Caitlin McCarthy was named as a Woman to Watch by IMAGINE Magazine five years ago. Caitlin McCarthy earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best graduate programs in the country.
An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has written feature screenplays including: “Wonder Drug,” the story we are featuring here and now is heading into production with Rhino Films and producer Stephen Nemeth and previously a “Featured Script” on The Black List website, Bitch List honoree, and among the Top fifty screenplays and Top ten highest scoring women in the 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition (out of 7,302 entries); and “A Native Land,” Academy Nicholl Top 10% and promoted as a “highly-rated script” by The Black List website.
In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an Acting MCAS/ Assessment Specialist at a high-poverty urban public high school with universal free breakfast and lunch. Before advancing to this position, she taught English Language Arts for sixteen years at the same school in Worcester, Massachusetts.
She was crowned senior prom queen at Worcester Academy, alma mater of legendary composer Cole Porter, Sixties icon Abbie Hoffman, and “Durango Kid” Charles Starrett.
CUT THROAT CITY, Starring Shameik Moore, Kat Graham, Ethan Hawke and Terrence Howard and Directed by RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan in theaters April 10th.
The theatrical release for CUT THROAT CITY starring Terrence Howard, Eiza González, Wesley Snipes, Denzel Whitaker, Ethan Hawke, Shameik Moore, T.I., Kat Graham, Robb Morgan and Demetrius Shipp Jr. is slated for April 10th, 2020. The film is produced through Massachusetts Native Sean Lydiard’s company Rumble Riot, distributed by Well Go USA and directed by legendary member of the Wu-Tang Clan and esteemed film director, RZA.
This dramatic thriller follows a group of young men who return to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Receiving no help from FEMA, they turn to local gangsters for help. Out of options, the four boyhood friends reluctantly accept an offer to pull off a dangerous heist in the heart of New Orleans.
The script of CUT THROAT CITY made its rounds through Hollywood for years before Sean helped bring it to life.
Sean, a country boy from Southwick, Massachusetts, who grew up riding dirt bikes and playing basketball, has built a career for himself by producing feature films such as OFFICE UPRISING (2018) starring Brenton Thwaites and Jane Levy, and WAKEFIELD (2016) starring Bryan Cranston. He maintains his relationship with New England through his brother and creative collaborator Noah Lydiard, who owns a commercial production company in Back Bay named Conductor Productions. CUT THROAT CITY is the sixth feature film produced by Lydiard’s Rumble Riot.
Sean Lydiard p.g.a. came to Hollywood through the world of finance. He was formerly the Vice President of Institutional Business Development at MBT Institutional, a division of MB Trading. Prior to joining MBT Institutional, Mr. Lydiard was a securities trader for the Electronic Trading Group in New York. He began his finance career in the “30 Year Treasury Pit” at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). Mr. Lydiard was an active member of the Securities Traders Association of Los Angeles. He received his BA in Finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has held his Series 3, 7, 24, 55 and 63 industry licenses.
Because of his strong financial background and connections, Mr. Lydiard transitioned from Wall Street to film finance rather quickly. Lydiard has earned credits for the following movies: Daniel Alfredson’s BLACKWAY, starring Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles, Ray Liotta and Alexander Ludwig. Robin Swicord’s WAKEFIELD, starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner. DAISY WINTERS, starring Brooke Shields, Iwan Rheon, Carrie Preston and featuring Sterling Jerins. And STEALING CARS, starring Emory Cohen, William H. Macy and John Leguizamo.
Sean Lydiard p.g.a. launched “Rumble Riot Pictures,” a full-service film production company with Elliott Michael Smith p.g.a. Rumble Riots goal is to bring stories to life by empowering creatives to come together and create art.
The combined efforts of Smith and Lydiard first proved out in Rumble Riot’s Cult hit OFFICE UPRISING, produced by Sean Lydiard p.g.a. and is now featured on Sony Crackle domestically and worldwide on Netflix and Amazon. OFFICE UPRISING stars Brenton Thwaites (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, MALEFICENT), Jane Levy (DON’T BREATH, MONSTER TRUCKS), Ian Harding (PRETTY LITTLE LIARS) Zack Levy (SHAZAM) and many others.
