TYPE: Narrative Short
Enslaved to a gothic, Victorian house of the underworld, an orphan plots her escape but is haunted by the secrets lurking within the house.
"Solus" is the story of Lulu, a young girl who is enslaved to a house of the underworld where she is forced to lure souls to feed to the house. Only when she delivers the most valuable soul will she be released into the underworld to rescue her father from eternal punishment. It explores oppression, guilt and isolation in the rich setting of the traditional gothic ghost story intermingled with elements of fantasy and suspense.
"A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world." -Alan Rickman
That single statement explains why we are all here. It's why most of us on this project are volunteering our time and talents, and it's why you're reading this right now. In some way, stories have made an impact on all of us by inspiring change, offering us comfort, or challenging us to stretch our minds to consider the possibility of the impossible. We believe that stories have the power to change the world, and we've poured that belief into this project.
As in my first dark fantasy, "Avarice," this film is a testament to the deep dedication of the team members working on the project. Elaborate settings, the clever use of practical and digtial effects, meticulously planned cinematography, and the fascinating exploration of humanity through the eyes of a very talented cast are only the beginning. With each passing day, the possibilities of the story and the world grow, and we continue to challenge ourselves to deliver the most impactful and entertaining film that we can.
We love what we do, but even more so, we love sharing that experience with you. Movies are meant to be a collaborative experience, and our excitement grows with every person who wants to be part of that. Join us in the making of this film, and together, we will make a meaningful and exciting film in which we can all be proud.
Stephen Hildreth - Director of Photography
Stephen's accolades include feature film Lights, Camera, Bullsh*t and many short films including "Brain Maggots from Outer Space" and "The Plight of Mayor Huxtable." His attention to detail and creative intuition are among his many qualities, but most importantly, he is constantly striving to improve the quality of the project and works tirelessly into the night. His dependability has anchored itself as a rock for all of us.
Chad M. Irwin - Production Designer
Chad's career in production design began with the visually stunning fantasy film, “Avarice,” in 2010 and has since worked on “Remedy,” “After Light,” “Returns,” and the feature film Lights, Camera, Bullsh*t. His previous experience designing sets for Memphis
theater productions for Voices of the South, Germantown Community Theater, Our Own Voice, and various public art projects including The
Memphis Urban Art Commission have prepared him to build film sets with detail and vision. He is a person with the ability to create something beautiful from nothing and will dazzle audiences with the worlds within his mind.
Eric Quick - Production Designer
Eric is the owner of Midsouth Effects in Memphis, TN and has created prosthetics and props for multiple film projects such as the science fiction short, "After Light" and numerous theatre productions across the country. He currently resides in Memphis with his wife Chloe York, and their cat, Buttercup.
Rachel M. Taylor - Producer/Writer/Director
Rachel's interest in stories led her into the realm of film where she discovered the world of “Avarice,” her first award-winning dark fantasy. With movies as the greatest influence in her life, she quickly leapt after the dream of creating meaningful and entertaining films to share that same positive influence with
Bob Friedstand - Visual Effects Artist
A visual effects veteran, Bob has worked on major projects such as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I Was a Zombie for the FBI, and ZZ Top’s music video “TV Dinners." Growing up in the 50s, he was a rabid fan of visual effects and absorbed any information he could get his hands on. Experimenting until he knew enough to get his first job, he has been growing in the world of visual effects ever since and has never looked back. With a library full of Ray Harryhausen books and other effects gurus, his love of great monster movies makes him a perfect fit for "Solus."
Brighid Wheeler - Producer
After working in various leadership and programming capacities for film festivals for close to 10 years (Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, Birmingham, AL, Indie Memphis Film Festival, Memphis, TN), and currently as senior account manager for a Memphis-based web design firm, Brighid's organized approach to project management has primed her for her first role as producer on an independent film.
Kenton Smith - Composer
Kenton is a free-lance composer, producer, songwriter, mixer, guitarist and vocalist. He has studied film scoring at UCLA, has fronted several bands and has worked with various artists as producer, engineer and mixer.
He is best known for his large, multi-layered soundscapes that often include elements of textural / ambient guitar and hints of industrial sound design.
Kent has worked on various projects including film-score for several Los Angeles and Memphis based short and feature length films, documentaries, corporate films and audio logo designs for various international corporations.
