Who we are:
Aubrey Pictures is a partnership between David Wilkinson and Bobby Marko. Both are filmmakers and fathers, and it just so happens they also both have a daughter named Aubrey. The name Aubrey Pictures is a good reminder to them that while they love to tell stories, they are also dads and family men.
Though Bobby and David have kicked around several ideas over the years, Fruitcake was our first real collaboration. After the two had locked in the story and logistical needs, they soon realized their team had to grow. At that point, the project team expanded to what they affectionately refer to as the Core Four: Bobby, David, Marisa Mlynarek, Melissa McKenney. Bobby and David are producing partners, David is the writer and director, Bobby is the Director of Photography, and leads the production crew. Bobby brought Marisa on as Assistant Director extraordinaire, a God-send, a true go-getter, and an all-around firecracker. David then reached out to Melissa, originally for print design, but we quickly realized that we should expand her role to Production Designer so we could mooch off even more of her talents!
What is the story of Fruitcake:
Fruitcake is the story of Adam, an eccentric, lonely, mid 30s man, and his unorthodox search for relationships. Part of reason the film is called Fruitcake is that it is a word anyone on the outside of Adam's life could easily use to label him, just because he may seem different to them—odd, withdrawn, etc. This reflects the convenient, lazy way people often choose to define one another. We chastise, label, and slander people without understanding or having a connection with them, or we stereotype people from afar. Adam is a guy who has to overcome all of that while trying to pursue relationships for himself. His biggest hurdle is that he doesn't really have anyone. His recently deceased mother was his only friend, and the only other relationship he has is fraudulent and can't last. So Fruitcake is a social exploration. It could even be considered a commentary on man's ongoing battle with isolation.
How Did We Get Here?
After about a year of developing the story and creating a few drafts of the script, David and Bobby felt the story was at a place to move forward. At that point we began thinking about how to turn the script into an actual film. The two laid the groundwork, found the core team and began pre-production. But there was a problem— neither of us could afford to fund a film! Thankfully, one thing that makes Nashville unique is that it has a tight-knit film community. Once word of the story got around, people with all kinds of talent started to express interest in wanting to help. Another problem we ran into was that many of the people volunteering had day jobs and could only contribute on weekends or after-hours. With a 12-14 day shoot, eating up 6-7 weekends wasn't going to be possible and definitely not free. So we split the production up into two phases.
Phase 1: Production
For Phase 1, we decided to shoot what we could of the story with as limited a cast and crew as possible. David and Bobby spent their own money on food, wardrobe, insurance on the rental gear, and several miscellaneous items needed for production. We broke up the script and filmed for 6 days, with the goal of getting enough filmed to be able to piece together a trailer, explain a little bit of the story and get people excited to see the film. Hopefully you've watched it and are excited as we are! This was Phase 1!
Why we need money
Expenses to complete Phase 2
So why do we need money? You may be asking yourself, “If they were able to get this much done for free, why can't they finish the other half for free?” The simple answer is, Phase 1 wasn't really free and Phase 2 will involve a larger cast and crew and locations that we will not be able to get for free as with Phase 1. $21,000 will cover our basic needs: camera and lighting rentals, food for cast and crew, location and permit fees, and minimal payments for crew who we cannot get on a volunteer basis.
Marketing and Festival Fees
In addition to those needs, you may wonder, “What good is there in creating and funding a film if you can't let people know about it?” Useless, right! Your contribution will also help us fund fees for film festival entries and some marketing expenses. Our desire is to do everything we can to make sure the film has the maximum potential to be seen!
Why is Fruitcake Important?
Fruitcake is everyone’s story. We are tangible beings—we long for companionship and deep relationships. We want to hear affirmation or a kind voice, we want to see the evidence of love through others’ eyes and smiles, and we want to be touched and held. But we often devalue ourselves before anyone can reach us. We want community but we run to isolation. It's easier to hide than to risk getting hurt. Adam's reclusive heart is meant to be extreme so the viewer can connect on whatever level relates to them. Fruitcake challenges us to ask ourselves the hard question: Are we getting farther away or closer to the life we want to live?
Help by spreading the word through social media
We sincerely thank you for your consideration in financially backing Fruitcake. Another way you can help is to spread the word about the film. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hash tag #FruitcakeMovie when applicable and help us get momentum going! We already have a dedicated small group of people eager to see the project succeed, and we ask that you would join us!
Thanks so much for considering supporting Fruitcake. We are honored to partner with all of you in sharing this message with those around you.
Meet The Cast
Justin is a film and stage actor, graduated from Christopher Newport University with a degree in theatre performance and modern languages. He has performed on stage in Virginia, Atlanta, Chicago and was last seen in The 39 Steps, A Christmas Carol, The Boys Next Door and Rabbit Hole in Middle Tennessee.Justin recently starred in the sci-fi thriller, "The Pod" and an installment of "In the Dark", a horror anthology bound for film festivals in the fall.
When he is not on set or stage, Justin moves folks around Nashville with his "red truck" company. He resides in Nashville with his girlfriend Deanne and Ella the cat.
Katie is a native of Nashville where she spent her early creative years singing and acting from leads in plays during highschool to touring with veggies tales in 2006. She expanded her talents by living in Los Angeles where she produced a pilot, played lead for two roles in short films as well as served as an acting coach on set. Her career as an actress has taken her to both LA and New York.
Fruitcake marks Zac’s screen debut cast in the role of young Adam. The 13-year-old actor began performing in elementary school and over the years his vocal abilities helped him land multiple solo performances and key roles. His lead roles include Scott, in Dear Edwina, as well as young Simba, in The Lion King. In 2011, he auditioned for and won the part of Christmas Boy in Lamplighter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. Zac enjoys acting, singing, and playing the alto saxophone. He lives at home with his father, mother, brother, sister, and dog.
A. Michelle Harleston
A. Michelle Harleston attended and graduated in 2010 from John Casablanca Modeling and Acting Career Center, located in Brentwood, TN and decided that acting was what she really wanted to do. She has been featured in various commercials, music videos, shorts, and Still Photography prints as a model.
Michelle has recently been featured in the Millenium Films release “Olympus Has Fallen” playing the role of the military aide to Angela Bassett (Lyn Jacobs). As well as being featured on the TV Series “Nashville” playing the role as Sean's Attorney.
If you have any questions at all feel free to email us: info[at]fruitcakemovie[dot]com