Lydiard was awarded the p.g.a. mark for his work on CUT THROAT CITY and is next set to produce the award winning script “Sunflower” co-written and directed by his brother Noah Lydiard. Additional projects include the horror comedy Don’t Bite! The Anna Faris comedy, Summer Madness, and Priority Records, a biopic based on the iconic rap record label of the same name.
CUT THROAT CITY is set to be released in theaters April 10th, 2020. For more information about Rumble Riot Pictures visit www.rumbleriot.com. or view the film’s IMDB entry here.
Last year Women in Film and Video-New England (WIFVNE) decided to do something bold – feature a woman a day working in the film industry for Women’s History Month. WIFVNE Board member Chuck Slavin came up with the idea and the board sprang into action, featuring thirty-one women on the WIFVNE website and social media with the popular hashtag #HerStory. This year WIFVNE is doing it again! WIFVNE will feature women working in New England and maybe include a female from our filmmaking history too.
WIFVNE was also marking the month by supporting a special event on March 28th: WGBH and WORLD Channel Present – A Day of Documentaries: Celebrating Storytellers. Like many other industry events this day of celebration has been cancelled due to the uncertainties of the coronavirus.
Why make such a fuss about Women’s History Month? Why is it needed? Or is it? The month has its origins as a national celebration when in 1981 Congress authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Coincidentally or not, this coincides with the Girl Scouts of the USA’s celebration of their organization (the largest leadership organization for girls in the world) including their birthday on March 12th. Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.
Some women do not like the idea of dedicated months for celebration of any kind. The token month can be lumped in with the “pink” tax and gendered job labels such as “female” scientist instead of just calling a woman a scientist. However, there are real tangible reasons to have a celebration and recognition in this way. Soraya L. Chemaly, an awardwinning writer and activist whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture, politics, religion, and media sums it up this way:
“Women’s History Month, like Black History Month, is a pragmatic, short-term response to persistent cultural marginalization and misrepresentation. It’s an antidote to systemic erasure. It’s an attempt to both create representation and explain why it’s important.”
While we pause to celebrate women this month, every day organizations like WIFVNE are promoting and working on changing culture, and on the massive issues around systemic erasure of women in the film industry.. The Me Too and Times Up movements certainly do not wait for a calendar date to make change in our society. We can simply think of March at the anniversary of those efforts.
Chemaly wrote that summary in an article in 2014. She concluded with the very real sentiment: “Boys and girls shouldn’t be taught that the achievements of women are special—they should be taught that they are standard.”
What advice would you give to a new female filmmaker? WIFVNE members respond:
“Believe in yourself. Find your voice and amplify it. I got a lot of pushback when I started out that fed on my insecurities. The minute I chose to trust my vision, others did, too. It’s okay to be strong and know what you want–go for it!” says Gabrielle Rosson.
“Build each other up, walk away when other people want to tear other women down and be the mentor you wish you had” according to Charlie Alejandro.
My advice to a new female filmmaker is to remember to have fun. I feel that we all get so embedded in our work that we forget to enjoy the process. Making films as an independent artist is really intense, but so worth it!” adds Jessica Estelle Huggins.
Take risks, persist, don’t take no for answer, and believe in your ability to learn on the job,” contributes Cheryl Eagan-Donovan.
One day, having any month dedicated to women’s history will seem unnecessary. Until then, Happy Women’s History Month.
In the interest of celebrating Women’s History Month, IMAGINE has included several images that cannot fail to impress.
For more information about Women in Film & Video, New England, visit www.wifvne.org.
In this troubling and challenging time of the coronavirus, we need to “imagine” once again, with all our might that this shall pass, that we will all be safe, and sooner or later, we will return to our calling. Again, we must manifest our imaginations collectively as a novel virus is not a level playing field by any means. But, we can do it. I’m planning a big celebration as soon as it is safe for us to be together again. And, as we need cash flow to sustain (we still have lots of work to do in behalf of our industry), I am offering reservations for this event for $22 – it will be much more when the time comes, but make no mistake, it will be an elegant and special celebration everyone will want to attend.
