Four friends pave their own way to Hollywood

Four friends pave their own way to Hollywood
Paul Davis bagging Donna's groceries at Whole Foods (Source: Donna Britt/WAFB)
Paul Davis bagging Donna's groceries at Whole Foods (Source: Donna Britt/WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - This story starts with three out-of-work actors who are buddies. Paul Davis said he and Jeff Burkes are Whole Foods employees.

He was bagging groceries for me and my family when I saw Paul's home-made t-shirt and it said "The Trust Fund." Knowing that could be a slur against kids with inheritances, I asked him "What's that?"

Davis said, "My friends and I are making a movie and that's the working title."

Davis said with T.C. Matherne, the third man on their project and a former Marine, they had been trying to get acting jobs for some time.

"We got fed up at waiting around for auditions and having to wait on other people," he said. "So we decided to write our own story and direct our own project."

Davis said they originally wanted it to be a comedy skit, a trifle they would play with, but after spending pretty much all night one night writing a story, they were surprised how good it seemed to be to them.

"We thought it was good," Davis said, "So we didn't want to make a YouTube skit."

No, they wanted to make a feature film!

Davis and his friends sent the script to everyone they could think of, mentors, friends, and as people liked it, they shared it with their mentors and friends.

It was well-received, to say the least.

"Everyone loved it," Paul said. "It eventually was sent to Hector Toro, and he's a local guy who does a lot of work with the big film industry. He's worked with MTV. He did a lot of post-production work for the new film Fantastic Four."

"You didn't send it to him," I asked.

"No, he got it from someone and loved it and wanted to make it," Davis said.

They only had one stipulation, Davis said, the three friends, and Paul's fellow LSU student from Slidell, Anya Startfeva. There is a role for one beautiful woman, and Anya, originally from Russia is the pick of these ambitious producers.

I ask for a hint of the plot planned for "The Trust Fund." Paul explains that he can only be general because it is still in development.

"It is about three kids who get kicked out of their parents' houses and have to figure out a way to keep their lavish lifestyle. You see, they think they are above working. They are spoiled brats."

So their film will be just 30 minutes long. It will involve four locations, including Paul's own house, his parents' home and Jeff's grandparents' house.

"The more free stuff we have," Paul said, "the better...our costumes are our own clothes."

Hector Toro and his crew say they'll need $15,000 to hire everyone and their equipment. So the gang has launched a 30-day crowd-funding effort on

"We have 20 days left," Davis warned. "But we've raised $5,000 so far. It's pretty good for 10 days in."

I point out that 30 minutes is kind of short for a movie these days. The friends plan to produce it at 30 minutes and hit the film festival circuit and try to attract the attention of investors or a film studio. They say they can easily expand their story line to feature length.

Davis, Burkes, Matherne and Startfeva say they hope a film studio would keep them as actors, and say "We like these guys, whoever they are... and we'll make them famous!"

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