I’m writing/producing a feature film based on a fascinating true crime story about the Betsy Faria murder/Pam Hupp story–a bizarre tale full of sex, deceit, twists, and murders–based on life story rights of the two principals, Russ Faria, the wrongly accused/convicted husband, and Joel Schwartz, Russ’s defense atty and leading figure in uncovering the actual killer, Pam Hupp. The story’s been featured on 8 segments on NBC’s Dateline and will be the focus in its September premiere show, making the Faria/Hupp story the most covered show in Dateline’s history—except for the O.J. and JonBenet Ramsey stories!
(Russell and Betsy Faria) Pam Hupp
My newly-released short film, SAFE & HAPPY, won two nominations from the Austin Revolution Film Festival, Sept. 3-8: Best U.S. Short and Best Actor for Clayton Bury. The No. 1 Filmmaker Rated Festival on Film Freeway, the Austin Revolution Film Festival, received over 3000 submissions before making its official selections. So we’re especially proud of our little film, just now beginning its festival circuit. Our film screens on Sept. 6. More to come!
The 19th Annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase featured two of my short films, MEMORY BOX and SAFE & HAPPY Sunday, July 14, to strong and positive audiences. It was the 27th festival selection for MEMORY BOX and the world premiere for SAFE & HAPPY. (So far, three other festivals have selected SAFE & HAPPY; others to follow).
My short film, SAFE & HAPPY, hits the festival circuit on July 14 as part of the 2019 St. Louis Filmmaker Showcase. A drama about an ex-cop with an explosive secret, SAFE & HAPPY, is now out to festivals throughout the country. More to come!
Check out this wonderful BTS (behind the scenes) video on the making of my new short film, SAFE & HAPPY:
Had a lot of fun speaking with Toronto-based podcast Extra Features about my new short film , SAFE & HAPPY, short films vs. features, and the challenges and advantages of making movies in a place like St. Louis. Check it out!
Extra Features Interviews: Daniel Blake Smith about his film “Safe And Happy”.
A superb cast and crew finished production on my new short film, SAFE AND HAPPY, after a two-day shoot on March 8-9, in St. Louis. SAFE AND HAPPY tells the dramatic story of an ex-cop who for years has kept an explosive secret from his wife and the world but is suddenly exposed at a critical moment–with life-changing consequences. As our group picture after the shoot indicates, this was a team that was a joy to work with.
I am pleased to announce that in January I optioned the film rights to the fascinating true story memoir, BLINDSIDED BY THE TALIBAN: A JOURNALIST’S STORY OF WAR, TRAUMA, LOVE, AND LOSS, by Carmen Gentile. It’s a captivating and piercingly honest account of a war correspondent who, amazingly, survived a rocket-propelled-grenade attack, and went on to a recovery–both physical and emotional–that is at once riveting and deeply engaging. It immediately struck me as an extremely relatable story for a movie. So I’m at work turning Carmen’s partly harrowing, partly humorous personal story into a film that, I believe, will be even more captivating on the big screen. Stay tuned!
I’ll be selling and signing books–my debut novel, MR. WONDERFUL, and my prize-winning history of the Trail of Tears, AN AMERICAN BETRAYAL: CHEROKEE PATRIOTS AND THE TRAIL OF TEARS (Henry Holt)–on Saturday, Nov 17, 9am-4pm at the Kentucky Book Festival. The event is held at the Kentucky Horse Park in the Alltech Arena.
I recently recorded a podcast interview with Simon Watson’s Extra Features Movie Review Podcast up in Toronto. Check it out!