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Tom Huckabee On Directing His Latest Film Carried Away, Challenges of Independent Filmmaking

December 23, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Carried Away

The 411 Interview: Tom Huckabee


Tom Huckabee is a writer, director, and producer who has been working in the entertainment business for over four decades. He has directed the short films Death of a Rock Star and The Family Cowsill, the documentary short Confessions of an Ecstasy Advocate, and the fascinating low budget arthouse post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie starring Bill Paxton Taking Tiger Mountain (check out my review of that movie here). Huckabee has also written the screenplay for the action movie Rage and has written for the TV show Ghostbreakers. Huckabee is also the founder and president of Gold Alchemy, a sort of artists’ organization. Huckabee’s latest release is the 10th anniversary edition of his indie drama comedy family movie Carried Away, which is now available for rent or purchase on Vimeo and Amazon Prime. In this interview, Huckabee speaks with this writer about making Carried Away, working with the cast and crew, what it took to put the movie together, and more.



Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you decide that you wanted Carried Away to be your next feature film as a director after Taking Tiger Mountain?

Tom Huckabee: After Taking Tiger Mountain I had a multitude of opportunities to direct my own original stories, as well as other scripts by fellow screenwriters. It wasn’t until I met Gabriel Horn in 2006 that he convinced me to dust off the original 20 year old semi-autobiographical Carried Away screenplay and see how doable it would be to produce with current and emerging technologies.

BK: What was your inspiration for the screen story you used for Carried Away? Is it right to call Carried Away a Christmas movie?

TH: My particular southern family dynamic is the inspiration for Carried Away. The picture is most certainly a Christmas movie, but unconventional and not in the “holly jolly” sense. The Franklins remind the viewers that nobody can truly escape from your family, especially during the holidays.

BK: How did you cast Carried Away?

TH: We used an All-Star Dallas/Fort Worth casting director Toni Brock Cobb & Sally Allen to find the greatest actors not yet resigned to the left or right coast.


BK: Where did you make Carried Away? Were all of the filming locations used actual locations?

TH: Carried Away was shot entirely on location from Dallas/Fort Worth to Los Angeles, stopping off in Arizona at the renowned architectural and cultural center Arcosanti.

BK: What sort of release did Carried Away get back in 2009/2010? And what is the difference between the movie released back in 2009/2010 and the one released now (it’s labeled as the “director’s cut”)?

TH: Carried Away was previously released on Amazon Prime and Netflix (pre IPO), as well as countless screenings at film festivals, community centers, universities, churches, and back yards across the globe. The “10th Anniversary” is just a relabeling of the same picture, but with behind the scenes extras available online.

BK: How did you decide on the look of Carried Away?

TH: I worked with Director of Photography, Ron Gonzalez, as well as producer James M. Johnston to settle on the right southern pallet with a large enough Texas sky for all of the bigger-than-life drama Ed Franklin and Granny release on the family.

BK: How long did it take to make Carried Away, from finishing the script to completing post-production?

TH: It took about one year to polish, produce, and complete Carried Away.

BK: What was the hardest part of making Carried Away for you, as a director?

TH: Balancing the creative and financial ups and downs of independent film production.

BK: How was the soundtrack for Carried Away put together?

TH: Our producer, James M. Johnston, suggested I meet his friend and fellow composer, Curtis Heath of The Theater Fire. Once I heard his music, I knew he/they had to score the picture.


BK: What do you hope audiences get out of Carried Away?

TH: I hope audiences fall in love with their kooky family members again. Set aside differences and look to encourage empathy and forgiveness. Also, more people should be drama queens, like Ed. It makes the world interesting.

BK: How will audiences be able to see Carried Away? Will there be a DVD or Blu-ray release?

TH: Right now, Carried Away is available on Amazon Prime and Vimeo. We plan to expand to other online platforms in the very near future.

BK: Any chance we ever get to see a sort of Carried Away prequel featuring Rex? Or a sequel where we see Eddie chasing his acting dreams in Hollywood?

TH: There have been talks for years about a Carried Away sequel and/or a Ed & Sarah spin-off. It’ll happen when the stars align, just as it did with the original script.

BK: Is Eddie’s station wagon still around? Was Eddie’s car always going to be a station wagon?

TH: Granny’s wagon broke down and sat on my property as an attraction to all who knew the story, but has sadly now been sent to the graveyard.

BK: Did Rex buy the minivan or is that a rental?

TH: Rex likely rented the van. I’m doubtful that he’d make such a large purchase without consulting Jean, regardless of her opinion on the matter.



A very special thanks to Tom Huckabee to agreeing to participate in this interview and to david j. moore for setting it up.

Carried Away is available for rent or purchase on Vimeo and Amazon Prime.

Check out the Carried Away official website here and Facebook page here.

Check out my review of Carried Away here.

Check out the Gold-Alchemy website here.

All images courtesy of Gold Alchemy and Tom Huckabee.