Filed in Convergence Interview

In Their Own Words….Clayne Crawford of “Convergence”

1 Jan 2015

In Their Own Words…..

 

No one is going to say I am ending 2014 with a whimper, as after two films screened and reviewed, it’s NOT time to relax yet! Another aspect of this year’s adventures in creating this website has been the true honor to interview several professional actors about their most recent projects at the given time. So, for my final “In Their Own Words” entry of 2014, and thanks to the efforts of “Convergence” director Drew Hall, I was able to speak for an hour over the phone from his in-law’s house in Texas with the film’s lead, Clayne Crawford. Another humble, down-to-earth, genuine individual, Clayne spoke at length and in depth about being an actor, some life philosophy, and of course, the film!

 

One Film Fan: The story so far, how were you first drawn to the acting profession and how did you further learn the art (ie: mentors, influences, schooling)?

Clayne Crawford: I grew up in a family where my uncles were heavily into construction and my father’s an engineer, so by the age of 13 I was working on job sites, brick mason labors, doing all the things that were NOT fun…toting lumber and doing cuts. My Dad slowly started educating me on AutoCAD and having me doing some of the easier things with his work, and I realized that none of that was FUN! So my old man kinda looked at me and said “You know…” He had been drafted by the (Atlanta) Braves and was an exceptional athlete growing up, and he said “Look, I was scared leaving my small world in Alabama, but as a result I’m happy, but I don’t do what I enjoy. So when I go to work, I GO to work and all I want to do is get away from it, and unfortunately work takes up most of your life.” So I think the only real advice, as he was a very quiet man, that he gave me was “You gotta do something you love.” So that kinda played in my mind growing up. I was an athlete as well, but I got into a Speech & Debate class when I was a senior, and I found being in front of people energized me as opposed to put me in a shell, which was very unusual, at least in my High School. Everyone kind of went into a box, but for me I felt the podium was such a platform to be who I really was…for some reason it took AWAY my fears that I normally had around individuals, so it was a wakening. And she (the class teacher) has us do improv. The point of this exercise was you had to understand that if you BELIEVE in what it is you’re debating, you have a better chance to win the debate, regardless of whether your heart is in it, you just have to tell yourself you believe it. And so she taught us this improv and I FLOURISHED…I realized that B.S.-ing was quite easy for me! So she brought in the Theater director and the other guys in the Theater department and they’re like “You gotta do something!” and I’m like “Well, that’s NOT happening! I mean, I’m a baseball player, football player, that’s just NOT gonna happen! But you guys are sweet”. But, it kind of stuck in my mind, and when I was getting ready to graduate, Simone (again, his teacher) being the greatest teacher on the planet, pulled me aside and said “You gotta pack up and go to Los Angeles”. And I was like “You’re CRAZY! I haven’t even been past Gatlinburg! ,” you know what I mean, “Never been to New Orleans! You’re crazy!”