Haley Parker - "Lulu"
Haley began her acting career at seven years old, starring in award-winning films such as “Fresh Skweezed,” “Avarice,” and “A Rain Remembered.” Winner of the best actress award in New Port Beach Film Festival, Haley worked alongside actresses such as Sarah Hagan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) in the Sundance film Jess + Moss. Her range of experience stretches from fantasy to dramatic roles where she never fails to enchant audiences. She works hard and lights up every room she enters. This is her second collaboration with director Rachel M. Taylor.
Joseph Carr - "Mark"
Joseph is an actor and filmmaker living in Memphis, TN. His acting credits include Feral,"How to Skin a Cat," "The Department of Signs and Magical Interventions," and the 2015 48 Hour Film Fest winner "Missed Connections." He has also performed in several stage shows including Claws and 8: The Play. Fearless with a boyish charm, he's someone who is always in your corner but never ceases to surprise you.
Gregory W. Boller - "Lulu's Father"
Greg is an enthusiastic member of the Memphis Theatre Community. Greg is a teaching artist at Playhouse on the Greg is a Teaching Artist at Playhouse on the Square where he teaches beginning and advanced adult acting.
As an actor, Greg's favorite roles include Sec. McNamara and Sen. Easton in All The Way (Playhouse on the Square; 2016), C.P. Ellis in Best of Enemies (Circuit Playhouse; 2014); Joe Keller in All My Sons (Germantown Community Theatre; 2015); Richard in Richard III (Theatre Memphis; 2011), Titus in Titus Andronicus (New Moon Theatre at Theatre Works; 2015) Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire (Theatre Memphis; 2004), The Creature in Frankenstein (New Moon Theatre at Theatre Works, 2013) and Kent in King Lear (New Moon Theatre at Theatre Works; 2012). Greg is currently rehearsing the role of Claudius in Hamlet (opening February at Theatre Works).
Greg is an avid (and eternally injured) tennis player, a struggling musician (he plays the guitar, didgeridoo and the djembe), and a brooding vegetarian cook. Greg is married, and has two daughters.
Syderek Watson - "The Conductor"
Notably known for his role of William Malone in the NLUVWITU stage series, he currently plays the role of Junior on the TV drama The City of Crosses. Syderek has trained with Corey Parker who is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio in New York city, and LA casting director Risa Bramon Garcia. Along with his current role he has appeared in TV commercials and Indie Films such as, Broke D*ck Dog as Calvin, Free In Deed as a Police Officer, 5 Steps to a Conversation as Emerson, After Light as Dr. Jay Banks, and Lights, Camera, and B* as President Wilson. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, trying new foods, and traveling to new places.
Laura Jean Hocking - Producer/UPM/Editor
Laura Jean Hocking is a Memphis filmmaker best known for producing and editing Antenna (2012 Indie Memphis Audience Choice Best Documentary Feature and Special Jury Award, 2013 Oxford FIlm Festival Special Jury Award) and Automusik Can Do No Wrong (2004 Indie Memphis Best Local Feature) as well as the popular feature Eat (2006) with her husband C. Scott McCoy and Oddly Buoyant Productions. In 2012 she worked with filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox on director Craig Brewer’s Indie Origins as well as the DVD extras for The Poor and Hungry. Since 2013 she has worked with Grammy winning writer/director Robert Gordon (Best of Enemies, Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story) on various projects, including videos for the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Country Trail. She has directed music videos for Memphis Dawls, John Kilzer and New Intruders and edited music videos for such artists as Frazey Ford, Oblivians, Tina Harris and Caleb Sweazy. Early in 2015 she edited several episodes of Morgan Jon Fox’s web series Feral. Also in 2015 she completed editing and associate producing Bad, Bad Men for Old School Pictures, editing “Carbike” for Cat & Fish Productions, winner of the 2014 Indie Grant from Indie Memphis, editing bonus material for the Best of Enemies DVD/Blu-Ray and directing/editing an experimental short, “Andromeda and the Sea Monster”. She and C. Scott McCoy won the 2015 Indie Grant from Indie Memphis for their short film “How to Skin a Cat” which also won the 2016 Indie Memphis Audience Award for Best Hometowner Narrative Short. She is currently in production with Melissa Anderson Sweazy and Sarah Fleming on a documentary about a Memphis grief counseling center; “A.J.”, the first piece from that project, won the 2016 Indie Memphis Jury prize for Best Hometowner Documentary Short. She is also in pre-production with Rachel M. Taylor on her fantasy short, “Solus”.
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