Neither fame nor fortune inspired independent director Richard Hardacre to break into the film industry. He decided to launch his own studio, Corporate Slaves Productions, for the freedom it offered—to dream and create the quality of work CCS helped him realize he was capable of producing.
"It's like something I read once. If I was lost at sea and clinging to a single piece of wood, the one word I would scratch into the wood would read ‘DREAMS.’
“I love working with other creative and talented people. I love the collaboration on the set, the excitement of watching everything you've envisioned come to be. I try to foster this sense of freedom on the set. Although I write the scripts, the film really comes to life when everyone shows up and starts adding their creativity to it. If it's good, we use it. This amazing experience, being surrounded by so much creativity, reminds me of CCS. Having all those creative people around inspires you and pushes your work farther than you would have taken it on your own.”
Since opening the studio in 2002, Hardacre has garnered national attention for a film he produced called “The Rest Stop!” It premiered in Hollywood and was included in the New York Film Fest. Hardacre worked on multiple aspects of its production: writing, directing, editing, sound mixing and overall packaging, including art and design.
“I enjoy being in control of the vision from beginning to end,” Hardacre said. “Plus, there are a lot of advantages to being the writer/director. One of them being, when you're independent and there's no real money, you never know what your locations will look like. When I got to the location where we were shooting “The Rest Stop!” it looked nothing like the scene was written, so I had to rewrite it on the spot. Being able to do this keeps the story I'm trying to tell intact, with one vision.”
Hardacre is working on his second feature film, “Automatic Gratuity.” This dark comedy is about a disgruntled waiter who decides to open his own restaurant and charge automatic gratuity while trying to survive the next three days working for a Mafia-fronted restaurant.
“When I set out on these projects, I draw upon all the tools and knowledge that CCS taught me,” Hardarce explained. “Illustration taught me how to frame composition and how the human eye perceives images and how it moves around the frame. I learned how to use negative space, as well as content, to create compelling compositions. They taught me how to use angles on subject matter to make it more dynamic than just shooting it straight on or flat. I do the camera work on my films because it's hard to find someone with the eye for composition that CCS taught me.
“Plus, the workload is so demanding that it teaches you how to push through to meet deadlines. This is crucial for my work. Being independent, my deadlines are self-determined and without an outside source to push me, I don't think I could do it without having had the CCS experience.”
In addition to his film, Hardacre is working on “What Happens on the Bus,” a tell-all book about his years of friendship with the bass player of 3 Doors Down that documents his experiences hanging out and partying with some really big rock bands. He expects the book to be available next spring.