North Carolina-based filmmaker Billy Lewis works days at his company Orange St Films, where he produces commercials, music videos, corporate marketing videos and now, feature films. One of those films, “The Terrible Two,“ is getting a VOD release through Uncork’d Entertainment in March of 2018. Billy was happy to discuss this film via a recent exclusive interview.

Movies and the career of a filmmaker

Meagan Meehan (MM): What made you seek a life of a filmmaker, how did you get your start, and what equipment do you generally use?

Billy Lewis (BL): When I was twenty years old I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and something was drawing me to the TV/Film business for whatever reason.

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No one in my family had ever done anything like this before, but my heart was telling me to pursue this field. So I’ve been at it the best I know how since then.

I lived in Los Angeles for a year right out of college but didn’t really do anything in the business, so I moved back to North Carolina and worked in TV News for five years.

That taught me a lot about cameras, editing, lighting, talking to people, etc. From there I started my own production company over ten years ago making short Movies, TV Commercials, music videos, corporate videos and of course feature films, which is my true passion. I do not remember the first time I got paid to shoot something, but I’m sure I was starving so I probably immediately went to the bank and cashed the check, haha. It’s been a long road but I’m very blessed, and God has given me the world, even when I haven’t deserved it.

Over the years our equipment has grown as our company has grown. We shot „The Terrible Two“ on the Sony FS7 which has been a great camera for my company. We just recently bought a Red Scarlet Weapon 5K camera and have many projects in the works and will be filming upcoming projects on that.

MM: If you stopped making movies, what another career might you dive into?

BL: My dad was a very successful high school football coach so I’d probably be doing that if I wasn’t doing the film. What he did on the football field I equate to what I do. He practices with his players, and on game night he calls the plays from the sidelines and hopes his guys can execute the best they can. Well, that’s all you can do as a director is prepare your actors and crew and hope they can bring your vision to life on the screen. With all that being said I know I’m doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do and again for that, I give God all the glory. I’ve never made a lot of money doing what I do, but I can truly say I’ve stayed true to myself and pursued this passion with everything I have.

MM: How did the idea for “The Terrible Two“ come to you and is it based on a true story?

BL: Funny story. My wife and I found a house that we really liked – it had a lot of room; plenty for my equipment – so I agreed to buy the house if she was OK with me making a movie in it.

I don’t think she took my compromise seriously, but twelve months later I kicked her out of the house for a while so I could make “The Terrible Two.” I wanted to make a movie for only $35,000 – which is significantly less than some of the TV commercials I’ve shot – and in a location I already owned. I also had to come up with a story that was both original enough and contained only that one location and was also able to hold an audience’s attention. Sure, we could’ve made a better movie with more time and more financing, but I’m proud of what we have.

The entertainment industry and the future

MM: What’s best about being in the movie industry and how do you foresee your future career going?

BL: The best part, to me, about working in the film and entertainment industry is creating something from nothing. I love the fact that you can take something that you thought up in your head and put down on paper and bring it to life. It may not always match what was in your head but who cares, you did it and brought it to life. As a filmmaker, I hope to keep developing and growing and taking on bigger and better projects. I don’t care about the fame, the money and all that. All I truly care about is telling stories and entertaining people. If God sees fit to continue to bless me to work on projects, then I’m going to give 110% on everything I work on.

We have a few different things in the works for the near future. We are about to produce a couple of Comedy Pilots that we hope to get picked up. We have two or three feature films in the works, but as an independent filmmaker, the biggest hurdle is finding the money to produce movies. We have a really good script ready to go called “They Who Walk Among Us“ that we are very close to finding the money and getting made.

I take on a lot of interns with my production company, and I always try to encourage them just to keep working hard and pursuing your dream of being a filmmaker with a passion never before seen. I say this a lot that I know I’m not the most talented, but my work ethic and my belief in my path in life have taken me a lot farther than those with more talent than me.

MM: And finally, do you have kids and do you get along better with them than the parents do in this one?

BL: Haha, yes, my wife Mollie and I do have three little girls. And I hope our real life doesn’t turn out the way it did for Albert and Rose Poe in “The Terrible Two“! Let’s just leave it that, lol!