Greenville filmmaker Chris White likes to keep busy. White, along with his wife and filmmaking partner Emily Reach-White, were fresh of their city-by-city filmmaking tour of their award winning feature film Cinema Purgatorio when they decided to move full speed ahead with their current production. “As my wife Emily and I wait to secure funding for our next feature, we thought it’d be fun to make a series of short films with our family, friends, and favorite collaborators” says White. The result is Unbecoming, a five-film anthology shot over the summer of 2015. The teaser premieres online today.
The project navigates an assortment of narratives that revolve around themes of personal devolution and change. They include a retired U.S. Senator with a dark secret, an in-school suspension that leads to a teacher with a captive audience of one, two lost souls’ unlikely meeting at a roadside diner, the stomach-churning memory of True Love lost, and a father’s last will and testament passed on via workshop mixtape.
White began raising funds for Unbecoming through an Indie Go-Go campaign in June of 2015. On June 22nd of 2015 the film was fully funded. “There is no commercial objective with Unbecoming,” he explains. “It was meant to be a playground to try an artistic endeavor, but there were still expenses. The Indiegogo campaign was a way for me to go to friends and long time supporters of my work and ask for their support and let me play with this idea.”
Additionally, White had a growing desire to work with veteran actors on a project. “I had worked with a number of known actors on other people’s projects but not my own. You realize why these actor’s have and continue to work—because they are really good at their craft.” As a result, Chris and Emily reached out two to veteran actors who they had previous relationships with.
The film stars Andy Warhol discovery Patti D’Arbanville, who got her start career in the art pop pioneer’s Flesh and L’Amour. Her long career features a mix of television and film credits that include Modern Problems, Real Genius, Miami Vice and Woody Allen’s Celebrity. Starring with D’Arbanville is Michael Forest. Forest may be remembered as the Greek god Apollo in the Star Trek episode “Who Mourns for Adonis?” His 60 year film and television career spans such notable projects as The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, Amarcord and Cast Away.
Chris and Emily had a previous relationship with D’Arbanville, so they approached her about starring in the film during a visit to North Carolina. Forest was a tougher get, as he had largely been retired from television and film, only visiting fan conventions for his Star Trek connection, although he did take a recent turn appearing in Vic Mignogna’s Star Trek Continues series. “I had met Michael while working on Star Trek Continues” says White of the connection. “He was interested in the project but wanted to be talked into it.” Additional cast includes Aaron Belz, Teri Parker Lewis, Bill Mazzella and Lilly Nelson. All five films were shot and produced within a short drive of the White’s home in Greenville.
Unbecoming’s theatrical premiere is Sunday, April 3rd at the wonderfully historic Tryon Theater in Tryon, North Carolina. Future screenings will be announced as they are scheduled.
To buy tickets to the Tryon premiere: