Bad Decisions Scene 1-4 Complete

Scenes 1-4 of Bad Decisions are complete! Last night we shot scene 3 and it was straight fire! Simply excellent performances from newcomers Mike Taylor and Mark Williams (go Army strong!), and the usual powerful delivery from veteran Dru Scott. Many thanks to Willie ‘Buddy’ Marshal doing double duty as grip and boom. And a super special thanks to my wife Bonita Starkey: What can I say, you’ve donned roles from Lead Actress, Casting Director, Executive Producer, Assistant Director! This production simply would not have happened if it weren’t for your tireless effort and dedication! Love ya for life baby ūüíôūüíúūüíôūüíú! Scenes 5 and 6 are a coming and we can wrap this!

Bad Decisions Casting Call


Title: Bad Decisions
Written and Directed by: Ed Starkey
Produced by: LuxShots Films
Location: Trumbull and Mahoning County
Category: Short Film
Budget: Indie Film, self funded. no pay.
Timeline: Principal shooting starting May 13th, 2017.

Synopsis: Jade and Shawn are an upper middle class couple who fall from grace into a pit of despair! On their last dime, they must choose from a list of bad decisions that test their morality and their dignity.

We are currently holding casting for the following roles:

Lead Roles:

Jade Hightower:¬†Mid 30’s early 40’s. Sophisticated and classy. ¬†(Role Cast)
Shawn Jackson:¬†Mid 30’s to early 40’s. Intelligent, handsome and the fiance of Jade Hightower.¬†(Role Cast)
Aaron Burrows: Mid 30’s to early 40’s. Arrogant and brash lady’s man. Ex-lover of Jade.¬†(Role Cast)
Andre Young:¬†Mid 30’s to early 40’s. A cold-hearted mid-level street pusher who likes¬†he’s upper class.¬†(Role Cast)
Beauty Mi: Late 20’s to mid 30’s. A kind and witty stripper working at the G spot.¬†No nudity or pole dancing, just wear a bikini.
Lady Diane: Late 40’s to Late 50’s. Owner of the G spot strip club. Money hungry and scandalous.
Joey Williams: Mid 20’s to mid 30’s. A street thug.¬†Grimy. ¬†(Role Cast)

Supporting Roles:

Home Owner:¬†Late 30’s to early 50’s.¬†(Role Cast)
Bodyguard 1:¬†Mid to Late 30’s. Mean and intimidating. 6ft+ tall. 250lbs. Bodyguard of Andre Young.¬†¬†(Role Cast)
Bodyguard 2:¬†Mid to Late 30’s. Mean and intimidating. 6ft+ tall. 250lbs. Bodyguard of Andre Young.
Bodyguard 3:¬†Mid to Late 30’s. Security officer for a mob boss.¬†(Role Cast)
Bodyguard 4:¬†Mid to Late 30’s. Security officer for a mob boss.

VERY IMPORTANT: For consideration, send a headshot, the role your applying for and a contact phone number to Call LuxShots at 888.539.5530 for more info.

Bad Decisions in Pre-Production!!

Been working on this for most of the year, and now were ready to get this ball rolling! 


It’s really incredible finally getting this project off of the ground! There is soooo much left to do, but that’s what adrenaline is for! To keep you focused on the task at hand such as set design, lighting, blocking, table reads, costume, location scouting and casting. Did I forget to mention something? I’m sure I did!


Synopsis: Jade and Shawn are an upper middle class couple who fall from grace into a pit of despair! On their last dime, they must choose from a list of bad decisions that test their morality and their dignity.


Ashley and Jared

Having done a fair amount of wedding photography and videography, I can attest that video is the medium of choice for reliving the client’s most important moment of their lives. But the ability for the medium to have such power comes with the price of increased difficulty.

Although the full deliverables to the clients were around 40 minutes long, weddings are one of the most personal, private and sacred events between a couple, and they should be cherished. Thankfully, with the couple’s permission, I bring you their wedding trailer.

Getting Ready For Corporate Clients

This stock image has a simple 2:1 ratio with key camera left. It invokes confidence in her and her teams abilities.

Although I have done plenty of narrative projects that worked out really well, I didn’t have the equipment to handle the demands of corporate clientele. This is primarily due to the differences in the intent of the subject matter and the messaging direction to the viewer.

Narrative drama and thriller works can have an edgy, gritty feel to them which plays well with:

  • Hard light sources, like open face and Fresnel.
  • Creative use of colored gels to complement the story.
  • Handheld camera use of un-stabilized shoulder rigs to jar the audience in action sequences.
  • Most talent upstage lit for better modeling.
  • Plenty of time to do lighting setup (relative to the time afforded you on corporate shoots).
  • Freedom to stretch the truth to support the story!

Corporate works have very different requirement that result in very different equipment needs such as:

  • Soft light sources, like Kino-Flo, or diffused LED light panels. Looks good on the subject.
  • Diffusion panels to turn hard lights soft.
  • Accurate color is highly desirable when representing products.
  • Present¬†honesty and trustworthiness about the subject, which usually means downstage lighting and traditional three point with a background light (possibly cookied).
  • Invoke action in the viewer so they can buy the clients products and services. This is quite possibly the hardest part, but that has to do with the client wanting to do the writing, when they aren’t professional script/advert writers. The last thing in the world you want is this beautiful visual you’ve sculpted to be marred by corny narration!
  • Setup must be slightly longer than instantaneous but no longer than the time to grab a cup of coffee! These clients are really busy, and they don’t have twenty minutes to sit in place while you get your lighting ratio’s dialed in. You must come in the room quickly asses lighting placement. From rolling in to setting up for rough placement needs to take 15 minutes or less.
  • Next is some equipment you must have, but you can’t rent it or buy it. You must present assurance¬†and confidence to the subject so he can deliver the same to the public, even though they aren’t the trained talent your used to working with.¬†If this point fails, its no matter if you nailed all the previous points. You will never, ever get hired by the client again, and very well may have your name dragged through the mud, thus losing future clients.


Problems Untold Trailer

Here is a quick trailer for a short film shot in the Fall of 2015. Learned a lot about production, scheduling, story boarding and managing cast and crew. I look forward to working with everyone again for a project in the future.

This was shot on the Panasonic GH4 using a Sigma 18-35mm on a Speedbooster. Footage aquired in V-Log-L to an Atomos Ninja 2 video recorder, edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Color Graded in Adobe Speed Grade. Muzzle flash special effects done in Adobe After Effects.

Warning: NSFW due to language and subject matter.