Friends in Deed
Producer: John Michael Michalak
Story: John Michael Michalak
Co-Writers: John Michael Michalak & Jason William Power
Director: Jason William Power
Cast: Evan Adrian, Dirk Dierking, Kate Hyland, Rachael Jane, Lawrence Lacey, John Michael
Michalak, Jason William Power, Patricia A. Smith, and Jesse Trout
Starting with an idea for a fact-based feature in 2016, Friends in Deed began as a riff on daily struggles with family, friends, and money. The idea to make a film using only mobile phones gave us a practical solution to problems we had faced in previous productions, and an exciting option for a feature on a microbudget. The story changed with many rewrites, and in 2019 a Kickstarter campaign helped us secure a slate of talent already interested in seeing the project come to life.
The project itself embraces the lo-fi aesthetic of independent film established long before the digital age. Locations, costumes, and logistics were largely determined by budget and time constraints, but the talent and energy of the cast and crew helped us complete 90% of our scenes in 2019. The onset of the Covid pandemic meant re-shoots and post-production were drawn-out, and some scenes were shot piecemeal over the course of another year while editing.
The story behind Friends in Deed takes suburban everyday life and exposes its many layers of debt and trust that weave us all into larger obligations, all defined by risk. Money is only the tip of the iceberg, and obligations are not always financial. Friends and family force us to re-evaluate our trust and resolve, even if it’s too late to make amends.
Director’s Bio: Jason William Power
Born in D.C. and raised in Maryland, Jason began writing and directing films with artists in Chicago in 2003, including Narrow You Down (2004), Limits (2007), and Inherited (2014). JWP continues to develop projects in which human expression is the source of redemption for characters shaped by social and spiritual conflicts. Inspired by classic theater, literature, and cinema from around the world, JWP loves stories across genres that celebrate the bizarre and uncanny alongside the poetic and the prophetic.
Jason has been teaching literature, history, and media arts to high school students for the last 10 years. He cooks for his gorgeous and brilliant wife and children, because they give life so much flavor. A musician at heart, Jason considered a career as a Jazz drummer, but also loves Classical, Hip-Hop, Punk Rock, and all the notes in between.