I did go ahead and try to find out about things in Alabama, and I found one of those John Casablanca, pay-to-be-a-model type things, and maybe I could just see what the world’s about. This wonderful lady, Sherry Graves, was kind of running this studio, and after I’d been there a few weeks and trying to go through this thing she goes “This is a place that just takes your money. There’s nothing that’s going to come of this. But there’s something going on with you. You need to go do something with this.” So she was kind of the driving force, along with Simone, saying “Just GO!” And I did! She (Sherry) had a friend who lived out there (California) she’d gone to college with, his name was Bryant Turner. He was a Tampa boy from Florida and he helped me find a place and kinda showed me the ropes a little as it were. So I hit the ground running. I got there when I was 18, this was in ’96, and I started making fake resumes and getting head shots (laughing) and lying my way into every agency that there was in town until finally someone picked me up, and literally it just kinda started happening. I was quite naïve…I booked big movies, studio films like “A Walk To Remember” and “Swimfan” fairly quickly and I NO idea what in the world I was doing. So I backed away from the business and started fresh, doing theater and things that most actors would have done in High School…educating myself on film…my favorite film was “Predator” at the time, right? (laughs) “Predator” or “Robocop”! And look…I got really lucky. I watched a movie titled “Five Easy Pieces” that Bryant had given to me to watch and it had this actor John Ryan. So I am in a restaurant, and this is right after I booked “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer”, still don’t really know what’s going on, and I SEE John Ryan! Here’s this old school guy having biscuits & gravy, and me being this dumb kid from Alabama, I go up to him and say “Man, you’re awesome in “Five Easy Pieces” and I can’t believe you’re sitting here having breakfast! Look at you!” This guy slides his plate away from him, turns and looks at me and says “What’s your name?” I’m like, “Well…my name’s Clayne Crawford. My buddies call me Joey, so Joey Crawford. Nice to meet you!” And he goes “Sit down”. So this guy starts telling me stories, invites me to his home, and he gives me every VHS of every film nominated for an Oscar back to the 50’s. He gave me these boxes and books by Monty Clift and Elia Kazan…and he goes “educate yourself”. We had one of worst rain seasons is Los Angeles history, so I literally locked myself in my tiny apartment, hunkered down and watched every single film, read everything he gave me, and he then passed away soon after. But that was kinda like my education in the business…and I fell in love with it. I took HIS love for the business, a guy who had never had real STARDOM per se, but was a real ACTOR, and that’s what I want to do. He said one thing that’s really stuck with me…”When you get to the top, they stamp you with an expiration date. Just BE an actor and you can do it until you’re 90.” I was like…”Holy crap, that’s awesome…I didn’t think about THAT. I wanted to be famous!” (laughs) So that was a long story, but the roundabout way I got to where I am today, which is that guy whose worked on 50+ projects but nobody knows who I am, and I have a great life as a result, doing what I love, back living in Alabama on a farm with my children. I feel quite blessed to have those people that came into my path to point me in the right directions.

 

O.F.F.: When preparing for a role, do you always have the same routines/methods to get into a character or does that vary depending ON the role? Additionally, how much research do you tend to do FOR a character?

C.C.: My process, as far as the research, is the same….I’m quite diligent on trying to find as much information as I can find, whether it’s useful or not, whether it’s watching, reading, or just finding individuals. When I read a script, it’s very difficult to see myself in things. I usually see PEOPLE. And I’m fortunate if it’s someone I know or I’ve spent time with, as IN spending time with them, I try to pick up some of their characteristics that I feel would flourish in this world that I’m reading. I’m not a religious guy, but I’m a very spiritual guy. I grew up in the “fire & brimstone” thing, so I kinda went away from that. But I’m quite spiritual, and I guess I have to be considering my path, how the universe has really kinda made decisions for me that I was not smart enough to pick them up. And with my WORK, I go through a lot of times, once I get to set or the build-up before I get there, similar experiences to what the guy is going through or at least things that help parallel me to what this individual I’m playing goes through. So whether I’m doing a military film and my wife’s not able to come see me for four months because things happen and I’m genuinely sad and pulled away from my family as a solider would be. There are certain things that have happened that I’m really blessed with that, again, really help me get INTO who this guy is. And I ask for those things from the universe. So…as far as preparation, I educate myself as much as possible, and then throw it all away, and then just try to live like the individual through the process.

 

O.F.F.: Do you prefer more physically driven characters or emotionally driven characters and why?

C.C.: I prefer emotionally driven characters simply because it allows me to work through my own personal issues, with my OWN emotions. Again, growing up with a man like my father who was very quiet, I’ve been taught or programmed to keep those things to myself. So I find that those characters are wonderful outlets for me, and it becomes somewhat of a therapy session. And I find it allows me to access these great emotions that I don’t share with anyone on a daily basis quite easily, like the banks get really full and I can just pull deposits from them. So mostly emotional….physical, I mean, I have horses and cattle and I work my butt off all day, so I enjoy sitting down and just crying about that at the table, you know what I mean? (laughs) Much easier for me to get through!

