Director BIO: David Bradburn (BEFORE YOU WOKE)

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David is a writer, director and producer of independent films in Chicago. He started Fork the Man Productions to create films and connect independent filmmakers in Chicago. Bradburn’s films include “Superhero Me”, a finalist in the 2012 Beverly Hills Film Fest Writing Competition, and the soon to be finished “The Coming of Age” which was written by Northwestern University’s Film Department Chair, Dave Tolchinsky. Bradburn’s successful launch into Chicago’s independent film community most recently landed him assignments with Kenmore and FOX.

 

Director Statement

 

I’ve made over a dozen short films and worked on several more. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’m sure it probably is. I’ve done this amidst working full-time as a teacher, running a boutique production company and doing freelance work. This explains better the feeling of exhaustion than the equally palatable feeling of not getting enough done. Back to shorts, as much as I want to make features, and the feature scripts I have completed or am working on; I just can’t get away from the short form. Let’s be practical here, part of that is because I can afford to make a short film here and there whereas a feature budget has been elusive. But, more importantly I like the snack of a story that the short form gives us. It can be, if done right, a knockout punch as opposed to the steady beating that a good feature can be. The short can be just enough to ignite a conversation, to promote targeted change that can often be lost by the time the credits roll on a feature or worse yet after a weekend binge of our latest favorite show. And from the production side, at the end of the day (or two or three) we have the film in the can. “Before You Woke” is no different.

I have been wanting to make an action film for some time and some of the scripts I’ve been tinkering away at are of the same genre. I set out to write a piece I could shoot in a day and only have to spend a few grand on while still setting up a situation to tell a story. So with those parameters in mind, I sat down to write. I banged out some clunky dialogue and some action beats. The beats worked more than the dialogue did, but that was largely because the story hadn’t yet told itself to me. This isn’t always how it works but in this case it did. I sat with the story and reread the dialogue. I had no story, just an interesting (if only to me) action sequence. But the story told itself to me.

I come from a mixed family. I myself am not mixed (at least as far as I have been able to tell), but my family is. From a very young age I learned how race itself is only skin deep, but culture is learned or birthed or embedded in our core. I learned that our acceptance of things is not the universal acceptance of things and that though some don’t respond to the colors they see others most definitely do. This, to the surprise of far too many plays out most often in race and gender. And this has been the heritage our nation has tried to repeatedly force upon its people– both the ideology and the consequences.

Back to the story itself, I had the action arc and something of a narrative. I knew the story was of an African-American woman and a White man. He had captured her and had held her hostage and was going to beat her. Their paths crossed more by happenstance than purpose. He was sent to retrieve something she had. He got it but was looking for payback for the amount of work he had to do to get it. She needed to, as a matter of survival, escape. Whereas he is out for revenge, she is out for survival. The opportunity to survive is what is driving her.

For so many of us, we wait. There are times when there is wisdom in the “wait and see” approach, but often it just an elaborate and arrogant justification to sit around and do nothing, or even worse to wait until we can blame others for our circumstances.

Moments we decide to act, to wrestle our destiny away from the control of others back to where it belongs–with us–those moments change the potential power of our lives into a kinetic energy that effects change.

Often our inaction is our demise. This is a story about that. This is a story about a moment in one woman’s journey to become. It is one moment in our journey of becoming.

“I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. “ MLK

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Short Film: BEFORE YOU WOKE, 4min., USA, Action/Thriller

Beforeyouwoke20x30 2

An African-American woman is kidnapped and must decide whether she will act to escape or wait.

Project Links

March 2019 Film/Story/Screenplay Winners

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

 

 

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: ROBOTS FROM NEPTUNE by J. David Thayer

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: THE SHROUD TRINITY by Frank McEvoy

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: STARLIGHT by John Roger

ACTORTV PILOT SCREENPLAY: CORNELIUS ADAMS, by Jonathan D. Mabee
March 2019 Winner

ACTORTV BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: ACTIONS ADVENTURES by Calvin L. Hall
March 2019 Winner

ACTORTV BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: TEXAS SHIELDS by Kathryn L. Scurry
March 2019 Winner

ACTORBEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: NOSTRADAMUS MISSION by Daniel M. Berghoff
March 2019 Winner

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Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Kyle Drier, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Hugh Fraser, Andy Camp, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch

ACTION/ADVENTURE Festival Testimonial – March 29 2019

I love their (Adventure/Action Festival) concept of multiple ways to get your story out: from logline, to 1st scene, to full screenplay. The fast turnaround for feedback is critical for me as I’m sure it is with many new writers — as many new drafts have been made by the time most contests provide feedback and results. 
– David Kurtz, Feature Screenplay “Weecho”

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

February 2019 Film/Story/Screenplay Winners

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

 

 

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: HOMETOWN KILL BOX by Richard M. Kjeldgaard

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: THE FLIGHT OF THE SOULS by Guy Quigley

ACTOR1st Scene SCREENPLAY: NIGHT OF THE WITCH by Mike Meade

ACTORBest Scene SCREENPLAY: VIVA by Renee Rubio

ACTORBest Scene SCREENPLAY: MESSS by Grace Nguyen

ACTORBest Scene SCREENPLAY: JONNY QUEST by Alan Rosenfeld

 

****

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Kyle Drier, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Hugh Fraser, Andy Camp, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch

HIGHLIGHT & VIDEOS: November 2018 ACTION Film Festival

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:

BEST FILM: The Rose Garden

BEST PERFORMANCES: The Hobbyist

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: 2.5 Million

BEST MUSIC: The Door

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

ACTORNovel Transcript READING: THE ADVENTURES OF LARSON AND GARRETT by Aaron Dennis

festival posterINCALL, 10min., USA, Thriller

festival posterHOODYMAN, 6min., United Arab Emirates, Thriller

festival posterBOONDOGGLE, 11min, UK, Thriller

festival posterLIVING WITH A MONSTER, 4min, Canada, Horror/Comedy

festival posterGOLDBLOODED, 9min., USA, Action/Crime

festival posterTHE ROSE GARDEN, 3min., USA, Thriller/Animation

festival posterTHE DOOR, 5min., USA, Thriller

festival posterTHE HOBBYIST, 8min., USA, Thriller

festival poster2.5 MILLION, 22min., USA, Action/Documentary

LISTEN to our Daily Podcast via iTunes, or go to www.wildsoundpodcast.com

There is an episode about this festival in our archives as we talk about the audience and all the great films we showcased at this event.

The theme of the October 2018 ACTION/THRILLER Film Festival in Toronto was “Self-Confrontation”.

All films were about someone having to confront themselves and who they are in order to get over an obstacle.

This is a personal response to this particular festival. Hours before a sold out crowd gathered together to watch the best of short films from around the world, I had a son. My wife gave birth to a 10LB baby boy, who was two weeks premature, down the street from the Carlton Cinemas at Princess Margaret hospital in downtown Toronto.

So for myself personally, this is a festival that I’m always going to remember. The day Daniel Ross Toffolo was born: November 1, 2018.

See you at the festivals.

– Matthew Toffolo

2.5 MILLION Short Film – Audience FEEDBACK at the Action/Thriller Nov. 2018 Festival

2.5 MILLION, 22min., USA, Action/Documentary
Directed by Tyler Wilkinson-RayA short neo-noire thriller centered around a mysterious druggist visited by Sangstrom, a seemingly ordinary man in search of an undetectable poison. Yet, Sangstrom winds up getting more than he bargained for from the sagacious alchemist.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!