Like “Footloose”, and “Sweet Home Alabama”, RUNAROUND SUE is a song-title film that captures the essence of Dion Dimucci's lyrics in this Southern tale of music and romance. Buckle up for a full night of adventure with Dion (The Wanderer) and Runaround Sue.
Inclusion StatementIt’s no secret Hollywood has lost sight of what it means to be a gentleman. An important goal of RUNAROUND SUE is to highlight a strong woman being treated with the respect she deserves. Our production will also be inclusive, representing an array of gender, race, and sexuality.
About The Project
Runaround Sue combines music and romance in small town Louisiana. It's a new feel of the old times. Our characters are rough around the edges with quick-witted dialogue. Where Sue is from, the trucks are lifted high, the average IQ is low, and the rumors spread like wildfire.
Because our film is based on the lyrics of two songs recorded in the 1960’s, music is an essential element of our film influencing its style and pace. We will use locally recorded, instrumental versions of “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer” over the course of the film (each song recorded in different speeds/tones to match the scene’s mood).
The lyrics of the songs were used to build the foundation of our characters, Sue and Dion.
“Runaround Sue” will break your heart. She goes out with all the guys. Keep away!
“The Wanderer” roams from town to town with his two firsts of iron. He’s got Flow on
his left and Mary on his right, and where pretty girls are, you know he’s around.
Our goal is to display the beauty of Natchitoches both in and out of the city limits. Cane River Lake provides 35 miles of stunning oxbow scenery that will be captured by boat and drone. From the Melrose Plantations built in 1832 to the Downtown Historical District, our director knows every inch of this parish and will show the world what “Steel Magnolias” never knew existed. Because Sue is a bartender, the majority of filming with be located at Antoon’s Bar on Hwy 1 on the Natchitoches bypass. We will use Point Place Marina outside the city limits as well. In between will be Sue and Dion’s adventure inside a 1965 convertible Mustang.
It’s our goal to involve not only Natchitoches businesses, but all of Louisiana as well. The local restaurants that sponsor our meals will have their establishment or logo displayed in our film and a special thanks in the credits. Since most of the filming will be inside two bars, we will use local breweries for our product placement. We will also provide on-set internships for the film & theatre students at Northwestern State University and the surrounding schools.
BRINGING FILM BACK TO LA
Due to the recent tax cuts in Louisiana’s film department, much of the industry left New Orleans and Baton Rouge for Atlanta, leaving many talented actors and crew members without work. It’s our goal to bring jobs back to the Louisiana workers on a project that exposes our rich southern culture.
Runaround Sue is our way of confronting Hollywood’s recent issues with sexual misconduct. We are excited to bring a true gentleman to the screen as our leading male role (The Wanderer).
During the development of Runaround Sue, we solidified every location, accomodations for the team, sponsored meals, and a 1965 Mustang for The Wanderer’s car.
MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION
Our producers have all the resources in place to successfully distribute the film including direct connections to several major sales companies. The goal of any film is to make the value of the film worth more than the budget. Statistically speaking, value generally comes in the form of name-talent. Because we do not have a large budget, we do not necessarily need a "star" name, but we fully intend to cast up-and-coming, marketable talent. We also intend to hire a publicist to promote our project based on said talent. Our producers have had great success with this low-budget model on their last film, Violent Delights. Of course, the "X Factor" that can defy all odds is creating a unique, engaging, quality film, which we fully intend on doing as well.
A Statement from Writer/Director, Matthew Yerby:
The last time I spoke with my father before he passed away was a phone call on my 30th birthday. He told me something every son wants to hear from his father — He let me know how proud he was of me.
You see, where I’m from in North Louisiana, young men graduate high school or college, take any job they can get, make a family, and settle down. I’m not saying anything is wrong with this lifestyle, but I always knew I wanted more. After I graduated college and was released from baseball, I couldn’t find a job anywhere. Everyone wanted “experience”, and that was just something I didn’t have at 24 years old. While I waited for interviews, I asked myself, “What are you experienced at?”. Other than baseball, my only interests growing up were the theatre and art classes, so that’s when I said to my old man, “Pop, I’m gonna be an actor and an artist.”... And to which his response was, “You’re stupid and you’re gonna starve."
My father was a wise man, and though I didn’t want to believe him, he was right. Once I went 72 hours without eating because I had zero dollars in my bank account (and too much pride to call home), and I’d do it all over again to live the dream I’m living.
If 20 years of baseball taught me one thing, it was that practice makes us better. I knew if I wanted to make a living as a filmmaker and an artist, I would have to practice learning these crafts more than my competition. It would have been smart of me to get a “real job” and learn these crafts on the side, but I knew I would get where I wanted to be faster if I gave it my all from the start. For the last 7 years, my only income has been my creativity.
I assure you there were many times I wanted to quit and find a more secure job, but when you’re an artist there is a constant whisper in your gut that says, “Keep going. Don’t stop now. You’re almost there." No matter how hard times got, I directed my focus to that whisper and lived by faith for the majority of the decade, and I will continue to live this way because creating art is why I’m here.
