This guest post is written by Andrew Doughman, a journalist at the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, where he covers religion and health, and a filmmaker for HUB-BUB’s Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival. He grew up in Seattle, where he enjoyed hiking up snowy mountains, guzzling coffee, gallivanting across lakes in kayaks and other stereotypical Northwest activities. Because it’s rumored to rain all the time in Seattle, he also enjoys indoor activities like reading and writing.
I’ll commit a journalist’s sin and lead with an assumption: you’ve probably seen a movie before.
(I hope I didn’t lose anyone there!)
But I doubt you’ve quite seen anything like this. The upcoming Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival is local, community-based, and quite possibly unlike any other film festival in the United States.
As a new journalist in town, I signed up for this project because it’s an awesome idea.
The idea is simple: Upstate filmmakers will produce seven short films for a local screening at The Showroom on March 24.
(Okay. Hold on. I know that sounds like nothing out of the ordinary, but I promise this isn’t a bait and switch.)
Let’s back up a little. A few years ago, a local editor compiled 20 stories written by 20 local authors and published them through the Hub City Press, a local publisher, in a volume called “Expecting Goodness.” Now, local filmmakers are adapting these local stories to the screen, and they’re casting, shooting and producing their films largely in Spartanburg.
The whole ecosystem for this project exists right here in the Upstate, which, for me at least, is pretty awesome when I consider the creative energy and support for the arts that makes all of this possible.
I came to Spartanburg in October, 2011 as a new reporter at the Herald-Journal. I migrated east from Seattle through Carson City through Orlando to arrive here, and when I meet people here, a lot of them asked me why I’d ever leave Seattle, such a cool city, such an amazing city.
I try to tell people that Spartanburg has a lot of offer. The Seattle International Film Festival brings in films from, well, all over the world. But there’s never been anything like the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival in Seattle.
(Ah, score one for Spartanburg!)
Also, when people ask me (incredulously) why I would leave Seattle for Spartanburg, I try to tell them that a person has a million reasons to be anywhere. For instance, one of the reasons I am here in Spartanburg is because my parents adopted me from South Korea when I was a baby. (If they hadn’t, I’d probably live in South Korea.)
The story that I chose to adapt to film is Michel Stone’s “Expecting Goodness,” and it also centers around adoption. The main characters are a husband and wife who can’t conceive a child. The wife is considering adoption, but the husband won’t embrace the idea. Since the conflict is all about adoption, it’s a story that struck me at a very personal level.
While I like the idea of the short story and the idea of the film festival, I’m not yet a filmmaker. This will be my first film, and I’m not sure what I’ll encounter along the way, but I’m trying to be like the characters in Stone’s story.
I’m expecting goodness.
Editor’s note: If you’d like to offer Andrew your help on his film in any way, please contact Kari at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she’ll connect you. Thanks!