Kennesaw State alumnus writes, directs independent film in Smyrna

By AUTUMN JOHNSON

SMYRNA, Ga. — Kennesaw State alumnus, Brent Lambert-Zaffino, 26, is currently working on independent film, “The Head,” tentatively set to be released in May of 2017.

Lambert-Zaffino took an old childhood memory of his grandfather carving a wooden head, and is working on turning it into a dark comedy based off his current life experience.

After spending the past three years working on music videos and short films, the idea for the project came about when Lambert-Zaffino was filming a music video and had the idea to have the artist walk around the city holding a wooden head.

The song ended up falling through because the artist dropped out. However, still in love with the idea, Lambert-Zaffino took this idea and wrote his story based off of the music video.

“There’s nothing special or cute to me about this film, but when you promote it and show it to other people, you begin realizing it’s cool to them,” Lambert-Zaffino said. “You get a lot of warm responses from people who just think it’s really great that you’re doing your thing. It’s rewarding to see people act as positively as they do.”

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Poster for “The Head” film. (Submitted photo)

Lambert-Zaffino said that filming this project in Smyrna felt very appropriate to him since the city is right off Interstate 285 and therefore has a little Atlanta flavor, but not fully since it’s still in the suburbs. He also said there’s a big immigrant culture in conjunction with a large student culture, so it’s a diverse mix.

“The characters remind me so much of what I experienced here in Smyrna,” said Will Copeland, the actor who plays the lead character. “I feel like Smyrna is in between so many things, and the main character of this movie is too. He’s not in one place ever, so I feel like it makes sense to do film “The Head” here in Smyrna.”

About “The Head” 

“The Head” is about a man named Drew who quits his job at a coffee shop and begins carving a wooden sculpture of a head in his spare time. The sculpture ends up getting popular on the Internet, and he starts to believe that this head is his real calling.

Instead of finding success in the real world, Drew’s life spirals out of control because he is so caught up with this head, which doesn’t bring him any real, corporate life success.  As he contemplates what to do with the sculpture he created, he begins to feel the rejection life is bringing him as a consequence of dropping everything that he had to pursue this calling.

Not dealing with it very well, Drew begins making the same mistakes over and over again until, ultimately, he ends up back at the coffee shop and leaves the head sitting by the tip jar on the counter, hoping for the best.

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Brent Lambert-Zaffino. (Photo by Autumn Johnson)

Great learning experience

Lambert-Zaffino said he believes this film has made him a better film writer. The experience has taught him how to approach comedy along with other useful tactics for the movie industry.

One challenge Lambert-Zaffino said he encountered was telling people what they wanted to hear when you tell them that you’re making something. He said he did not think that finding the right words to convey his work to other people would be such an art form.

Lambert-Zaffino encourages anyone who wants to write or produce a film to go for it.

“Everyone has a cellphone,” said Lambert-Zaffino. “You can download script writing for free and editing programs are on computers. The more you shoot, the more you learn, and to me, that is invaluable.”

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