Continue reading In Their Own Words….Clayne Crawford of “Convergence”

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Filed in Awards News

EW Names Rectify One of the 10 Best TV Shows

2. Rectify (SundanceTV)

The long goodbye to the antihero era has been fixated on redemption. Sons of Anarchy was cynical about it. Mad Men, surprisingly hopeful. Searching the hazy in-between is Rectify, a drama about a liberated death-row convict bewildered by his freedom. Creator Ray McKinnon elevated his plaintive saga in season 2 by delving more deeply into a lost soul and those damaged by his brokenness as they pursued flawed strategies for reclamation and repair; and by remaining committed to truth-finding, patient pacing, and careful straddling of naturalism and subjectivity. Rectify, a spiritual drama most humane, exemplifies the best qualities of the redemptive process not in its story but in the telling.

Source:  EW

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Filed in Convergence Reviews

Convergence Review

convergenceDirected by: Drew Hall

Starring: Clayne Crawford, Ethan Embry, Mykelti Williamson, Gary Grubbs, Chelsea Bruland, Catalina Soto-Aguilar Kind

Ben, a police officer who’s part of an anti-terrorist task force, suffers a major trauma when he confronts a bomber planting a second device in a disused building. Waking in hospital, he discovers that everything is a little…off. His boss, though concerned for his well-being, is being overly enigmatic, as is the elderly Peter the security guard/custodian. However any concerns he has about his surroundings are pushed aside when it becomes apparent that the bomber, Daniel, has followed him to the hospital, with deadly intent…

We recently reviewed CTU: Special Ops, the first feature directed by Drew Hall. It’s an enjoyable action movie which does suffer a little from last-minute changes to the script which leaves a few plot threads hanging. I’ve been fortunate enough to see a preview of Drew’s follow-up movie, and can happily report that not only is it not afflicted by the same issues but builds upon the strengths of CTU.

Working from his own script, Drew’s film works on a number of different layers at the same time. Any horror fan worth his/her salt will work out at least part of Ben’s predicament, however it is the way it plays out which makes the film unique, and details are teased out, not only about what is happening in the film’s present, but what has happened in the past. There are plenty of visual clues and titbits of overheard dialogue to clue you in as the story progresses.

Convergence is rather refreshingly devoid of obvious plot clichés. For example, when Ben finally discovers what has happened, he’s pragmatic enough to accept the facts but still determined to protect the people around him.

The production values are really strong. The action, which peppers the film throughout, is very well handled, with gun-fights and hand-to-hand scraps being well choreographed, shot and edited in a nice clear style. There are some very atmospheric sets, such as the makeshift altar Ben stumbles across. Makeup and costume design is also spot-on: there are some strong gore-fx and the quartet of killers have a very unique, sinister look to them (its basically their “normal” look, but in each case given a small macabre twist).

And then there’s the cast, who really work the material. Clayne Crawford who plays Ben has a particularly strong scene where he reminisces about his father. Wearing his glasses he comes across as a Jack Ryan type of cerebral hero who’s as likely to think himself out of a situation as fight his way out. Meanwhile Ethan Embry’s Daniel is a very enigmatic, sadistic killer, able to convince people to participate in his plans.

There is so much to consider with this film already, yet I’m deliberately being obtuse – there’s a lot I’m not saying and I’ll leave you to find out why. As mentioned earlier this film works on different levels, and it is likely to stay on your mind for quite a while after viewing.

Verdict:

Drew Hall’s second feature builds on the successes of CTU and learns from its errors. It presents a refreshing take on a particular genre and is thoroughly compelling from start to finish.

Highly recommended.

9 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)

Source: Flash Bang

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Filed in Article Convergence Projects

‘Convergence’ to be screened at The Crescent Theater

By Tamara Ikenberg | tikenberg@al.com

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MOBILE, Alabama — Prolific Port City filmmaker Drew Hall’s latest release, “Convergence,” is a psychological thriller inspired by a spooky deserted hospital.

“I had noticed that the old Knollwood Hospital was closed so I began to think up what would be interesting set in a hospital,” said Hall. “With the empty hospital in my head I started thinking about what would honestly scare me and I remembered a story about a deeply religious man who felt that God would have him kill innocent people. As a southerner I have deep spiritual roots – so I decided to explore that world.”

Mobile audiences can see the freaky film on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m., at the Crescent Theater, located at 208 Dauphin St.