In a time when the advertising and production industries are experiencing changing business models and increasing competition, one thing remains true: If you succeed in working with your client to significantly and efficiently grow their business they will keep coming back. Case in point: Boston Back Bay’s Conductor Productions and Fanatics.com.
In 2018, Fanatics called Conductor Productions looking to boost their presence on the national stage and their overall sales. Conductor had proved themselves in the sports/celebrity arena having previously worked with sports celebrities like Tom Brady along with golfers Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele, to name a few.
Recognizing the opportunity, Conductor Productions got to produce their first campaign with Fanatics and it was quickly embraced.
The requirements were to conceive and create a broadcast campaign to celebrate the fans, highlight the apparel and provide a greater return on investment ( ROI).
They had to strategize a plan to efficiently shoot fan gear from all the major brands, leagues and teams (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL)
It was also requested by Fanatics that they provide multiple national spots as well as market-specific versions to run locally in their top fifteen sales markets. In addition, there was a need to quickly and easily update creative to accommodate multiple offers, which would be tested in order to optimize media and (ROI).
Quickly moving forward in their creative design, Conductor built and lit staging that looks like an authentic entrance to a sports stadium. The set was created to be reusable so that they could organize multiple shoots throughout various sports seasons over and over.
Using scores of models and actors to portray fans in hundreds of different outfits with the scalable production workflow was critical to the final delivery and any future spots. This enabled Conductor to continually update Fanatics library of footage within each shoot. From there, the post-production team of editors and designers took over and created spot after spot for all channels.
Using 2017 Sportscaster of the year Kevin Harlan and Emmy Award Winner Mike “Doc” Emrick as voiceover talent along with music from Grammy Award Winners, Greta Van Fleet; the impact was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. The first shoot went off in April of 2018 and has continued with fresh work into this year.
“We were honored to be competing against much more established companies for the business, so that helped focus our resolve.” said Co-Owner and Director of Conductor Productions, Noah Lydiard. “We won by listening to the client and valuing their investment as though it was our own. By understanding what was at stake for them, we were able come up with a unique and efficient style that generates massive amounts of sales without compromising the company’s brand.”
When the spots launched, Fanatics realized and reported robust and exciting heightened brand awareness, increased visitors to their websites and more importantly, they got a drastic and immediate boost to their sales revenue. In fact, they reported six times more effectiveness than comparative league spots in 2018.
This further led to a full campaign rollout, with expansion into Canada and other key international television markets continuing well into 2019. Television spots with known sports celebrities such as, Tedy Bruschi, Mark Messier, Ed Reed, and Jim Kelly, as well as Sportscaster and television personality Erin Andrews were also created.
With over 300 television commercials, roughly 120 Social media posts and radio ads, the proof was in the pudding as they say, culminating in spots for the Stanley Cup championships, the Super Bowl and the NBA Finals.
We are starting to look at new designs and strategies for the campaign, but currently the creative continues to grow in effectiveness. It just goes to show the value of good team and honest, hardworking creative,” stated Noah Lydiard whose team included Ryan Donavon, SVP of Marketing at Fanatics and Scott McKinnon, Producer and Copywriter at Conductor Productions.
Caitlin McCarthy’s thriller A NATIVE LAND has won Best Feature Screenplay at the 2020 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival (also known as the Lindsey Film Festival). In A NATIVE LAND, a black Native American cop battles local prejudice, personal troubles, and her own police force while trying to uncover a serial killer on the loose.
Caitlin is a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, and is represented by legendary manager Barry Krost of Barry Krost Management. Krost is well known in the entertainment industry, both as a literary manager and producer. He has been involved in the careers of some of the entertainment industry’s leading talents, including Cat Stevens, Angela Lansbury, Richard Gere, Liza Minnelli, Peter Finch, Joan Collins, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jackie Collins, Michael Scott, Stuart Ross, John Osborne, and Lynn Mamet.
Caitlin was inspired to write A NATIVE LAND because she is of Métis descent through her Huron/Abenaki/French Canadian ancestry. Caitlin’s 8th great grandmother, Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manitouabeouich (1624-1665), was the daughter of Roch Manitouabeouich (a Huron) and Oueou Outchibahanoukoueou (an Abenaki). When Marie married Martin Prevost, Caitlin’s 8th great grandfather, it was the first recorded marriage between a Native person and a French person in Canada.
