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Where the Sweetgrass Grows

The script of "Where the Sweetgrass Grows" is about a female investigative reporter for a local Charleston, South Carolina television station uncovers a pattern of suspicious teenage girl disappearances with the assistance of the ghost of one of the missing girls. This reporter must identify and find the killer before he claims his next victim.

Tommy is the author of "Haboob Wind " which has been his Amazon best selling book and an award winning photographer/artist living in the Los Angeles area. Tommy is also an accomplished screenwriter for the film based on his Amazon number one best selling novel "Haboob Wind" In addition he is an actor in both television and film. Tommy has also finished another feature film screenplay "Where the Greengrass Grows" a thriller with his writing partner Susie Schaefer. Tommy is also a founding member of VetPics Film Productions located in San Diego, California - an all veteran independent film production company. His first film (in post production), "Life after Oblivion", was written and co-produced by Tommy. In addition Tommy has co-hosted and have appeared on several Southern California radio talk show programs. Most recently he was the face of the national Spotify commercial as the man with the dancing dog. he had written a new novel "Two Million Steps" which is now being in edited for publication, and is working on a third thriller called "Final Fire". Susie Schaefer’s love of books goes beyond the feel of a fabric cover or the smell of a library. Her passion for helping authors publish quality books and market them successfully through Finish the Book Publishing brings her tremendous joy – especially when they become an Amazon Best Seller. Susie’s passion for films and acting is served by writing, editing and consulting screenplays under Movie Muse Productions.

Susie has taught workshops and programs for various writing, editing and publishing groups nationwide, and is honored to be a judge for the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Book Awards. When not reading, reviewing, or publishing books, Susie can be found practicing yoga, meditating on the beach, or planning her next travel adventure.

What draws you to filmmaking and the cinematic language?

Tom Anderson and Susie Schaefer (Movie Muse Productions) are experienced authors and actors, and have a love of the film industry. Tommy has written several awardwinning short screenplays and is working on his second novel. Susie owns a successful publishing company and helps authors create books that get results and give back through cause publishing. Tommy and Susie met through mutual acquaintances while publishing his first book, when Susie had expressed an interest in screenwriting and editing. The two had worked so well together in the publishing arena, that they felt inspired to create stories for film. Tommy and Susie share a philosophy of offering an entertaining experience for readers in the written form, which translates to a visual journey on film. They chose to write a feature film screenplay, and little did they expect it to be so well-received. “Where the Sweetgrass Grows” has thus far received two major awards and numerous nominations for Best Screenplay.

Do you believe in film schools or does making a film teach you more than film school?

Susie worked extensively with the Colorado Film School when she lived in Denver, and found it to be not only wholly educational, but a wonderful resource to continually hone writing, acting and production skills with others in a collaborative environment. Both Tommy and Susie have degrees in areas other than entertainment or screenwriting, and have found that their education, professional endeavors and life experience bring a wide range of perspectives. After writing a best-selling book, Tommy was encouraged by utilizing workshops via “Veterans in Media and Entertainment” to pursue acting and screenwriting. The organization offers numerous courses in screenwriting from leaders in the film and television Industry. Tommy and Susie continue their education by participating in these programs and interacting with members of the group as well as others. Of course, there’s always something new to learn while working on a film set, as every day is different, where skills, techniques, and best practices can be learned first-hand. 951-314-3235

What makes cinema stand out more than the arts for you?

We have all been captivated by the silver screen since we were children. There is a certain mystique and magic to a feature film on a large screen. There is nothing more pleasurable than to be completely lost in a film and letting it affect your senses. To us we also believe in the magic of cinema history and are thrilled to be a small part of it. Additionally, cinema has the ability to use special effects, music, and cinematic editing to create a portal into another world.

Did you choose a certain directing style for making your film based on the script?

No, we build the basic structure of the film in the form of the screenplay and will work with the director and producer to craft the story to their vision for the final release.

How did you choose the cast and the crew of your film?

This is not applicable, as we have not gone into production yet; however, we have crafted our screenplay’s characters to fit a diverse collection of individuals and demographics.

How did you fund your film and what were some of the challenges of making this film? Right now, we are pitching the screenplay to a variety of studios and production companies. We are leveraging the awards and nominations to help find the right production company with financing to assist in creating the film. If possible, we may consider working with a crowd funding professional to allow the film to be produced by Movie Muse Productions.

Do you consider yourself an indie filmmaker and what would most be the most difficult thing about being an independent artist?

We are most definitely the definition of the Indie Filmmaker. We are paving a way on our own and working tirelessly to achieve our dream. The biggest challenge of course is competing with the large established studios with their bank rolls and ability to sign box office stars. However bad or good the Covid-19 situation has helped level the playing field and we believe that starting in 2021 will be a true time of the 951-314-3235 independents and I believe the traditional distribution companies will be looking for films to fill the countries and international screens while the larger companies have gone heavily towards the streaming services.

What is the distribution plan for your film?

Movie Muse Productions would prefer to release the film with traditional distribution in theaters (post pandemic, when they re-open). We have a working relationship with a distributor and VetFlicks, a veteran’s distribution company. We are also considering traditional distributors as well. Our plan is to utilize the film festival circuit to get our picture noticed within the industry.

What is your cinematic goal in life and what would you like to achieve as a filmmaker?

Movie Muse Productions aspires to create great, meaningful, and entertaining films. We support authors who may have a well-received published book to give them the option for adapting their work for a screenplay.

What kind of impact would your film have in the world and who is your audience?

Our screenplay “Where the Sweetgrass Grows,” an adaptation of the supernatural thriller of the same title authored by Lori Roberts, has been well-received by the film festival community. Our hope is to bring the supernatural and paranormal realm to the masses through entertainment. Our target audiences are age groups PG-13 and older adults who like a thrilling story, crime drama, and a supernatural twist leading to the capture of a serial killer. We believe that our film will be enjoyed by audiences that love films such as “Ghost” and “Sixth-Sense.”


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