea. Now you probably already noticed some pretty cool special effects and innovative camera shots, and let us tell you there are a lot more. The film is actually worth seeing just for those. But more importantly, it is the story and how it is told that will really get you....as the film states:

"The devil is in the details."

 Now, of course, stories about the devil have been around since the Bible, so we know this is probably one of THE most difficult stories to come up with a fresh approach, however writer Tommy Austin (who also plays the role of the ultimate anti-Christ perfectly, certainly to the palate for today's society) and director John Aspinwall have created one of the most unique and hilarious takes on ancient evil, and certainly made 666 relevant for suburbia. 

This ought to be required viewing in Sunday schools of any denomination....

Sing for Your Supper

Click on image below to see the trailer:

If you loved that dystopian feel you got in the film Brazil (1985), then sprinkle some weirdness you'd get from any Twilight Zone episode, then you will love this film.  If you like musicals, then you will absolutely adore it - yes, it has singing in it...well, it pretty much has to, we're talking about a totalitarian world where singing is actually a form of currency.

So what happens when our protagonist gets laryngitis...?

Perhaps for most people it is something to get over in a few days, however in this society, the repercussions are more.

A LOT more....

Even if you are not into musicals, the songs and dance - which are award winningly done by composers Gavin Keese (imdb) and Sherri Chung (imdb) and choreographers Joseph Corella (imdb) and Brooke Engen (imdb) - fit perfectly into the story line as well as being entertaining...on several levels.

The world created by writer Michael Jonathan Smith (imdb) & director Mu Sun (imdb) is one so bizarre and eerie enough that you are hooked right away in the first few moments....

...and leave you - ironically - wanted to come back to see what else is going on in this weird society where one must sing to eat.  Certainly a short film is not enough for this concept, this needs to be a series...a lot of social commentary can come from this....  

EDUCATION @  deadCenter

We can honestly say that in the context of going to a film festival for education, deadCenter is in the top three in the world, right up there with Sundance, and Oaxaca (which is known as the "Sundance of Latin America").  Let's repeat that:

"...deadCenter is ranked in the top three in the world."

Panels, workshops, lectures....yes, yes, yes...the great ones all that that.  However deadCenter offers something no one else does:

deadCENTER University

Each year, deadCenter invites outstanding high school students from around the state to attend a free two-day seminar during the festival to watch films and attend classes led by filmmakers, college professors, and the visiting actors, writers, and film professionals in town for the festival.

We're talking classes and presentations by the likes of Academy Award-winning special effects make-up artist Matthew Mungle; Casey Twenter and Jeff Robinson, the Edmond based writers of the William H. Macy film, Rudderless (2014) Director and OCU Moving Image Arts Program Chair Fritz Kiersch; legendary Native American actor Wes Studi, known for Dances with Wolves (1990), Last of the Mohicans (1992), & Avatar (2009); Academy Award-winning producer (The Godfather Parts I, II, & II, Apocalypse Nowand OCCC artist in residence Gray Frederickson.

Move over UCLA & Southern Cal....it appears Oklahoma is looking to be the place for film education too...

And there is something more than just the place...

After the panel discussion on editing, Father was able to ask a few questions of Oscar nominated film editor Carol Littleton (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Body Heat, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Accidental Tourist, & Wyatt Earp, to name a few) on the event that got her into film and on her Career Achievement Award by the American Cinema Editors (ACE) board.

...its the people. Yes, all those Academy Award & countless award winners named above have something in common.

They are from Oklahoma.

No matter how famous they get, no matter how high they go up the ladder in Hollywood, whether they started as a film maker or farmer, they come back to help/teach/guide the students & emerging film makers in their home state.  

That says a lot about the type of film people you are going to meet in Oklahoma and at deadCenter: caring, supportive...wonderful!

For example:

For all of Chris Freihofer's credits, go to: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0293803/
Recognize the guy on the left...?

Anyone who has seen Breaking Bad will recognize the scene, and a few die-hard fans will tell you that's the lawyer for Mike's crew - Dan Wachsberger - but few know that is Oklahoma's own Chris Freihofer, who not only has an arm full of acting credits, but is one of the most sought after casting directors in the Southwest (and Oklahoma's only member of the Casting Society of America).

Now even film producers - not to mention actors - would probably have to wait months (or even years) to get an appointment with Chris, but there he was at deadCenter, on a panel, sharing knowledge and answering questions with anyone & everyone afterwards. You won't see that in Hollywood...

By the way, here's a preview of his latest work in the role of casting director AND associate producer (click on image to get to site and trailer):

Shall we talk about some more films....?


A crowd feature favorite was a total Sci-Fi film that asks the question: "What if you woke up to find that you no longer look like you, and that to your friends and family, you had died?"

ELECTRIC NOSTALGIA dives into that premise, and writer/director Jacob Leighton does so in a way that combines an old Outer Limits feel with today's science wrapped in a thriller with a 21st Century Frankenstein-type who is creepier than Jack Nicholson in The Shining.  Now maybe you are getting the idea why this was a crowd favorite. But enough words, here's a preview (click on image to get to site and trailer):

Get the idea....? The filmmakers look forward to premiering the film in other states and optimistically await notifications from additional film festivals. We think they won't have to wait long, this one's going to be in a lot of film festivals....
For more information on Electric Nostalgia, go to:

Here's another reason to show why Oklahoma is THE happening place for films, there were SO MANY great films shown that we can not even include them all in just one report, so stay tuned for a PART II of our deadCenter report.  

Also, of all the film festivals that we have reported on around the world, having do a report in multiple parts has only happened one other time - at ANOTHER Oklahoma film festival: Twister Alley (another fabulous place to network and see films that can be found in the wonderful town of Woodward, Oklahoma)....

See?  We're not just making this up that Oklahoma is the place to make films, something is really happening in Boomer Sooner-land...!

PART II of the deadCenter report next week...!