Caitlin is a member of the Métis Federation of Canada, and holds a Certificate of Aboriginal Status card through the Ontario Métis Family Records Center (OMFRC). She is very proud of her Native ancestry – but out of respect for those who are enrolled in a Nation and/or experience prejudice as a Native, she only checks the “Caucasian” box and never tries to muscle in on opportunities designed for Native artists.
With A NATIVE LAND, Caitlin’s intention is to create opportunities for Native artists through the leading roles of Roxanne Jones and her brother Christian. Actor Adam Beach’s words about the exclusion of Natives in casting resonated with Caitlin. Since every film starts with the script, Caitlin is in a position to be the change by creating characters who must be played by Natives.
As part of the prize, Caitlin received an all-expenses-paid trip to the Lindsey Film Festival held March 5 – 7 just before unnecessary travel and avoiding large gatherings was recommended. The festival is hosted each year by the University of North Alabama in Florence, one of the four cities comprising the culturally rich Shoals. The festival was founded by celebrated entertainer George Lindsey, along with the late Communications professor Bobby Hurt and now retired Director of University Relations Bill Jarnigan. George Lindsey is well known for his role of Goober Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show and many other credits in television, including episodes of Hee Haw, The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Gunsmoke, MAS*H, and as the host of Turner South’s Emmy award-winning Liars & Legends.
Since 1998, the Lindsey Film Festival has exhibited independent films from across the world. Special guests have included Oscar winners Billy Bob Thornton and Ernest Borgnine; actors Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), James Tolkan (BACK TO THE FUTURE and TOP GUN), Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man), Cedric Pendleton (The Shield), Rance Howard (COOL HAND LUKE), and Stephen Root (O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?); and many more.
The Lindsey Film Festival’s awards show will be streamed on “Facebook Live” on March 7, (starting at 7 pm eastern time) at www.facebook.com/GLUNAFF. The awards show will include a reading of a select scene from Caitlin’s thriller A NATIVE LAND. While at the festival, Caitlin will also spoke with students in a Creative Writing Appreciation course at the University of North Alabama.
Caitlin received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best graduate programs in the country. An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has written feature screenplays including: “Wonder Drug,” a “Featured Script” on The Black List website, Bitch List honoree, and Top 50 in the 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition (out of 7,302 entries); “A Native Land,” Academy Nicholl Top 10% and promoted as a “highly-rated script” by The Black List website; and “Resistance,” a script accepted into the exclusive Squaw Valley Screenwriters Program, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Caitlin is also writing/creating the TV series “Free Skate,” named “One to Watch” on WeForShe’s WriteHer List; and partnering on writing/creating the TV series “Pass/Fail” with Jim Forbes (a multiple Emmy, ALMA, AP and Golden Mic award-winning writer, producer, correspondent, and narrator).
Caitlin has been recognized as an “Intelligent Optimist” by Ode Magazine; a “Woman to Watch” by IMAGINE Magazine; a “Person to Watch” by The Pulse Magazine; a “Woman To Watch” by Forty Over 40; and a “Red Sox Most Valuable Educator” twice by the Boston Red Sox.
Caitlin won an MTA Human and Civil Rights Award from the Massachusetts Teachers Association; and a “Service to Community” Alumni Award from Regis College. She was nominated twice (in 2011 and 2012) for a Presidential Citizens Medal for her work on the DES (diethylstilbestrol) tragedy. Caitlin was also a Fellowship Grant Recipient from the Worcester Arts Council; and a finalist for the Artist Fellowships Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which provided her with a financial award. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English Language Arts Instructor at Worcester Technical High School, a high-poverty urban public high school with universal free breakfast and lunch. Prior to education, she worked in public relations, where she fostered relationships with the press and crafted messages for companies that were delivered worldwide.
To learn more about Caitlin, visit www.caitlinmccarthy.com.
Given the present and challenging situation of social distancing and self-isolating to stay safe and healthy, IMAGINE brings you an introduction that will provide filmmakers with an avenue to participate online to learn skills and improve your industry knowledge. If you are missing a one-on-one mentor, this may help. PUB.
