So, you want to make a movie? DEAD LAYER is a passion project I started writing about 7 years ago. It went through many names, drafts, and versions. It ended up as a TV pilot in 2016. A few people came across it and gave us the typical ”you’re not on our level” treatment, but we mushed on! I called my friend Dechen Thurman, a friend and fellow actor, who of course has a wildly famous sister: Uma. Dechen heard my pitch and sent my script to Vivian Thibes, girlfriend of Michael Douglas’ son, Cameron Douglas. Cameron had a start in films, but had a personal turn for the worse and was caught up with drugs. He served a seven-year prison sentence.
Cameron read the script and called me. I was shocked and curious to come into contact with a man who comes from such a legendary family of Hollywood icons. We met shortly after, and I was struck by that regal Douglas jawline. He could be a lead actor, and I knew it.
I rewrote the script as a feature film, and then further worked it down to a short. Dechen called everyone he knew, and we got lucky enough for a a chance meeting with an angel investor. People were, and are, very intrigued by Cameron’s story and aura. They feel a greatness in his presence. The investor wrote me a check and tossed it casually across the dinner table at me. Eureka! We were in business. I scrambled to assemble a team and my community of friends were excited to come aboard. I got my uncle Josh Mostel, son of Zero, to join the cast. I now had a Douglas, a Thurman, and a Mostel. What could go wrong? My main producer ally was Jenny Paul, a notable up-and-coming actress who is now in the Jeff Daniels mini-series THE LOOMING TOWER and season two of JESSICA JONES. Her company 5lvin was crucial in the logistics of our ambitious shooting schedule. I got a crack camera unit thanks to my friend, Local 600 Jeff Hagerman. He brought us the tech we needed for a picture to look big! My old friend and filmmaking partner Aleksey Reznikov took the helm with me and directed the 15 minute short, which is scored by Vancouver composer Antonio Gradanti and edited by Bennett Springsteel. And most importantly, I would like to say my friend and colleague actress and producer Glenn Isaacs and her brother Graham. They were the glue that held the production together when at times I thought I would lose my mind wearing four hats. A special thank you to them.
Production rolled in December, and we have just finished post. I am currently awaiting film festival responses and also planning my own guerilla marketing campaign for our online release. Also, I am discussing with two companies the possibility of making it as a feature! Fingers crossed. — Carter Winter, Writer/ Creator DEAD LAYER
Website: Follow us on IG: @deadlayerfilm
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