The screenings are fundraisers for The Crescent, and tickets are $10 per person. All the screenings will include a Q&A session with Hall. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at www.crescenttheater.com.

Produced by Frame 29 Films and Drama Free Zone, “Convergence” stars “Forrest Gump”‘s Mykelti Williamson, Mobile’s Clayne Crawford and Ethan Embry, who has appeared in dozens of TV shows and films including 1995’s “Empire Records.”

Screening attendees are sure to recognize the scenery in “Convergence,” which was filmed in Oct. 2013. It was shot at locations in west Mobile and downtown Mobile including Knollwood Hospital, and the studios of Mudbrick Media.

The plot centers on an arson detective (Crawford), who is recovering in a hospital after a routine investigation gone wrong. As he attempts to make sense of what happened, the haunted hospital itself presents its own series of spooky problems, including a religious zealot (Embry) who is passionately trying to convert the hospital’s denizens into his creepy congregation.

Hall is in the process of entering “Convergence” into film festivals, and the film has already been screened for critics at blogs including Fraking Films  and Flash Bang: Action Movie Reviews.

Fraking Films said “‘Convergence’ is “an interesting premise that is thankfully masterfully executed. ‘Convergence’ is an incredible film.”

And Mike Parkin from Flash Bang said “There is so much to consider with this film already, yet I’m deliberately being obtuse – there’s a lot I’m not saying and I’ll leave you to find out why. As mentioned earlier this film workson different levels, and it is likely to stay on your mind for quite a while after viewing. ”

Hall’s other Mobile-made films include a sci-fi action trilogy, made up of the films “Skyhook,” “The Phoenix Rises,” and “Sons of Liberty.”

“I knew that after Sons of Liberty I wanted to write something that was more personal,” Hall said. “Plus I really wanted to explore the design of a thriller.”

Source: Al.com

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Filed in Movie Reviews

Convergence (2014) Review

BY JAMIE HALL ON OCTOBER 26, 2014

The following review has been made possible thanks to a very thoughtful preview from Drew Hall (director) of his upcoming psychological thriller Convergence.

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As this is a preview of an as of yet unreleased film I won’t focus on the films plot all that much at all, in fact all I’ll say is that the film follows Detective Ben Walls as he finds himself passing between present day and the future.

It’s an interesting premise that is thankfully masterfully executed. Convergence is an incredible film, regardless of being an independent film or not this film is balls to the walls excellent.

It’s devoid of big set piece action sequences and is even centred primarily around just one location. It is predominantly all set within a single hospital, a hospital where Ben Walls continues to flit between timelines.

Without big set pieces to wow and captivate an audience the film must rely upon the strength of its writing and the ability of its actors to engage the audience. And the writing and acting in Convergence are both on top form. The story is incredibly strong and very well written, at times both creepy and thought provoking. This is a pinnacle of the psychological thriller, keeping you in suspense and nervous anticipation throughout.

But a good script would be nothing if the actors weren’t able to deliver it, and thankfully Convergence is filled with a talented cast who manage to embody their roles so completely as to blur the line between reality and fiction. Clayne Crawford deserves particular note as the lead character of Ben. Crawford takes an already excellent story and adds another layer, taking the film to an entirely new level of authenticity.

You see the film is interesting enough on its own, but the captivation is created thanks to Crawford and his pretty badass portrayal of Ben. Crawford plays a thoroughly engaging character that is easy to relate to, his confused portrayal of a man constantly switching between times is entertaining and riveting, we want not only to discover the truth but for him to survive it all with us.

There are a few strange issues I found with editing, where a scene felt as if it had been cut off a few seconds before it truly should have been, but this is certainly nothing that would affect the overall quality of the film in anyway. In fact that’s really the only think I can think of that could in anyway be construed as negative about the Convergence. I truly loved the film, it was an intelligent and poignant creation that both tantalised and shocked me.

Converge is a brilliant directed, terrifically acted film that I know will do terrifically well at any festival it is entered into, or at least it bloody well should do.