New Online Filmmaking Courses with Award-winning & Acclaimed Artists in Sound Design, Color Grading, and Editing Classes are Now Live
Before the age of digital filmmaking, mentorship played a key role in career advancement. Sets, locations, cutting rooms, and mixing studios were hives of creativity and central hubs for passing on techniques, ideas, and war stories. The mentor relationship would solidify skills, foster collaboration and education and create real-world job opportunities. Today, young film professionals are often thrust into positions without having the chance to learn the craft from seasoned veterans at the top of their game.
Filmmaker U was created to help fill this void in the modern-day film industry. This online series brings some of the best in the business to any aspiring media artist who seeks to obtain this type of apprenticeship experience.
Launched earlier this month, Filmmaker U, unveiled the first in a series of unique, in-depth courses taught by top filmmaking professionals:
Academy award-winner Eugene Gearty, MPSE (HUGO, LIFE OF PI, THE IRISHMAN), shares his tricks, techniques, and concepts on creating sound design.
Multiple Emmy award-winner Brian Kates, ACE (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Shortbus, The Savages), teaches pacing, timing, and the equally creative art of collaborative storytelling.
Acclaimed colorist Eric Whipp, CSI (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, LEGO MOVIE: THE SECOND PART), demonstrates techniques, strategies, organization, and problem solving straight from the color suite.
Oscar-nominated and multiple Emmy-winning documentary Director/Editor Sam Pollard (4 Little Girls, WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS, SAMMY DAVIS JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME), and trailblazing & award-winning Director/Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson (CAMERAPERSON, CITIZENFOUR, DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD, THE OATH); are confirmed to release courses this year.
“From a technical perspective, there is also a treasure trove of knowledge,” said Simon Wyndham, Editor of Red Shark News. He added “The course covers far more than I can ever describe in a short review…, and the nuances and thought processes contained within it will most certainly warrant going back to rewatch it, perhaps numerous times in order to truly pick up on everything.
“The mix of technical specificity and filmmaking business know-how makes these courses a wealth of valuable information,” said Editor Brian Kates, ACE.
These courses are not software or hardware-specific unlike most online courses out there,” stated co-creator Gordon Burkell. “They are specifically designed to be utilized by anyone with any tool in the filmmaking industry.”
Filmmaker U is a collaboration of educators and innovators Josh Apter and Jason Banke of Manhattan Edit Workshop and Gordon Burkell at Aotg.com. This online seminar series was created to give aspiring and existing filmmakers unprecedented access to the lost art of apprenticeship in the film industry. These instructors are acclaimed and award-winning artists who are some of the best in the industry.
For more information please visit www.filmmakeru.com.
Today AFI unveiled the launch of AFI Movie Club, designed to be “a daily virtual gathering to leverage our collective love of film on behalf of optimism in this time of global uncertainty.” Steven Spielberg, an AFI Trustee and 1995 recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award, introduced the first movie chosen — 1939’s immortal Oscar-winning classic THE WIZARD OF OZ — with a video (find it below) in which he is standing in front of a stunning French poster of another classic, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. In the video, he explains the reason the debut film was chosen for the honor. “I know you think you’ve seen it, but please think again because right now at this moment in our history what better message is there then ‘There’s no place like home’? ”
AFI said it will continue to select an iconic movie each day for the world to watch together, creating a communal viewing experience during these unprecedented times of social distancing. The plan is to have a variety of other guest hosts announcing select AFI Movies of the Day in videos posted on AFI.com and social media platforms. To view the featured movie of the day with the use of your preexisting streaming services, go to AFI.com/MovieClub. An AFI spokesperson told me the organization will be doing this every day for the foreseeable future and will be digging out tons of great exclusive archive material to add to the experience. This will include “fun facts and family discussion points.” Audiences can continue the conversation online using the hashtag #AFIMovieClub.
“AFI’s goal is to live in a world of art above anxiety,” president and CEO Bob Gazzale said. “We’re honored to have Steven Spielberg, the greatest storyteller of our day, lead the way.”
“There’s no place like home,” is a great message for each of us at
this unsettled time. I’m looking forward to better times that are sure
to come to us in this great country.
Stay healthy, well, and optimistic for our future.