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“Let’s Make it as Inclusive as Possible.” Filmmaker Adam Wademan on the Need for Community in the Film Industry

Anyone who’s lived and worked in Los Angeles is well aware of how cutthroat the film industry can seem. Stories abound of just how far aspiring filmmakers are willing to go to make it in the business, and how comfortable they are abandoning their friends and family for a shot at a big gig.

However, one filmmaker, Adam Wademan, is making it his mission to carve a name for himself in the film industry – by pushing it to become less exclusive, and more inclusive.

“I would like to see it become less exclusive. And I understand that there are reasons for why it operates that way. But in Robert McKee’s book, Story, he talks about how, in Hollywood now, the role of apprenticeship has washed out, which has diluted the next generation of filmmakers. Let’s bring apprenticeship back!

It’s very similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, wherein my takeaway was that, if we communally support each other as much as possible, we all rise.

Competitiveness has its place to make things fun, but filmmaking is a creative and collaborative effort from everyone involved.  Let’s make it as inclusive as possible!"

Adam’s short horror comedy, Blastic, won the grand prize winner of Plastic Pollution Coalition and Hollywood, Health and Society's short horror film contest Plastic Kills! (He’s also finishing up work on a holiday-themed sequel, A Dracarol) The film – which he wrote, directed, and played the lead role in – combined his love of old school fright flicks and social commentary.

"It came about because I’m pretty passionate about environmental work, because it is so essential due to the state of the planet right now. I’m hoping to spread awareness of how problematic single use plastics have become and how we can do better. I’m a fan of classic horror and horror comedy, things like the Addams Family and all of Tim Burton’s stuff and What We Do in the Shadows. So instantly, I was like, I gotta do this!

So my film was about Dracula discovering that there’s microplastics in human blood, which disturbs him. This discovery sends this unsuspecting main character into this eco-journey – maybe for selfish reasons, but still!"

Of course, to prove his passion for more community in the film world, Adam attributes much of the film’s success to Rachel Adams, the founder and Executive Director of the Immersive Art Collective, and her willingness to let him shoot at the Count’s Den at a drastically reduced rate.

"I wouldn’t have been able to do it without IAC, and Rachel and the Count’s Den. Film is a visual medium, so the sets need to be convincing, or at least convincing enough to support the plot and characters. I stumbled upon the Count’s Den on Giggster, and thought, 'Oh this is PERFECT!' But the price was higher than I could afford, so I reached out to Rachel and said, 'I only have X amount of money.' Out of the kindness of her heart, Rachel said, 'Ok, we’ll take care of you.'

By giving us the Count’s Den, Rachel allowed us to make other aspects of the film even better. It made the film really authentic because of the sets, because of the look of everything.

I wanted to return the favor in whatever way I could, so I put IAC as an executive producer on the film. We’ve got the IAC logo in the credits accompanied by a little orchestral hit. I’ve gotta return the love!"

While there’s no denying the power of being surrounded by like-minded people in a place like L.A., it still starts with the artist ready and eager to let their Muse take the wheel. According to Adam, before aspiring creators can tap into a community, they must do one thing first:

"Do everything in your power to do whatever work you can get done, and the stars will align somehow and you’ll at least get the next step."

Adam Wademan is a writer, director, and actor originally from Nebraska. He had his debut as an actor and writer on the Omaha regional NBC comedy sketch TV show Omaha Live! from 2014 to 2015. Blastic is his fourth independent film project since 2018. Click here to see his award-winning film, Blastic.


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