I had the honor of interviewing filmmaker Joshua J. Smith, keep an eye out for his upcoming movie-
Me: My first question is, for those that haven’t heard of it yet, describe your new film for us
JJS: Buckshot is a dark comedy that follows Charlie Stillman, a struggling, pop country singer from New Jersey, who journeys to Nashville to follow in his father’s footsteps of becoming a country star. But when his father’s checkered past derails his chances, his only job offer is to drive Buckshot Thomas, an aging, hard-living, honky-tonk legend, from Seattle to Nashville to what could be his final concert. Along the way, the two men forge a rare friendship, which could change both their lives forever.
Me: You mentioned that it could be Buckshot’s final concert, is he dying?
JJS: You will have to watch the movie to find out. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Me: What sets their friendship apart from other friends?
JJS: Their friendship is more a student and teacher relationship but they end up learning something from each other.
Me: Music plays a major role in this film, what role has music played in your life?
JJS: I’ve always been listening to country music but wanted to join my love of music with my love of film. And I wanted to make a statement with this film about the state of Country Music today. I want this movie to bring outlaw country back to the masses. The point of the film is that this kid who thinks he’s country – chases after pop country stardom. But it comes from all the wrong places, which I believe is what’s happening to Nashville today. In the movie Buckshot teaches this kid about outlaw country music and how to make music the traditional way, with heart and meaning behind it. Not just pickup trucks and girls in short shorts.
Me: You feel like modern country music is lacking?, and this film pinpoints that?
JJS: Pop songs are always gonna be apart of all music – I get that but when Nashville closes all it’s doors to real, true artists with stories to tell that when it’s gone off the rails. This whole Bro-Country hick hop thing – really shocked me – one day I turned on the CMA’s and I see these people performing and wearing outfits that never in a million years would I call country artists. It just all seems pop – bubble gum stuff.
Me: Have these roles been cast yet?
JJS: We have three roles cast – Conor Murphy will play Charlie Stillman, Emily Davenport stars as the love interest June Travis. And Amber Hargrove star of the Discovery Channel’s NAKED & AFRAID will also have a part in the film.
Me: Love interest?, can you tell us more?
JJS: Her name is June Travis – June grew up a tried and true Southerner, with country music flowing through her veins. Not born with the gift of performing, she chose a different path in the industry; working behind the scenes for one of the most notorious country promoters in Nashville. Not only did this give her a new found confidence but the key to open doors closed to most Music City outsiders. June’s loyal and sensitive, but she’s also stronger than she looks. It’s a strength she’ll need, as she puts her feelings and reputation on the line.
Me: You were a producer before, producing such movies as Kabluey and pretty ugly people, what made you to decide to direct/write a feature?
JJS: I’ve been writing and directing short films all the time I was producing features – I wanted to learn the ropes of filmmaking by working with others and cutting my teeth before I took the plunge. It’s such an awesome feeling working as a team to make a movie – now when I’m at the helm it has become one of the biggest challenge in my career and I’m really looking forward to to.
Me: You mentioned this “has become one of the biggest challenges in my career”, what have the other big challenges of your career been?
JJS: Just staying busy and keeping you finger on the pulse of this industry is a whole other endeavor that keeps me on my toes.
Me: You’ve also wrote short films, what was it like transitioning to writing full length?
JJS: It’s a much bigger commitment and a huge endevor. If you think about it… you can keep entertained in a couple minutes but the long game of a feature for 90 minutes not that is something that takes real talent.
Me: Was writing something that captivates for 90 minutes challenging?, what else has made writing a feature challenging?
JJS: Juggling all the character’s arcs and serving the right tone to bring the movie the depth that it needs to keep the audience engaged at all times.
Me: You were also a production assistant on big films, such as into the blue and office space, what was it like being on those sets?, did you learn alot?
JJS: Watching on the sidelines you can learn what not to do very quickly. But you also make long standing relationships that can help you along the way. Some of my dearest friends I met in the early days of being a PA. It’s like being in the trenches during a war – you have to bond together to make it to the next level.
Me: You mentioned becoming close to people from PA days, are you working with anyone from those on this?, and over your 20 year career, who have been some of your favorites to work with?
JJS: All me close confidents from that era more give each other moral support on projects. Sadly not working side by side lately. My favorite actor of all time to work with has to be Martin Sheen. The most gifted genuine man in the business. Sandra Bullock is very sweet and down to earth the many times I’ve been lucky enough to work with her.
Me: So one last question, you’re doing crowdfunding to raise funds for the film?, tell us about that
JJS: We are doing a crowd funding campaign and we have just 4 days left in the campaign. Head on over to www.buckshotmovie.com and watch our video to learn more about how you can support the film.