There's a number of production companies in town working hard to create cool films and content, but they don't always get the spotlight like they should. One of such company is C Street Studios, which currently produce short films as well as commercial content for clients. Today we chat with founder and director Jeffrey Goodey
about his career and the work C Street has already completed, as well as what might be ahead. (All pictures provided courtesy of C Street Studios.
Gavin: First thing, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a father of five boys and married to the most supportive wife anyone has ever known. My primary source of income for my adult life has come from the IT industry, but I have always kept my love of film and video alive with amateur projects along the way. Most of my life I have lived in Washington state or Utah, but I have also spent time in Virginia and South Korea. I speak Korean as a second language and have an affinity for all things Korean, from the food to K-Pop and especially Korean cinema. I have over a thousand videos on eHow.com and LiveStrong.com,
and have been the featured filmmaker twice (on the front page). I won the editor's choice award and picked as the filmmaker for four featured talent series for those sites. My narrative shorts have been awarded best director, best cinematography and two best film awards in the Salt Lake City Film Festival.
What first got you interested in entertainment and had an influence on you growing up?
I grew up in Washington state in a little place called Ellensburg. This sleepy college town seemed bigger than life to a young lad and it was mine to explore. We had giant evergreens with branches that swept to the ground and made natural teepees. Within a few blocks of one direction was the campus with all kinds of adventure, from the student union building (with the largest coin arcade in the city) to the science building (with its display of amazing contraptions). In another direction was Jerry's, the corner store, where we would buy candy bars with coins scrounged from in-between the couch cushions. Part of the store had pens and paper and art supplies, all of which brought as much excitement as the chocolate by the register. Just a little further than Jerry's was the one and only movie theater at the time. With a large family, movies were a magical treat that was enjoyed on a rare occasion. This was my world, opened to me by my encouraging parents: my father a writer, English teacher and newspaper editor over the years, and my mother an artist. Her father, my grandfather was a scientist and an artist and a storyteller. I grew up hearing stories of how he built the first car radio (probably anywhere) and designed circuitry that made it to the moon while surrounded by his beautiful landscape paintings. I was raised on a well-balanced diet of creative and technical. When I was 8-years-old, my father came home with an incredible new device called a VCR. He left instructions not to touch it, as it was very complicated and needed to be setup correctly. (Okay, so my dad is more creative than technical.) I couldn't wait. I unboxed this portal to other worlds and proceeded to get it hooked into the TV and dial in each of the five over-the-air channels we could receive. Now all those movies I had missed could be watched at home over and over.
What was the catalyst that made you want to get into film?
About the same time as my family got the VCR a film called The Empire Strikes Back
came to our little theater. I was completely blown
away. It was seeing that movie that made me want to be a director. It is still on the top of my list for all-time favorite movies. I came home and wrote a script, I think it was about a page and a half handwritten. I didn't know what a script looked like and so it was more of a brief outline of a story. I didn't have any actors and since it was going to be a mostly strange alien life I made the creative decision to do claymation. I recruited my best friend who lived next door and we made dozens of clay characters for the film. It was at this point that I realized that I didn't have a camera and I was getting hungry. This was the end of my first production.
What was it like for you learning the ropes, through education and jobs in the industry?
That desire to make films never left me and everyone knew it. A few years later my parents got me a VHS camcorder. I started making anything I could think of. There was no internet for me to google how to make films and I was too young for film school. I wasn't even in high school yet. So I did the only thing I could at the time, and went to the library and checked out any book I could find on filmmaking. I bought magazines and watched any specials with behind the scenes footage that came on TV. I watched movies over and over, paying attention to the composition of the scenes, and then tried to mimic those things in my own projects. As I became an adult, I had a decision to make. Society was telling me I had to make money and be responsible. I decided against going to film school and instead started in a new field called IT.
What eventually brought you to Utah and what made you decide to stay?
