First Twilight, then Sundance for local filmmakers

Producing a film can be a dream for some people. Trying to finish one can often be a nightmare.

The process of making an independent film is very tedious, as Kenny Strawn and Bob Rose experienced throughout a year of producing and editing Candé Coated Dreams.

“I made a list of ideas and visions, then broke it down to what I could really do,” said Strawn, the film’s writer/director who came up with the idea with co-producer/editor Rose.

“(We) had an idea of a bad batch of drugs and built around it,” Rose said.

Strawn said the idea was like an alternate reality with a candy coating over it.

At first, the two were paying for the film themselves, but that didn’t last.

“We were just pulling out of our pockets, and that ran out quick,” Rose said.

Later, they got funding from Molecular Media to help pay for some of the film.

Strawn and Rose also drew help from people they knew in the film industry to finish their project.

“This was an effort by local independent people in the industry and out of it,” Strawn said.

Candé Coated Dreams is a 25-minute short film dealing with a bad batch of drugs that have fallen into the hands of a young woman. The woman’s boyfriend is trying to find her before it is too late.

“I always wanted to do a movie without dialogue,” Strawn said. “A modern-day silent film.”

The film is driven by fast-paced techno music. Some of the artists who donated the music for the film are Kaleidoscope music’s Huda Hudia, DJ Fixx, Force Recording’s Bamboo and Gigafunk’s Keith Mackenzie.

“I wanted to make this a local talent,” said Strawn of the cast, crew and the recording artists’ music throughout the film. The movie was filmed in West Central Florida. Strawn said he wanted people to know that Tampa has something going on.

Some of the problems arose with shooting locations. While most of the movie takes place at Club Fun, the locale changed in the middle of production to Twilight. The Ybor City establishment agreed to let the crew film at the club if they guaranteed it would help promote it. They also filmed in a hotel ballroom, which had to be converted into a casino because none of the local casinos would allow filming inside.

“It ended up working itself out,” Strawn said.

Due to the fact that the film took a year to finish, the cast and crew had changed throughout the year.

Strawn says one of the challenges with the cast and crew was to keep them motivated because they were working for free.

“It’s easier to get people to do things when they are getting paid,” he said.

The cast members also dramatically changed their appearances, such as hairstyles, and someone even got pregnant during production, which wasn’t easy to cover up on film.

Strawn said he had to use different camera angles in shooting to cover up the different looks of some of the cast.

The $5,000 film has been entered into the No Dance and Slam Dance competitions at the Sundance Film Festival.

There will be a sneak preview Saturday at Twilight in Ybor City. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the film will start at 8 p.m.

Strawn says there will be live entertainment and giveaways, and attendees will be able to meet the cast and crew.

“It’s not just a movie,” he said, “it’s an experience.”

Contact Josh Jurcak at