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A Film To Keep A Lookout For – ‘The Man In The Silo’ With Ernie Hudson

A Film To Keep A Lookout For - 'The Man In The Silo' With Ernie Hudson

Man in the Silo
is one of those films that definitely fits
the description that it “defies explanation”.
Part psychological study, part suspense thriller and part experimental film, the
low independent, intentionally modest picture (it runs just under an hour), gives vet actor Ernie Hudson an opportunity to give a genuine a tour de force performance.

Essentially chronicling the psychological and emotional breakdown
of a man after the death of his wife and young son, the film, very effectively (and helped
by Bernard Hermann’s haunting score
for Hitchcock’s Vertigo), paints the
harrowing portrait of a man falling apart at the seams.

His terrible situation is made even worse since Hudson’s late
wife was white, which brought about, at times, an intense racial conflict between themselves and
her relatives as well.

The film was made last year in the Chicago area and written
jointly by playwright Christopher Ellis
and Chicago stage actor and director Phil
, who also directed the film

Also, the presence of Hudson in a small indie film proves
the point (at least one that I believe)
that most actors want to do challenging work – which is why they became actors in
the first place.

So no matter the budget of your film, if the material is
good enough and if there’s a name actor you want for the part for your project, and
if they’re serious enough about their craft to always welcome a challenge, you
should definitely try to get that person. It might work out.

The Man in the Silo is now just beginning to be
shown on the film festival circuit so keep an eye out for it.

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Curt Clendenin

The Director Phil Donlon and I dared one another to audition for our first Chicagoland High School play "Golden Boy" together. I played Joe Bonaparte and he played Eddie the Mafioso. I saw him go on to write and direct his own plays in college during which we formed a few improv groups together with friends of ours called "Sketch," "Fresh Leftovers" and "Medium Rare". He created his own theatre company called Gilead, had his own college radio show, and continued creating. We lived together for two weeks listening to only Guster and Duncan Sheik when we first moved to California. It was in that house that he wrote the first feature length draft of what came to be the short film "Wrestled". I did some behind the scenes camera work on "Man In the Silo" and got to interview Ernie Hudson. The interesting thing was, on the historical property of where we filmed the movie, was an old original farm house with spooky stories of a haunted attic. It didn't occur to me at the moment to take the Ghostbuster up into the attic to meet a real ghost (My Timelord self is back in time right now, mending that historical blunder). One time, Phil, Ed Italo and Mike Sode and I shot some experimental footage with Ted Levine on an old motorcycle out in the desert of Joshua Tree. We stopped at a small bar and ate buffalo burgers together. While eating buffalo burgers with Buffalo Bill, I saw a photo of Dick Dale signed by Dick Dale hanging up on the wall. "What would the surf guitar legend be doing out in the desert?" I wondered to myself. We went out and shot more footage and pulled off to the side of the road, to get away from cars. While shooting footage of Phil and Ted in a dream sequence, two atvs approached us. It was an older fella and a young fella. The guy got off his four wheeler and kind of angry. "You're lucky this is my property. We throw people down the mineshaft for trespassing on our property! If you were 400 feet that way, my neighbor would have shot first and asked questions later." "We were just filming a quick scene, I'm Ed," said Ed as he stuck out his hand. "I'm Dick. Dick Dale" said the older fella as he adjusted his goggles into his forehead. "You're Dick Dale, the surf guitar legend!? We JUST saw your picture on a buffalo burger place up the road about an hour ago!" I exclaimed….
There's more to the story, but the main point is that its been amazing to see Phil evolve and carve his own path in the industry. He also did camerawork on the new Flaming Lips Rockumentary "Beautiful F*cking Experience". He doesn't wait for Hollywood to catch up to him and this is why he is skyrocketing. His Chicago work ethic shines through and I consider him an inspirational and essential ingredient to my Friendship Ecosystem.

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