ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: An interview with actor, Boogie Dabney
An interview with actor, Boogie Dabney
You have a short film premiering at the 2012 Charleston International Film Festival called, “Dawn”. What is the film about and where was it filmed?
The film follows a CARPENTER going through the struggles of depression and suicidal thoughts after the loss of his wife who was carrying their child. Then, one night, an outlaw, ELIZABETH BANNISTER, breaks into his cabin after being shot by the bounty hunter, SKINNER. In the CARPENTER’s state of delusion, he believes the outlaw is his wife. The story comes to grips at a standoff on the front porch where the CARPENTER is used as a human shield. We filmed in Paintsville, KY, at The Homestead Place, a national landmark.
Who wrote the screenplay and where did the idea come from?
The screenplay was written by Matthew Fisher and is based on a story written by Josh Helms, J. Tyler Helms, and Joshua David Matthews.
Tell me about your role in the film, what do you like about it?
As I said in the description of the film, the CARPENTER is going through depression and thoughts of suicide due to the loss of his wife and child. Being set in the 1860’s, Josh gave me a list of movies to watch to give me a better idea of the mindset of the times. The one film that spoke to me and I used constantly in building my character was The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It was an amazing test of conveying emotions in a subtle fashion while at the same time striving to push myself to give the audience a believable performance.
How long have you been an actor and what drew you to do this kind of work? Did you go to school for it and if so, where?
I have been consistently acting since 2009. It started out as something I was doing to kill a lot of free time and keep myself out of trouble. I decided to audition for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at The Footlight Players in Charleston and, to my surprise, was asked to play the role of Judas Iscariot. From there, it was role after role….I was hooked. I loved the sense of comradery and the fulfillment of the collaboration between cast AND crew gave me a sense of purpose.
I went to the College of Charleston and graduated with a degree in Theater, but not for acting. I was a Techie. I focused on set design, production, and lighting. So, to be caught on the other side of the camera is quite shocking to some of my old classmates. It does give me a heightened sense of appreciation for all the crew members working on set to make filming go so smoothly.
What do you hope to achieve in your career as an actor?
As an actor, I hope to continue entertaining people in everything I do. When I start to become “boring”, I will know my time is up. I just want to give my all because my fellow cast members, crew members, and audience deserve the best experience possible.
Why is this film important to you?
This film marks my start into film. The beginning of my acting career involved mainly theater. I have done one indie that never came to fruition, one student film for Karina Morazzi, and one short for Thomas Burke Heath. This was my first professional film. The memories and friendships I made during this production will go with me to the grave.
Tell me about the people you worked with on the film. What was it like working with them?
The amount of work we accomplished in one week with such a small crew was incredible.
Joshua David Matthews: Director
Josh was my rock through this film. His constant presence of stability bled through to everyone on set. When things looked like they could go up in flames, he would just talk with everyone and it produced a new flame of desire in everyone. The first night I stepped on set and saw how serious these guys were I had a minor panic attack. He pulled me aside and reassured me that he wouldn’t trust any of the characters of his film to just anybody. I had such a deep level of trust in his direction and vision that I almost didn’t have to act.
Michael Lloyd: Director of Photography
Lloyd was a thrill to watch and a class in its self on how to organize a team and deliver a solid product. His level of professionalism surpassed a “student film” production. His knowledge made the schedule on set so much more efficient. Plus, he had an extremely talented group of electricians and grips that were working themselves as hard as possible to keep changeover times down to a minimum.
Wesley Grant Flemming: Executive Producer
Wes was insane. I want to say he only slept for a total of 8 hours when we were in Paintsville. He is the definition of dependable. After the first night of filming, the crew got back to the hotel around 10-10:30. He got word soon after that the fire truck we were using to hoist our condor in the air had broken down, so he went back to set to see what they could do to fix the problem. When they couldn’t fix it, he personally went out and rented a Genie lift so we would be able to stay on schedule for the following night. And then he was out there busting his ass just as hard as any other person that did get sleep that night.
Crystal Ann Ghanem: Hair, Make-up, Costume, Special Effects
Crystal was the cast’s care taker. She was our in between for the set and holding as well as the costume designer, hair, make up, and even did some fake wounds. Her costume design was crucial for us, as actors, to really be able to feel the time period.
Vanessa Smith: Production Design
Vanessa was the other pivotal element that helped us transport ourselves back in time to really feel what things were like back in those days. Though the location made her job easier, her attention to detail really brought us into the location and I started to feel like it was my home.
Kevin Ray: Editor
Kevin was actually on set with us, so he was editing while we filmed since we were filming on the RED camera. They would take the full memory packs to his little office he set up, he would dump it onto two hard drives, and then it was off to work. He was able to produce daily’s for the crew at the end of each shoot. We actually were able to sit down and watch the first rough cut, which included a soundtrack he put together, about two hours after we wrapped on principal photography. This film was both Josh and his graduate thesis, so they poured their hearts into this production.
Mariah Leath: WIFE
What more can I say about someone so young and so talented. She is a current SCAD student and has a career that will be very successful. She had such an amazing ability to control all of her internal dialogue through her body language and poise.
Laine Comley: ELIZABETH BANNISTER
Lainey was a trip to have on set. Especially for her role. She is so petite and was portraying this badass outlaw. She is a resident in Lexington, KY, and has her own business, Memory Laine, which caters entertainment to children’s parties and other events
Daniel Jones: SKINNER
Danny was a real treat for me to work with. I had a bucket list of film actors in Charleston that I wanted to work with once I decided to try this and he was at the top of that list….I learned decades worth of knowledge from him through his past experiences and he molded me into a much wiser actor. I could never thank him enough for all that he has done for me and hope to work with him again. He will be moving out to LA in the next month or so.
What other festivals will “Dawn” be premiering in?
The Charleston International Film Festival is from April 11-15 and “Dawn” will be shown at Cinebarre on Sunday, April 15th, Block 2 ~ 1:00pm
For information and tickets, visit www.charlestoninternationalfilmfestival.org
It has also been submitted to many other film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival.
As an actor, do you have any advice you’d like to give to aspiring actors?
My biggest bit of advice to any aspiring actors would be to always be yourself at all times. Make as many friends and contacts you can when you are on set, they will be your biggest promoters you can have. If you make a good impression on fellow actors AND your film crews, they will push you further than any resume can. ESPECIALLY film crews. They work on more films than most actors and they are always in collaboration with directors and producers. If you make a good impression, work hard, get your shit done, and make the set an enjoyable experience you will constantly be getting referenced and suggested for bigger and better things.
For more information about actor, Boogie Dabney, you can check out his website:
For more information about the movie, “Dawn” you can find it directly on the website: