By Joey McWilliams
Hudson Long has picked up big and small acting roles in his time in Los Angeles. Now he’s adding a new dimension to his film career – producer.
Long is one of the producers of the new short film “Sergey’s Fortune,” which is currently in post-production in California.
The movie shows the encounter of differing cultures in a fresh take:
“One part gangster movie and another part dark screwball comedy, ‘Sergey’s Fortune’ boldly clashes the old world of cinema with the modern aesthetic of Youtube as nothing before it has.
After a cold-blooded hitman commits an act of murder, he finds himself stranded in the middle of the desert with both a dead body and a dead car battery. The only ones around to help: a clique of obnoxious YouTube stars, who film everything they do.” – Logline from Sergey’s Fortune
Long headed out to Los Angeles soon after graduation from Durant High School in 2015. He has been taking college courses and honing his acting skills, as well.
He said the latest chapter in his life started a couple of years ago when he was at a film festival in Santa Monica.
“I saw all these short films and these short filmmakers and all the films were awesome,” Long said. “But there was this one in particular called “For Annabelle” and it blew me away. Everything about this short film was just perfect.
“So I met the director of the short film, Peter Mackie, and we got in touch and he later became a pretty close friend. And at the beginning of this year, I approached Peter and said, ‘Hey, what if we could put something together around like $5,000 for a short film that I could help produce if you directed.” And so, with $5,000, that started out small.”
They put together resources and contacted writer Nick Vitale, who pitched some ideas and Sergey’s Fortune was the one to jump out to them.
“Then we put together a crew of people that we trusted and it kind of began to grow from there.”
Before long, the budget for the film grew to $30,000 and the cast, crew and equipment they were able to utilize began to increase, as well. For example, the film was shot on an Arri Alexa, the camera used by four of the five Best Cinematography nominees this year.
“To be able to do that was excellent,” Long said. “The quality of it – it’s digital but it looks like it was shot on film. So the camera was a pretty good pull for the project.
“But actually, the biggest pull overall was getting Ravil Isyanov. He is a very well-established actor. He’s one of those guys that you may not recognize his name, but would recognize his face. Because he’s known for movies like “K-19: The Widowmaker” with Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson. He’s one of the main characters (Suslov). And he’s also one of the main characters (Viktor Panchenko) in “Defiance” with Daniel Craig. We got him to play our Russian mafia boss and that was really cool.”
The lead actor in the film is Greek actor Yorgos Karamihos, who has been in a number of films, including taking the role of Saul of Tarses in “Paul, Apostle of Christ.”
“Having two professional key players like that on set made a huge difference in the quality of the film,” Long said. “That was a great experience for me getting to act alongside those guys. And getting to pick their brains a little bit, because they’ve been on plenty of sets and they know how it works. And their flow working is very good.
They shot the movie on Easter weekend in Barstow, Calif., a desert town about three hours outside Los Angeles.
“There’s not much to do there other than make a movie. That’s what we got busy with. And it was a fun four-day shoot.”
Long acts in the movie, too, as one of the Youtube stars.
“The YouTubers in the movie, they’re supposed to be world-famous YouTubers, and they’re actually super-immature and obnoxious, just like some of the real world YouTubers and similar to Logan Paul (a YouTube star involved in scandal in recent months),” Long said.
“The thing is that the obnoxiousness they bring really catches the people’s attention. A lot of the promotional content we shot was actually in character, and it’s pretty immature and obnoxious sometimes, but it’s fun. I’ve never really explored being a YouTube vlogger, so getting to do it in character was kind of fun.”
People around Bryan County have seen an array of characters that Long can portray and have seen him not only act, but also sing and dance in roles like Curly McLain in “Oklahoma” and Sky Masterson in “Guys and Dolls.”
And for this project, it is now in post-production. With work still to be done before the short film can be released, Long and those working with him have begun a crowd-funding campaign.
“We’re working through a company called Seed and Spark and we’re just trying to raise the rest of the money for post-production, such as sound editing and mixing, an original score by the composer Vincent Oppido, as well as music licensing, color grading, compositing and submission fees,” Long said. “Our long-term goal would be to take this film to the Sundance Film Festival.”
You can learn more about the movie “Sergey’s Fortune” and contribute its completion by visiting the Seed and Spark page here.
“There are incentives from merchandise to receiving stake in the movie as a producer if the contribution is big enough. And stay tuned for updates,” Long said.
“The community of people back home I think would really enjoy this and I was just thrilled to be a part of it.”