By Josie Shaw
For Tyson Evans, 2022 has been quite a lifechanging year. His new film, “Updowns,” premiered at Sidewalk Film Festival on Aug. 28 during a slot of narrative shorts.
While the concept for the project had been developing for years, production on the miniseries began in spring 2022. Evans began by assembling his film crew while participating in the Gold Side cast of College Night 2022.
College Night’s small and intimate creative environment was a pivotal moment in developing Evans creativity. “During College Night, I was working on [Updowns] script during rehearsals, and getting feedback each week from my peers,” said Evans.
“Updowns” is the first episode in a miniseries following multiple teenagers’ transition into young adulthood. It follows a diverse cast of college students beginning with their freshman year, dealing with issues such as dating, friendships and education.
Evans considers “Updowns” to be his debut project as a creative, but he has been producing content through his YouTube channel since high school. Because of a sports injury, Evans turned to creating short sketches and music covers as a hobby.
The project was developed in his Digital Filmmaking class taught by Dr. Rachel Morgan. Morgan is the Creative Director and Lead Programmer for the Sidewalk Film Festival, held annually in Birmingham.
Morgan advised Evans throughout the process to optimize his film to fit the professional environment of the festival.
Production for the film began immediately after College Night season.
“After auditions, the film took an entire turn,” said Evans.
Because he discovered different personalities through the casting process, Evans decided to expand the project based on the actors.
The original idea was a film titled “Hard to Love with a Broken Heart,” and centered around three characters. Early on during rehearsals, Evans decided to completely rework the film’s screenplay into an episodic series to give more depth to the characters.
Evans credits a lot of the film’s success to his film crew. Evans said, “They definitely helped me out by a mile, because I couldn’t have done this by myself.”
After production finished on the first episode of the miniseries, Evans submitted his work to Sidewalk Film Festival.
This year was the 24th annual Sidewalk Film Festival, hosted by Sidewalk Film Center and Cimema. The festival took place in downtown Birmingham Aug. 22-28.
Evan’s short film played among other shorts at the festival, including “North Star” starring Colman Domingo.
“I was very excited, because I felt like I deserved it!”
Evan’s felt that the most important aspect to the screening was seeing the audience’s reactions, since he plans to update and continue the series.
“The show starts rolling. Within two minutes, the room is laughing, people are enjoying it and people are commenting on things happening during the show. And I’m just like okay… we got something here,” said Evans.
Te14 Productions is Evan’s new media company that he plans to produce and distribute new content under. There are seven remaining episodes to be produced in “Updowns.”
For updates about “Updowns” and Evan’s future plans, you can find follow @updownsofficial on Instagram, and subscribe to TE14 TV on YouTube.