Student Highlight: Chadrick Whitmire

Student Highlight: Chadrick Whitmire

Get to know Writer, Filmmaker, and TAS Alumni: Chadrick Whitmire

Periodically The Actor’s Scene likes to reach out to students and chronicle their success in the industry. Case and point: Chadrick Whitmire. Here’s what Chadrick has to say…

Hi Chadrick! We would love to hear more about what you do:

I’m Chadrick Whitmire! I am a writer and filmmaker based in Flowery Branch, Georgia. 

The story goes all the way back to when I was three years old. I had always wanted to be an actor. As I grew up, I started doing theater in middle school. I did years of school plays, as well as community theater plays, once I started high school. I pretty much quit after graduation. Life took over and I thought it was a distant memory. However, after years of low self esteem and thinking I wasn’t good enough, I decided to make a change. I scheduled a class audit with The Actor’s Scene and took the beginner class, Acting Foundations. I really needed this in my life- to possibly prove something to myself. I took the class with Coach Kristi Taylor. I enjoyed every minute and appreciated the individual time she gave us in our classes.

What is a memory that you have from your time taking classes with Coach Kristi?

My biggest memory would have to be…the time I did one of my last monologues. She said I did amazing, and that was an awesome moment for me! She said I did great and had no notes for me.

So what made you decide to pursue filmmaking?

Once going out into the world of acting, I realized that it wasn’t for me. However, the classes took me back to what I loved. I learned that what I wanted to do was be behind the camera. In 2021, I began my journey into filmmaking. I wrote a short called Barnes Funeral Home and then decided it was time to take this seriously. I began casting the roles, and once everyone was onboard I took all of the cast and crew to Warm Springs. The drive was three hours, but the location was amazing. I had issues with it being my first film, but the experience was worth it. I had successfully made a 12 minute short film and completed it. I gained a lot of knowledge on that film set. 

I would say that it wasn’t too long after that I wrote another short film called Changing Malcolm. Changing Malcolm was a hit, so I went on to make more episodes. I couldn’t believe the response from everyone. People I didn’t even know wanted to be in my series. A while went by, and after making seven episodes we decided that we would just edit it as a feature and get it out that way. We ended up getting, Malcolm, our feature onto five different platforms. The top two we were happy to get were Tubi and Amazon. I can’t believe I pulled it off, and it’s actually a great movie!

Congratulations on the streaming releases! That’s awesome! What’s something that you learned about filmmaking from that experience, and what advice would you give to any aspiring filmmakers out there?

Honestly, I’d probably tell them to stay true to themselves. If you want it, go for it. One more thing: do something that has to do with your dream EVERYDAY. It’s a lifestyle and it’s NONSTOP!

Throughout the process I had doubts, of course. I wouldn’t say it was hard, but dealing with my own mental health put me in check. I write all of my films surrounding mental illness. Malcolm is a movie about a man struggling with his mental health. His name is Michael Russo, but when he kills he has turned into Malcolm. We were going to do a part 2, but decided to make just one and move onto something else. I can say I still don’t believe I have a feature film under my belt. If it weren’t for Coach Kristi Taylor giving me the boost of confidence I needed, none of this would have happened. I just want to thank her for believing in me. I remember taking her a brochure from Barnes Funeral Home. Coach Kristi Taylor never stopped believing that I could accomplish these goals I had set for myself. Even after the class, we stayed in contact and chat from time to time. 

That is amazing! So what is next for you? Do you have other projects in the works?

Now it’s 2024, and I have written a feature, made a feature, and have two more in the works. My next project is called Lattimore. It begins filming January 2024, and my other project will film late 2024. That film is untitled at the moment, but is in development. Even though it didn’t work out with being an actor, I found my passion in writing. I have been in this for 3 years now, and want to continue entertaining people. The biggest thing I got out of those acting classes was a sense of self worth. I am now part of something, and I will continue to do my work until my time here is done. I want to thank Coach Kristi once more and thank you all for reading.

Before we end, what would you say to someone who is doubting themselves in the early processes of filmmaking (or struggling to take a step towards their dream)?

I would tell them that you get what you put into it. Like before…you should be doing something focusing on your dream/career everyday. You just need to do what you can. I know this can be very overwhelming, but if it works, do something. Network, write, edit, write a story and make it into a short film. There are many things that can be done to make progress with your dream/career. I have heard so many excuses from people. Don’t make excuses, be a doer.

Mental health means a lot to me. I am a NAMI facilitator for support groups. I am also certified to do training as well. NAMI, NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS, has taught me to keep going in everything I want to do in life.

You can follow Chadrick!

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