Why this story? Because I’ve been told over and over again in Hollywood that whatever my first feature film is about, that’s what the public will expect from me on my next film and the next. So if I must put out a story that describes me as a filmmaker, then I will write what I know:
I was raised in a town of less than 7,000 people, and these are the characters I know. Runaround Sue is a small town tale with a strong leading female in a place where everyone knows everybody’s business — Something that most of us can relate to.
I say all this so that you may understand why my father, a country man of very few words, told me he was proud of me. Not because it was my 30th birthday — It was because I never gave up on what everybody thought I couldn’t do. Being a broke artist and writer made me work like I never had before, and through those starving hours I turned my dream into my reality because my dad never raised me to quit. Instead he taught me that all of life’s great accomplishments take time and constant effort, and this is why I’m very thankful to have surrounded myself with a team that puts forth that effort and more. This film will be made in his memory.
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About This Team
Not to toot our own horn, but our team is stacked with experience and talent across the board. Our producing team (Dynasty Pictures) is young, highly motivated and has had amazing success in their endeavors within a very short amount of time. Our cinmatagrapher, Caleb Spillyards, is a one-man machine with an eye for excellence. He's a true jack of all trades who has put production on his back for countless music videos, and they always look like a million bucks... literally. Last but not least, Matthew Yerby, our Writer/Director is one of a kind. A college athlete gone artist who pays his rent by painting, while writing script after script on the side. Runaround Sue is ALL him. It's the world he grew up in, the people he knows, and the music he listens to. There's no one better fit to direct this film.
MATTHEW YERBY (Writer / Director)
Matthew Yerby is a Louisiana native based in North Hollywood, CA. With 4 years of Meisner training, Matthew began his acting career in 2012 with End of the Road, Trent’s War and Saltz. In 2016 he stepped behind the camera, producing an Oscar qualifying short film, The Stand, that just ended it’s festival run in 2017. After months of planning his first feature film, Matthew will make his writer/director debut with Runaround Sue.
CALEB SPILLYARDS (Cinematographer)
After building hia local garage band into an established major label pop/rock group and making a name for himself as a Junior Olympian, Caleb Spillyards shifted gears into the world of entertainment, co-founding Ophion Entertainment and directing/producing over a dozen music videos, collectively grossing millions of views on major platforms such as MTV and Vevo.
As a producer and director, Caleb has worked with celebrity talent such as Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Fancy, and Greyson Chance. In tandem with the success of Ophion Ent., Caleb launched a notable career as an actor and stuntman, working on various TV, feature films, and recurring on ABC's prime-time series, The Astronaut Wives Club.
ANDREW VOGEL (Producer)
New Orleans raised Producer/Actor Andrew Vogel, worked as the Executive Editor of Louisiana Film and Video Magazine and Operations Director for The Louisiana International Film Festival. In 2017, Andrew Co-Founded Dynasty Pictures, a film production company.
In January of 2018, Andrew wrapped principal photography on the P.I. thriller, Sargasso, starring Tom Berenger (Platoon, Inception) and Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan, Friday Night Lights). See write-up in Deadline. This project is currently in post-production. In April of 2018, Andrew wrapped principal photography on the indie-darling Violent Delights starring Bria Vinaite (The Florida Project). See announcement in Variety. The announcement landed the cover of Variety during Cannes Film Festival in May. This project is also in post-production. Andrew is currently in development for a slate of features films, not least of which is Runaround Sue.
In tandem with his career as a producer, Andrew has established himself as an actor with notable credits, most recently working opposite Jon Voight as a hot-shot lawyer in the historical drama, Roe V. Wade. Andrew can also be seen in A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, CBS's Under the Dome as a recurring character, The Astronaut Wives Club on ABC, and box-office sleeper hit God's Not Dead.
SUZANN TONI (Producer)
Suzann Toni is a film producer, helping empower both emerging and established storytellers. She started as a production coordinator on a number of music videos and short films, and then worked on feature film Sargasso which starred Oscar-nominated Tom Berenger (Platoon, Inception) and Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan, Friday Night Lights) with Dynasty Pictures. She then went on to produce the feature film Violent Delights, starring break-out actress Bria Vinaite of The Florida Project, which wrapped earlier this year and has received announcements in both Variety and Deadline. Suzann graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Film and Italian, and looks to produce compelling, meaningful content for years to come
ZAC WEINSTEIN (Producer)
Zac Weinstein is a Producer and Actor from Baltimore, MD. After starting his construction company at the age of 19, Zac quickly changed gears into technology, champagne and medicinal marijuana before discovering his love for film and entertainment. Using his background in business and entrepreneurship, Zac engulfed himself in the entertainment industry and has become involved in a multitude of different projects as both an actor and producer at all different budgets and genres.
After producing his first 3 micro-budget features in NYC and LA, Zac began his production company, Dynasty Pictures, in July of 2017. Since then, Zac has completed production on 3 feature films, the latest being Crypto, featuring Kurt Russel, Luke Hemsworth, Alexis Bledel, and Beau Knapp. Zac has 4 more projects slated for principal photography later this year.