Two local professional artists recently announced they have partnered in a business venture in Morristown that will focus on the video/cinematography industry.
Ashley Lodge, photographer, and T.J. Kent, college theatre instructor, have officially launched Freddy Cat Productions, with an office located on the downtown Skymart at West Main Street.
The partners will begin production on feature films and a 10-episode web series in December.
Lodge earned a Bachelor’s degree in design and photography in 2005 from Southern Florida College. She opened Ashley Lodge Photography in 2012, which is now located on the Skymart, at 188 West Main St., adjacent to the Freddy Cat Productions location.
Kent earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from East Tennessee State University and a Master’s degree in fine arts at the University of Southern Mississippi.
He has been directing actors for the past 15 years. He has served as the instructor of theatre and film at Walters State Community College since 2012.
Kent has directed a number of stage productions, and has credits as well in scenic, costume, lighting and sound design. He is certified in stage combat with Dueling Arts International and has served as writer/director/editor of numerous short films since 2004, including a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata.”
The new business will not offer basic advertising services; instead the focus will be on commercial cinematic pieces, or micro-movies, that serve to augment clients’ marketing efforts.
“We want to create products that will tell their story and make a lasting impact on their business and customers,” Lodge said on Friday. “We will use tools like story-boarding to produce creative, original pieces that will build emotional connections to their brand. All of our projects will be approached with a team directory effort.”
Lodge said her photography career can be traced back to a childhood dream of writing, directing and producing feature films and, likewise, Kent became interested in the film industry as a child.
“I have wanted to do this since I was seven-years-old, and I fell in love with the process of Stop Motion,” Lodge said. “I am 32 now, and finally at the point where I feel like this can be a reality. Sometimes, you can dream a dream and want it so badly it causes you emotional and physical pain. That was me for years. I knew I could not get the ball rolling alone.”
Meanwhile, Lodge expanded and grew her photography business to the point she was able to open the downtown studio. The “big dream” would be realized after getting to know Kent.
“I have never met another person who wanted the same dream their entire life, too. Someone whose passion for the art would compliment my own. TJ and I have combined our knowledge and expertise to actualize that dream, shaping it into reality,” Lodge said.
In addition to her professional photography services, Lodge has become well-known on the local scene as a dancer, artist, theatrical performer, singer and community supporter.
Organizations she has been involved with include Encore Theatrical Company, Crossroads Downtown Partnership and Rose Center. She has been on stage in a number of Encore productions, as well as regional theater productions, including WSCC.
Her work at Rose Center has included creating the recent Theatre Slam events that have been held at the center’s Prater Hall. During the summer, Lodge worked with young actors and actresses in the center’s popular theatre camp, “No Small Parts.” She is currently leading a photography club at the center for middle and high school students.
“Ashley’s love of all things art and a mutual love of teaching is so obvious in encounters with her,” Candy Durman, Rose Center, said.
The Lodge/Kent partnership is under way, with an immediate focus on creating and planning.
“I cannot wait to share all the amazing stories we are working on!” Lodge said on a recent social media post. “TJ will still be teaching at the college and I will still be running my photography studio. No one is hanging up anything else for this project, it’s just an awesome new addition to the repertoire of amazing things we can offer amazing people.”
For more information about Freddy Cat Productions, call 423-231-2839.