Veteran editor, producer and author / director John-Michael Powell has been involved in developing award-winning feature films, commercials and music videos throughout his career. He is currently best known for his editing work on Dear white people on Netflix and won Best Editing at the Ouray International Film Festival for his work with Women are losers. Most recently, John-Michael Powell had officially directed his first feature film with the title, The shipment. You can watch the official trailer below.
The shipment is an American psychological drama written and directed by John-Michael Powell. The film is produced by Glenn Howerton (It’s always sunshine in Philadelphia), Undine Open (The United States), and Don Ohmer. Along with John-Michael Powell, Cathy Fegan-Kim, Alex Kim, Sabrina Powell and Vincent Sieber (Chronicles of Narnia) all act as executive producers.
“The film is a wild ride that manages to balance the crazy of an evening in the city for your typical Hollywood Hills party, while triggering a broader conversation about group thinking, masculinity and the way we sometimes subconsciously support power structures in Hollywood,” says director John -Michael Powell.
The shipment stars Zachary Ray Sherman (Under heaven’s banner, Cuck) as Dan Richards, Lena Drake (fun, The high note) as Alexis Peroni, Sean Harrison Jones (The papers, Drake and Josh) as Clayton Rhodes, Devere Rogers (My spy, Will & Grace) as Niko Spivey, Rory Uphold (Body-filled, That’s why we’re single) as Tanya Hirsh, Ben York Jones (Som gal, News) as Arnie Ludlow, Michael Rishawn (Mama’s boy, Jumped off) as Craig O’Bannon, Rhian Rees (Halloween) as Mara Tremblay, Teresa Lee (I think she likes you, Take my wife) as Micky Park, Scott Kuza (Young Hearts, Feed your mouse) as Anthony ‘Jug’ Juggerson, Damian Gomez (La La Land, Home finances) as Dean ‘Delano’ Alvarez, Rosie Kreider (The papers) as Kimberly Slater, Brayden Dalmazzone (Ding Dong I’m gay, Girl falls) as Lee ‘Cry Baby’ Younger, Ryan Stone (West Virginia stories, Marvin’s lament) as Rudie Rocket, Angela K. Thomas (96 souls, Criminals are) as Harriet Gabriel and Brad Barnes (Sex guaranteed, The locksmith) as Colin Smith.
Producer Glenn Howerton reveals his enthusiasm for the release
Producer Glenn Howerton states, “The shipment is a roller coaster of a movie. Literally a roller coaster ride, taking the viewer on a ride that drives them from excitement to laughter to horror. It beautifully encapsulates our tendency to worship entertainers and how these entertainers handle idolization when they do not even like themselves. The interruption between hating yourself and being worshiped is almost impossible to reconcile. To me, this is the heart of the film, and what John-Michael Powell has captured so well. It’s funny, scary, surreal and ultimately heartbreaking. “
The film begins with the protagonist Dan Richards (who is a famous award-winning actor) in his home in Hollywood, where he receives a devastating phone call. He is told by a doctor that he has been diagnosed with stage IV cancer and does not have much time left to live. After being interrupted by a phone call from his mother during a suicide attempt, Dan Richards decides to hold a farewell party with his closest friends. After the arrival of his large group of friends and his ex-girlfriend, everything seems to be routinely normal during the party. But when Dan decides to give the official announcement to everyone that he has been diagnosed with cancer, things take a dark and interesting turn.
As the night goes on, secrets are revealed between the group of friends, as well as an even darker secret between Dan Richards and his ex-girlfriend, Alexis Peroni. The shipment reveals the many things that some celebrities can go through in their private lives that are not shown to the world. The entire cast manages to deliver an amazing performance throughout the film, especially Zachary Ray Sherman. John-Michael Powell goes on to prove that he can do it all between editing, producing, writing and directing.
The official synopsis for The shipment sounds like the following, as Emmy-winning actor Dan Richards throws an impromptu soirée into his home in Hollywood, with only his closest friends present, a fun evening develops into something much darker, after coming up with an unexpected announcement to the group.
Director John-Michael Powell’s personal connection to The Send-Off
“Hi! You may hear stories about how difficult it is to make your first feature. I promise you that no one has worked harder than me to make my first film. It has been a fifteen year journey to get here Someone who has led me through the development hell of various studios, big producers who give empty promises, to get a project funded by a studio – only to fall apart a week before main photography – to walk away from the studio system completely to finance this movie myself and make my first movie come hell or high water.And if you can believe in the second we finished shooting this movie, i was diagnosed with cancer.
So yes. It’s been a journey. And it’s one I’m still plowing on. But I’m determined to get this movie started and hopefully share it with people. To spark a conversation about Hollywood, our role in the industry, and how we as a microcosmic bubble play a role in maintaining toxic masculinity. I know how stacked the odds are. But more than anything else … I just hope our movie makes you feel something and gives you a moment to think about Hollywood in a bigger way … even wrapped in a small package like e.g. Submit. “
Where to Watch The Send-Off
The shipment already ran virtually online through Cinequest’s New Vision program from 1.-17. April. The film will premiere in person in San Jose, CA from the 16th-29th. August. The film was objectified by Elijah Guess and edited by Mark Gasparo. Key Art is designed by Nic Ferrari. The shipment was filmed in 12 days. With a successful debut from John-Michael Powell, it will certainly be interesting to see where his upcoming projects go from here.
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