You may have seen Patrick Basquill and Caylan McKay onstage together in some form or fashion over the past few years. Each met during their tenure at the children’s youth theatre company, Journey Productions. Today they continue sharing the stage in community theatre productions and beyond.
“Over the last decade and a half, Caylan and I grew older in body but not in mind,” Basquill quips, “and branched out into doing improv, sketch and stand-up comedy.” They can be seen on Wednesday nights at Dead Crow Comedy Room performing in their comedy troupe, Nutt House Improv.
The dynamic duo were joined last year by Ethan Sigmon to complete their “fake family,” as Baquill calls it. “Caylan, the youngest sibling in his family, needed someone to pass along all his wisdom to,” Basquill says. “And I, the oldest sibling in my family, was very dumb and needed a lot of guidance; hence, instant fake brothers.”
Basquill and McKay began writing short films and needed a director of photography to help capture their vision. They met Sigmon, a film studies graduate from UNCW. Fake Brothers Productions was founded from their bond. “Sigmon is actually talented at making films and fits the much-needed middle-sibling role,” Basquill says, “but, more so, [he fits] the director of photography position superbly.”
Over the last few years the trio filmed a few shorts, all of which take place in the same universe, so to speak, yet have various narratives that aren’t connected. They shot “Good Time Call” last November at donated office space from The Husk. The remainder of the film was made guerrilla-style across Wilmington. “This short tells the story of a lonely young man seeking satisfaction and friends in the digital world,” Basquill explains.
In February they took to Wilmington again to film “Abducted!” The story follows roommates who are overcoming conflict and an abrupt departure from normal life. “The creative process was frenetic with each of us looking at drafts, suggesting changes and keeping the pace where it needed to be,” Basquill explains.
McKay and Basquill honed the pen as Sigmon’s high-minded technical aptitude and pragmatic narrative thinking fleshed out the films. “Basically, when I got too out there, Caylan reined me in, and when Caylan and I both got too out there, Ethan picked us both up and held us like baby bears until we gained our senses,” Basquill vividly explains.
The trifecta are now taking their working relationship to new heights. They plan on doing a feature film this year. Though they’re mum on the details, they will be holding a three-day fundraiser this weekend to help finance the venture. Basquill calls it a passion project that’s been in the making for some time.
“It was only with the writing, developing and filming of these short films that we knew we needed to make this dream a reality and create an opportunity to shoot the [feature] film,” he tells. In reaching their financing goals, the plan is to make the feature in late fall 2015 and early winter 2016. “The entire production will be shot locally, utilizing the wide expanse of talent found here in Wilmington and the surrounding area,” Basquill continues.
They decided against Kickstarter and Indiegogo crowdsourcing in order to take their efforts directly into the community—a “straight-to-the-Wilmington-streets attitude,” as they call it. Much like the crowdsourcing platforms, various prizes will accompany donor levels. Folks who donate will receive items like digital downloads of the movie, signed original copies of the script, outtakes, posters, and such. Themed baskets also will be raffled at the parties.
“There will be more instantly gratuitous items, like bidding on Caylan and I doing yard work for you, going shopping with you, definitely not desperate,” Basquill says. “We will do anything short of selling ourselves into personal servitude to help us fund a project that we truly care about.”
They look to enter their shorts on the festival circuit as well, including Over the Fence Comedy Film Festival in Hamilton Hill, Austrailia, Slamdance in Park City, Utah, and the Austin Film Festival. They also hope to secure entry into Wilmington’s own Cuclaorus.
“It has long been our dream to get a film into the well-respected local festival,” Basquill says. “Honestly, we’re just hoping audiences will enjoy the films half as much as we enjoyed making them.”
Each night the fundraisers have quirky themes indicative of the comedic personalities of the filmmakers. According to Basquill, they broke down each night into “fancy sounding buzzwords”: Austere Gratitude “basically means Fancy Thanks,” and takes place at TheatreNOW on May 21 at 6:30 p.m. They will screen “Good Time Call” at the event.
Revels and Raditude equals Party and Raditudes—“because ‘raditude’ is not a word, but it’s a damn good time and that’s what the second night is about.” It takes place May 22 at Jengo’s Playhouse. It will be like a carnival, Fake Brothers’ style.
“The third night, Debaucherous Attitudes, kind of encompass the way Caylan, Ethan, and I all operate as human beings,” Basquill says. “The third night is basically letting you peek into our darkness.” It takes place May 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Dead Crow Comedy Room. Entry into each party is a donation to complete their feature film.
Fake Brothers Productions
Fundraising parties for feature film
Admission by donation
May 21: TheatreNOW, 19 S. 10th Street, 6:30 p.m.
May 22: Jengo’s Playhouse, 815 Princess Street, 6 p.m.
Revels and Radtitudes
May 24: Dead Crow Comedy Room, 265 N. Front Street, 5:30 p.m.