Greenville directors, short film distribution

January 4—As anyone who has ever seriously pursued a long-term dream can attest, the compromises and sacrifices one must make on this journey can be difficult and at times downright heartbreaking. But, as many dream chasers will tell you, they hope it will be worth it one day.

In exploration of this theme, Greenville filmmakers Michael Lester and Brandon Westbrook are currently in their final week of filming a short titled “The Actor,” which tells the story of an aging actor who looks back on a life of choice and wonders if they were worth it.

“It’s a simple story that I came up with thinking about what it would be like to be a little actor in my 70s who looks back on his life and wonders if I’ve spent my whole life playing make-believe or do I enjoy being able to do what I love,” said writer, editor and co-director Michael Lester.

“Local actor Bill Salamon, who is actually 70, is playing the lead role, so he was really able to draw on his personal experience throughout the process,” Lester added.

Lester and Westbrook plan to edit the 20-30 minute short and have it ready for premiere at the Texan Theater by March.

“Now I have to make all the tough decisions about what to cut, which I always hate to do, because there will be times when someone has taken time out of their day to be an extra in a scene and it gets taken down eventually, but it’s something I have to do sometimes,” Lester said.

In 2021, Lester and Westbrook produced and released two films, a revenge drama titled “No Good Deed” and a slacker comedy titled “Seeking Priest.” However, the two have been experimenting with movies since middle school.

“Even though we both watch a lot of YouTube videos where we learn about shooting techniques, lighting, sound, editing and things like that, we’re both pretty self-taught and have been making videos since we’re in sixth or seventh grade,” Lester said.

“It’s been our hobby forever, but with ‘No Good Deed’ we shot the first scene as a ‘catch’ and showed it to people to get people interested, then I wrote the rest. history around this catchphrase,” he added.

Along with writing, editing, and co-directing “No Good Deed” and “Seeking Priest,” Lester also starred in both films.

“I missed theater in high school, because while I was an outgoing person, I had a lot of stage fright,” Lester said. “I’m working on my acting, but I still think I can still do better, especially since I only devote about 30% of my attention to acting during production.”

Although “The Actor”‘s target release time is February or March, those wishing to watch some of Lester and Westbrook’s other work can do so on their YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/3zkAnQT.

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