Winner of Best Film and Fan Fave at the 2016 Cut to the Chase Film Festival in Shepherdstown, WV
Winner of the Brian Meade Award for Best Local Film at the 2017 Colony Short Film Festival in Marietta, OH
State Inspection was shot for the 2016 Cut to the Chase Film Festival. Cut to the Chase asks that you make a film specifically for their festival each year. The way they determine this is by asking you to include a “key element.” 2016’s key element was “water.”
I wanted to make something about anxiety and how a lot of self-help advice and spiritual systems suggest that you combat anxiety by cultivating a “mind like water.” So I tried to think of the most anxiety-ridden situations for me. One of those is leaving my car in the shop.
I started to write a short about a guy who tries to meditate while waiting for his car and then meets the character Abbey plays, but as I started writing, I thought it didn’t make sense that someone that anxious would actually use their meditation app in public. I still liked the idea and the characters though, so I played with them until it turned into this.
Justin Litton was the director of photography, and his production company Mountain Craft Productions is responsible for it being made and looking as slick as it does. We shot this when we were developing a feature film together because we wanted to show potential investors what a film that he shoots and that I write and direct looks like. I think it looks pretty good, and it’s had the most success of anything I’ve made at film festivals so far.
I met Abbey Miskowiec while acting in a production of The Flick in Saint Albans and knew I had to cast her in something because she was amazing in it. I’d wanted to work with Nate Cesco after seeing him do standup at Black Sheep for years.
I hate that I forgot to give WMUL’s Nathan Thomas a credit for turning me on to the closing track, “Inside” by Bishops.