Local filmmaker needs help for DVD/Blu-ray release

Bobby Shipman

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 2.33.26 PMKevin Chenault first began dabbling in film at age 12 when his parents gifted him with a Hi8 camcorder he and friends used to film skateboarding videos. A few years later they were crafting sketches they would pitch to public access.

The idea to create his own stories, instead of filming skateboard tricks, sparked an interest within Chenault to compose fictional stories and eventually feature length films, he said.

“That is always a good thing when directors are like, ‘I remember the first movie I saw.’” Chenault said. “Sadly, there’s no ‘Aha!’ moment. I didn’t have one of those.”

Although, at two months old his mother took him to see his first movie, “Ghostbusters,” and he paid attention the entire time, he said. Chenault debuted his second movie, “Different Drum,” in August 2013.

The film portrays the awkward relationship between an unemployed musician, Tod, and his pregnant ex Lydia, while trapped in a car traveling across the Mid-west. Zach Zint (Tod) and USI art education major Isabella DeVoy (Lydia), with no prior film experience or familiarity with one another, rehearsed the script once before heading out to film.

“The kind of awkwardness they had between them really worked for the film because they, in the film, are supposed to be awkward around each other,” he said. “So it kind of worked out for their characters.”

The film showed at Showplace Cinemas North to a respectable mix of familiar and new faces despite the matinee time-slot, Chenault said.

Chenault has a campaign running with Kickstarter.com where anyone can donate money to fund the release of “Different Drum” on Blu-ray and DVD. The Kickstarter campaign ends Feb. 15, and will only be funded if $7,000 of donations are received. Chenault started his company, Blackstrap Pictures, in 2010 with the production of “Young Islands,” which explores a similar tangent of awkwardness between two friends.

The movie’s production did not use a Kickstarter campaign, but did show a Showplace Cinemas North, as well. “Young Island” was released on DVD through the vinyl record label Gulcher. It was their only DVD release.

“The films that I like and the film directors that I admire really run all types of genres,” he said. “Directors like David Lynch. I don’t know if a David Lynch film fits into a genre. It might be its own genre.”

“Different Drum”

Chenault said his favorite directors, such as Stanley Kubrick (“2001: A Space Odyssey”), Wes Anderson (“Moonrise Kingdom”) and Noah Baumbach (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”), have impacted him as a director.

“The thing about influence is that not only are the films that you enjoy influencing you but also the films you don’t like – in a way that you are like, ‘I don’t want to make a film like that.’ Some of my greatest influences are films that I don’t really enjoy.”

He enjoys every aspect of movie making, he said.

“Getting out there and directing scenes and creating, with the actors and cinematographers – the overall tone of a movie is a great feeling,” he said.

Chenault is currently working on music videos, short films and another feature film project, “Back at the Laundromat.” To donate, visit http://kck.st/1dfl5g9.