Filmmaker DeWayne Etheridge on Determination

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By Kitty Y. Williams
Originally from Washington, D.C., independent Filmmaker DeWayne Etheridge currently resides in Charlotte, N.C. where he is living out his dreams of Writing, Directing and Producing several independent movies. His journey in filmmaking began after he graduated from high school in 1999 and reached a crossroads in trying to determine what do with his life. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do career wise after finishing school, but I always loved to write stories and watch movies when I was younger. I decided initially to become a music video Director but that was short lived.” Etheridge then made the decision to take his love of writing stories and movies into a career and enrolled in classes at a local cable access channel called CTV in 2002. While there,

he learned the rules of basic camera movements, lighting, editing and sound. In addition, he took what he learned about the proper format of Screenplay writing and began writing his own for a romantic comedy entitled Running Game; unfortunately that project was never completed. However, not one to give in to defeat, DeWayne picked back up and went in a different direction with his aspirations and wrote a horror film entitled House of Pain. Production on the film ran from 2002 to 2003, but being unhappy with the results, that project was scrapped as well. He stepped away from filmmaking for a few years to deal with real life for a while after that. Then in 2012, the determined Director rewrote, recast, reshot and completed his first film now renamed House of Terror which was released on DVD in June 2013. 

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The INDIEgator: Anytime we take the risk to live out our dreams, there are going to be tons of road blocks and distractions in the way trying to slow us down from happiness. DeWayne, what has been your biggest challenge as an independent Filmmaker and how did you overcome it?

DeWayne: My biggest challenge as a Filmmaker has been working without a lot of money. All of my projects have had very low budgets but I have somehow managed to complete two feature films and one short film in the past three years. That’s why I get annoyed when people try to compare one of my films with a Hollywood film or an independent film with a bigger budget. People forget to consider the fact that I put all of my own money into my films. I don’t have any investors or sponsors. I have sacrificed a lot to get my films made and will continue to do so. I feel as though when you are truly passionate about something then you will find a way to make it happen, with or without a lot of money.

The INDIEgator: Tell us about your most successful production to date and the feedback you received from viewers.

DeWayne: Well, my most successful production to date is probably a short

Horror/Suspense film entitled Stalker. I wrote, produced and directed this short film in 2013, releasing it in January of 2014. It has received the most positive reviews out of all the projects I’ve completed so far.

The INDIEgator: What role has your family and friends played in your success so far?

DeWayne: My family initially thought that my aspirations of becoming a Filmmaker were just talk, but they have been very supportive now that they see how serious I am about it. My mother and father are the biggest supporters and promoters of my films.

The INDIEgator: Share with us briefly something special about each one of your films including what inspired them, or a challenge you overcame, or an unexpected surprise during the production process.

DeWayne: During production on House of Terror, the cast changed several times as people kept dropping out of the project. I did about three months of pre-production on the film and as soon as filming began, I had to replace the lead role as well as two other principal roles. It was a major headache to try and find Actors at the very last minute. Then there were a lot

of issues with Actors’ schedules as they had to work and deal with real life situations. I also had to go back and reshoot a lot of scenes that had already been shot because there were new Actors in those roles. So it wound up taking a lot longer to finish the project than initially planned. In the end I finished the film and even though it’s not perfect, I’m still proud of it.

With my second film The Dead Don’t Die, I had several challenges as well that I overcame somehow. Halfway through production I ran out of money and thought that I wasn’t going to be able to finish the movie. Fortunately a few people looked out for me and we were able to complete the project. The inspiration for this project actually came from a scene in House of Terror. Two of the main characters were watching an old film called The Dead Don’t Die and then I decided to make an entire feature out of that. I had a lot of fun shooting that movie and love the characters that I wrote in that film.

The INDIEgator: Do you have any specific qualities that you look for when casting people for a DeWayne Etheridge project?

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About the author

Kitty Y. Williams
Since moving to Houston, CEO Kitty Y. Williams (MissKittyTV Networks, LLC) has brought positive media exposure to Entertainers, Business Owners, Authors, Filmmakers, Community Leaders and other unique individuals Worldwide. Beginning with MissKittyTV in 2006, she filmed exclusive interviews, showcases, web cam episodes and events around the city, sharing with the world via YouTube. In 2007 she started her Kitty Williams LIVE radio broadcast on BlogTalkRadio, interviewing guests and showcasing music from several independent entertainers. (Read More on LinkedIn)

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  • This was a fun interview with a lot of knowledge. I think people will truly enjoy getting to know the mind behind this Director and how he overcame several challenges in order to live his dream. DeWayne is inspiring.

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