My IT career had taken me to Virginia, where my first son was born. My wife and I decided we wanted to raise our children in a more family-friendly environment, and so we decided to make the move to Utah, where much of my extended family lived. I continued on in my IT career,
but still made amateur videos as much as I could. I even made a commercial for a contest that ended up being shown on The WB. In 2012, one of my co-workers was also into filmmaking,
and ventured into a few projects together along with one of his friends for a little while that did pretty well including our first short film together that got awarded Best Film in the Salt Lake City Comedy Film Festival.
How did C Street Studios come together back in 2013? Where did you get the name from at the time?
That joint venture ended when that coworker decided to move his family to California for another opportunity, but my desire to make movies had been reinvigorated. I decided that with the cost of making movies coming to within my grasp as DSL cameras with 1080P capabilities hitting the market, I was going to go after my dream of directing. I started my company, C Street Studios, named after the street I lived on back
when I was 8 and first decided to be a director. It was a tribute to that initial spot in my bedroom, my first studio.
What was it like putting the company together and getting a crew during the first year? What were some of the early projects you worked on?
I had already built up some equipment and had a few projects to make a commercial reel from my work the year before, so I just filled in a few items I needed and got started. Within a very short time, I had been contracted to make videos for eHow.com as well as some other sites such as livestrong.com, SFGate.com, and AZCentralLiving.com. This consumed most of my time as a one-man show,
but was paying for additional gear and giving me more experience on the technical side of filmmaking. The goal for C Street Studios was always to make narratives, though. I knew the only way to achieve this goal was to actually start filming shorts again. My brother had a desire to write a script. So we collaborated on the first C Street film called The System
. I didn't have any formal schooling and even the film I had done the year before was just some friends getting together and making a film. I only knew one person in the cast and crew for The System,
and I was the director. I was a little nervous that someone was going to look at me funny and say, "What are you talking about? That's not how you direct!" This is when all the behind the scenes I had watched over the years helped out. I just did what I had seen all my favorite directors do and it worked. Everyone responded and I don't think anyone knew it was my first time really directing. I wasn't expecting a lot from it, but I was pleased with the results. It has some technical issues and suffers from some pacing issues, but overall I am satisfied with calling this my first short film as a director. Although Shelter
was the next film to be written and finish production, it is still in post-production. The third short, also written and directed by myself is called Doll Face
. It won the best cinematography, best directing and best film at Filmulate's
Dark Christmas Film Festival.
How did the film Shelter come about, and how has it been working on that?
After that first short I was really excited to get to the next project, but my brother was busy and wasn't able to write another script at the time. After some time of waiting and looking for other scripts from other writers and not really finding anything, I was happy enough with it that I decided I would give it a shot. I hadn't really ever wanted to be the writer. I just wanted to direct. But I decided if I was going to have a script anytime soon, I would need to write it. My brother and our friend had been discussing some ideas for a script and I asked if I could run with it as they didn't have time. The concept really came from the need to stick to a small budget, as it was all funded out of pocket. The question was raised, how do you minimize locations without it feeling low-budget? If the characters are trapped then there is motivation for being in one location. Then if that one place is all there is, what is the conflict? Just getting out isn't enough. Well, you will have to watch to find out.
Where do you hope to take the company over the next few years? Do you want to keep it as a commercial-based company or expand more into TV and film on a regular basis?
C Street Studios has always been about making films. The commercial side has mostly been what has fallen into our laps. There have been times of more focus on commercial work and more on narratives, but ongoing our focus is only on narratives. The only commercial work we are doing now is from existing clients.
Without giving too much away, what projects do you currently have in the works?
My first feature-length script is in development right now. It's a little horror film influenced by the Korean cinema I love.
What can we expect from yourself and C Street Studios over the rest of 2017?
We have two shorts being released this year, Shelter
. We will have a screening of all four of our completed shorts this year for all the cast and crew and their family and friends. We will also open it up to members of the local filmmaking community and those that are interested in the local indie scene. We also have two more shorts in the early stages of pre-production that will probably go into production this year.