-I was born and raised in Great Falls, South Carolina. Went to the University of South Carolina for undergrad and grad school. I also taught as an Adjunct in the Media Arts program there for a while.
2. Where did you get your inspiration for this work?
-Every time my parents took me to Columbia as a child they brought me to Andy’s Deli for lunch or dinner and my mom would always regale me with stories from her youth about how she used to eat there when she was in college. When I started going to school there, it was almost a rite of passage to eat there frequently.
3. How did you start making films?
-I started writing feature scripts in college but I found a real passion for documentaries when I began interning at South Carolina’s PBS station, ETV. Speaking of which, support your PBS station!
4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
-Andy made me a pizza, which isn’t a menu item. Don’t ask him to make you a pizza. You must earn a pizza.
5. What do you look forward to the most during Indie Grits?
-People take the rich culture of the South for granted. Sometimes all the negative aspects of the area cloud how truly wonderful and eclectic South Carolina really is. I think Indie Grits really highlights why people love it so much.
6. Why should someone see your film?
-Don’t. I really don’t care. The man I made the film about is such a wonderful and inspiring person that this is more of a gift to him than my need for having an “audience.”
Blake Garris, director of “Hello My Friend”, playing Wednesday, April 17th at 8:30pm at Tapp’s Art Center