Off The Record

 

BY DIRECTOR KATHERINE BROOKS AND AIMEE ALLEN

 

“From The Beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
But today I have seen it
The charm, the beauty,
The unfathomable grace
Of the face
That I was looking for.”

I have never told anyone the reason I became a music journalist. I never told anyone that I wanted to be a singer. When I was in high school, I had dreams of being a famous singer. I would practice my songs in front of my stuffed animals and in 7th grade got the courage to enter the talent contest. I was quickly heckled off stage and I never sang again. The idea of music being the passion that fills your soul, but also the root that destroyed it, was the seed that gave me the idea for OFF THE RECORD.

Off The Record is a feature length docu-narrative that blends both reality and fantasy. The movie takes a raw and honest look at Alex (played by me), a music journalist sent to do an article on Charley (Aimee Allen), a tortured rock star.  At the core, Off The Record is a love story between Alex and Charley, but as you venture deeper into the hearts of these two women, you discover that they both have emotionally abandoned their lives. Working for MTV for over a decade, I had the chance to interview and work with some of the world’s biggest rock stars. For years, I had an inside look at their lives and became fascinated.

Off The Record explores mental health issues, intimacy and the struggles a woman goes through being a survivor of sexual abuse. I plan to push the boundaries of filmmaking, exposing some very taboo and controversial topics. This is the perfect medium for me as a “director” to blend my ten years of directing reality television and decade of narrative features. I feel we are all tortured in some way. Whether we struggle with addiction, weight, low self esteem, love…. Each of us has a secret that is devastating to our core. It’s my hope that as these two characters battle their way to redemption that somehow…..in some way…..the spectator will overcome their own obstacles and journey into the light.

I won’t go into detail, but after having a profound conversation with my lead actress (Aimee), it has come to my attention that the meaning of this movie is LOVE. If we can help save one person who feels like they are alone in this world, or that they are abnormal for being different, then everything I have endured in this life has a purpose……and that purpose has lead me to make this film and fill it with pure truth.

Here is a little Excerpt of the movie to give you a sense of it and to show how much it means to me:
“There are no words to describe what is happening…… because I do not know. It may not even have any words. When I was a teen….. music was my life. I would lock myself in my room with my vinyls and turn out all the lights and escape with my records. Music was my heartbeat. My Oxygen. My life force. My soul.

When I was in 9th grade, I made a mix tape for a girl that I liked and snuck it into her locker. I spent weeks putting together the perfect blend of music to express exactly how I felt. I found the tape in my locker……it had LOSER written on it and was broken. And even though a decade later I would commit my life to the world of music journalism…..music in that moment died for me.

I have not known Charley long as we have just began this journey of search. But, in the short amount of time that I have spent with her, she gives me a glimmer of hope that I will one day be able to feel again. Purely. Effortlessly.”

The Cast:

 

Katherine Brooks is the founder and CEO of Big Easy Pictures LLC, a New Orleans Based Production company that specializes in quality projects for both television and film. With 15 years of experience in film and television, Katherine has directed some of television’s hottest shows and critically acclaimed feature films.

Television credits include : three seasons of the Emmy-award winning “The Osbournes”, highly- acclaimed show “The Real World”, “Meet The Barkers” with Blink182 Drummer Travis Barker, two seasons of “The Newlyweds” with Jessica Simpsons, and directed “The Simple Life” with Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie.

Film Credits Include: Critically acclaimed feature film “Loving Annabelle”, 2006, starring Erin Kelly, Diane Gaidry and Academy Award nominee Kevin McCarthy. Second Feature “Waking Madison”, 2011, starring Sarah Roemer (Disturbia), Academy Award nominee Elisabeth Shue, Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow) & Golden Globe Winner Frances Conroy.

Awards & Recognitions Include: member of the Directors Guild of America, Recipient of the LACE award for Arts and Entertainment, PowerUP Award (November 6, 2011)  for being a strong voice and activist for the LGBT community.

Aimee Allen is an American pop rock singer- songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. She is known for her work on the dance song “Cooties” made for the soundtrack of the 2007 version of the movie “Hairspray.” Allen Contributed to the writing of Unwritten Law’s Album “Here’s to the Mourning,” released in 2005. Allen supported presidential candidate Ron Paul during the 2008 primaries by recording an unofficial Ron Paul Anthem, also performing at many events during the 2008 campaigns of Ron Paul. Allen was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards. Her contributions helped assist the careers of upcoming independent artists. She has also appeared on the Sundance Channel’s “Elvis Costello’s Inspiration Sessions” sharing her songwriting techniques along with Elton John and Nelly Furtado.

Contributions to the world of music include : Her first single “Revolution”, a featured rock video on MTV and appeared in the soundtrack of the film “Storm” & theme for the WB television network series “Birds of Prey”.  In 2007, “Stripper Friends” was reworked by Kevin Michael as “We All Want The Same Thing”, and was also covered by celebrity Tila Tequila. Other Hit singles are- “Save me”, “Revolution”, “A Little Happiness”, “On Vacation”, “Crazy”.

Erin Kelly, from the age of 6, has been a part of every school play. In 7th grade, she joined a youth community theatre and performed her first real play, as Gretel. Upon Arriving in 2000, Kelly became a student of a small Meisner Technique School and landed gigs in commercials, giving her financial freedom to co-found a theatre company, “The Ruskin Group Theatre”. In 2009, Kelly co-founded a production company called “Rock Rose Entertainment”. In October 2009, she started a monthly theatre project called “Hitching Post Theater”. It has become a landmark for local artists to showcase and fine tune their craft. Rock Rose also shot her first short film “Lilith” which is under festival circuit, and also “Mercury Arising”, a documentary on mercury toxicity, which is currently in post production.

Her Film and Television Credits Include: “Loving Annabelle”, 2006, where she acted in her first feature film as ‘Annabelle Tillman’ with Director Katherine Brooks. Kelly also played a part on a TV shot film in Hawaii called “Beyond the Break”. In 2007, she played the role of ‘Grace’ in Brooks’ second film “Waking Madison”. In 2011, she played ‘Tara’ in the hit web series “Feed.”

 

 

 



(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Katherine Brooks shares her story of feeling disconnected and lonely despite having over 5000 friends on Facebook and how that isolation led her to make the documentary ‘Face 2 Face.’ The movie is not only her powerful journey to connect with her Facebook friends in person but of all of those she visited. The demand from others around the world to partake in the journey has prompted Katherine to say that Face 2 Face is more of a movement than a movie.



(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Katherine Brooks tells us she submitted her film Face 2 Face to 14 Film Festivals. Her plan is to travel with the film for 6 months during it’s film festival run. She also plans to book the film in independent theaters where she believes audiences should see the film. She avoided larger fests who’s focus are big name stars and budgets and she encourages her fellow filmmakers to be selective when submitting to film festivals.



(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Katherine Brooks tells us how she gets herself mentally prepared for screenings & press, and her method for overcoming fatigue and exhaustion in a tireless business.

Check out more great videos from Katherine Brooks here.