Alumni in Features | Adam Ethan Crow & Midnight Caller

By: Laura Huie

 

Adam Ethan Crow is a writer/director/producer based in London. He was a finalist in Shore Scripts’ 2013 Feature competition with his screenplay THE 4TH WALL. “Getting the feedback from the team at Shore Scripts, and hearing that they appreciated my work, spurred me on, to keep writing, and to keep pushing myself as a filmmaker,” said Adam.

 

Adam has written and directed several award-winning screenplays for feature films and shorts, including the movie LAIR (2021) which was distributed on home entertainment by Studiocanal, Sony Pictures, and Universal Pictures, and theatrically by MGM.

 

In 2014, Adam wrote and directed WARHOL, a short film about a fading shock-jock that tests the limits of how far a person will allow themselves to be pushed in order to achieve fifteen minutes of fame. WARHOL has gained numerous accolades, including winning the Jury Award for Social Relevance’ at the 27th Festival De Cinema De Girona.

 

In 2024, the feature film version of WARHOL, now titled MIDNIGHT CALLER, will be released towards the end of the year. Among its many accolades, MIDNIGHT CALLER, was the closing film of the 2024 Cinequest Film Festival, winner of Best Low Budget Feature at the London Independent Film Festival, and nominated for Best UK Feature Film at the 2023 Raindance Film Festival — among many others.

 

 

Read on to learn about what inspired Adam to become a writer, how he adapted WARHOL from a short film into a feature, and his advice for emerging screenwriters and filmmakers.

 

The Beginning

 

Adam’s journey into screenwriting and directing began unconventionally. Initially dabbling in journalism, Adam contributed jokes to various UK TV shows, including “The Broken Comedy Show” on Sky. He recalls, “I submitted some jokes and they used one. I think I got like 70 pounds. It was amazing.” This small success ignited his larger passion for writing.

 

Adam faced some early creative challenges working as a writer for other shows, leading him to strike out on his own as a filmmaker, and transition from TV to film. Initially, he wrote and produced several short films that taught him the ropes, gaining knowledge through tangible experience. Eventually, his work began to get noticed and win awards in screenwriting competitions like Shore Scripts.

 

Developing WARHOL as a Short

 

One of Adam’s first major breakthroughs came with WARHOL, a project that he developed and directed. The short film, which tells the story of a fading shock jock pushed to his limits in pursuit of fame, was created on a tight budget and a rigorous schedule.

 

We had to make do with very limited resources. A buddy of mine, Craig Ricci Shaynak, who plays Tiny on Ray Donovan, gave me a couple of grand to make it. We shot it in two days,” Adam explains. Despite these constraints, the short film garnered significant attention and praise, becoming an Official Selection of the Bend Film Festival, as well as being Nominated for Best Short at the Orlando Film Festival, and Winning ‘Best of The Fest’ at The Long Beach Indie Film Festival.

 

Adam’s approach to independent filmmaking emphasized the importance of collaboration and resourcefulness. “Always ask, because if you don’t ask, it’s a no anyway. We managed to get locations and resources by reaching out and being respectful,” he says. This mindset was crucial in the successful development and production of WARHOL.

 

 

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Adapting from Short to Feature

 

Transforming WARHOL from a short film into the feature-length MIDNIGHT CALLER was both a challenging and rewarding process for Adam. Expanding this narrative into a feature required deepening the character arcs and adding complexity to the plot.

 

The adaptation process also involved practical challenges, particularly in terms of budget. “Originally, we had a 2.6 million dollar budget for a 29-day shooting schedule,” Adam reveals. However, when funding fell through, the team had to pivot quickly. “We ended up shooting ‘Midnight Caller’ in 10 days with a fraction of the budget (180k). It was intense, but the team’s dedication made it possible.

 

Despite these hurdles, MIDNIGHT CALLER achieved significant acclaim, including being the closing film at the 2024 Cinequest Film Festival and winning Best Low-Budget Feature at the London Independent Film Festival. Adam attributes this success to the collaborative effort and unwavering commitment of his team.

 

 

Advice for Emerging Filmmakers

 

When talking to Adam, his enthusiasm and immense respect for his team and the people who have supported him along the way shined through. He offered a few great pieces of advice that emerging filmmakers should consider:

 

“Nobody does this alone. You get the right people around you. I learned so much. I direct and I write. And I’m very lucky that I get away with it. But I get away with it because I surround myself with incredible people who know far more than I do. And I’m not afraid to ask questions.”

 

“We went from [a budget of] 2. 6 million to around 180 grand, made a tiny film in 10 days, and won Best Film at the Paris International Film Festival. If you’re a filmmaker, all those people who tell you no, don’t listen to it. If you really believe in something, someone once said to me, if you can do anything else, go and do that. If you can’t and you’ve got that filmmaking disease, write something, show it to somebody, grab your iPhone, and tell a story.”

 

Keep Writing!

 

Adam’s journey underscores the resilience required to succeed in the film industry. His ability to adapt, persevere, and collaborate has been key to his accomplishments. His story is a testament to the power of persistence and the importance of community in filmmaking. As he continues to create, he remains committed to telling compelling stories and supporting emerging talents in the industry.

 

READ & DOWNLOAD THE SCRIPT FOR FREE: MIDNIGHT CALLER (formerly WARHOL)

 

 

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Laura Huie is a writer and editor involved in comedy-drama screenwriting, fiction editing, and full-time marketing copy. Laura is also a freelance article writer for Shore Scripts and has worked with Script Pipeline on their live Symposium series. She is one-half of the screenwriting duo, Bloom & Huie. Together, they have written multiple television series as well as a feature-length film. Their mission is to write honest and witty female stories wrapped up in unbelievable worlds.

 

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