I was left wondering just how it will end throughout. And with a captivating cast and an excellent plot I was never once bored while watching, the plot twisted not once, but multiple times throughout, leaving me hanging onto the edge of my seat as I waited to finally, once and for all discover the truth behind just what the hell was going on. It was a thrilling ride, and you know what? While I am able to do so I think I will once again go and explore Ben and his paradigm altering world. Good day folks and bloody well keep you eye firmly peeled for Convergence.

Verdict 10/10

Source: Fraking Films

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Filed in Article

Seven+ min Clip of Tinker & a Kickstarter to Help Fund It

 

Man of Science,Man of nature,man of God, anger of man, dying community,a machine and a boy who brings them all together.Story by Sonny

Grady Lee Jr. is a struggling reclusive farmer who has never wanted to be married or have children. He lost his mom when he was a young boy and by the time he was 13, his father and step-mom died in a car wreck separating him from his stepsister, Marry Ann. Randy, his father’s best friend, took Grady in and raised him as his own and kept the family farm sustained. One day, Grady discovers his late father’s hidden journal, which contains secrets of Nikola Tesla and the plans to a machine that works off of electro-magnetism and frequencies, called Jack. Grady believes it could increase productivity by drastically reducing the time it takes a plant to grow. He believes that this could be the answer to saving his farm and helping the county, when in fact this could change the world. With the help of his friend, Boudreaux, they begin to work on the device. Boudreaux, of Native American decent, can sense a change is coming for Grady. After a call from an attorney, Grady finds himself a beneficiary to his late step sister’s last will and testament, just to discover he is custodian to a special 6 year old boy, Kai. Those that meet Kai are drawn to him, all except for Grady. The kid is a distraction he would rather not have, and keeps him from Jack. Being from the city, Kai is a stranger to nature, but, his mom remembers the farm and believes this will be the perfect environment for his ability to mature.

Stay Involved!

We need your help to spread the word! Please LIKE us on Facebook, and, IMdb, and FOLLOW us on Twitter via @KoCreo, @Bhramayana, and @ChristianKane01 to stay involved.

Go here to help out! Kickstarter

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Filed in Article Rectify

Clayne on Having Relaxed Douche Face and Defending Rectify’s Poor Ted Jr.

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By Denise Martin
Chances are you know Clayne Crawford as that guy who always plays the jerk-off. The actor, 36, has long been typecast as the villain, most recently in 24 and Justified, and going back to his smirkiest work in teen movies like Swimfan and A Walk to Remember. But in Ray McKinnon’s outstanding small-town drama Rectify, Crawford gets to be heartbreaking as a frustrated tire salesman whose world is turned upside down when his brother-in-law is released from Death Row. Vulture chatted with Crawford about feeling bad for fratty Ted Jr., long days on set, and coming to terms with a chronic case of what he calls relaxed douche face.

 

Things are falling apart for Teddy. His marriage is in trouble. The tire business is in bad shape. I’m sure there are plenty of people who still want to punch him for the way he treats Daniel, but I just feel so bad for him.

Continue reading Clayne on Having Relaxed Douche Face and Defending Rectify’s Poor Ted Jr.

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Filed in Article Rectify TV Shows

New Clips of Rectify Season 2

It looks like this is going to take an even darker twist than last year!

The first short clips have been released for the second season of the best show you’re not watching, SundanceTV’s “Rectify,” and they already pack an emotional punch.

As Daniel (Aden Young) lies in a coma after being beat nearly to death in the season 1 finale by the brother of the girl he was convicted of murdering, his family try to deal with the fallout around him. Specifically, step-brother Ted (Clayne Crawford) confronts his wife Tawney (Adelaide Clemons) about the growing bond she began forming with Daniel last season. Was it all just about religious redemption or did she have other feelings for him? Meanwhile, in a scene that’s already breaking our hearts, Daniel talks to a joyful Kerwin (Johnny Ray Gill) in an obvious fantasy sequence set in the afterlife. Kerwin, of course, was led off to be executed last season.

As this show’s signature line says, “it’s the beauty that hurts you most.” “Rectify” returns for season 2 on June 19th. Bring on the pain.

 

 

 

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