Be The Shoe

American Gothic

Jessica Bender has been bitter, isolated, obsessed, and trapped in a downward spiral of sex and drug abuse since her ex-boyfriend, Cole, left her six months ago. As her friend Steve grows uncomfortably close to Ian, a chain-smoking drug dealer on the road to recovery, Jessica attempts to reconnect with her former lover.

Be The Shoe’s first feature film, American Gothic is a dark, edgy drama that explores the black heart of teenage suburbia through the eyes of Jessica and her friends.


At 19, Randy Prywitch found himself in STL for a few months with a dilemma: sit and do nothing, or write something. Drawing from a wild idea that Grant Harris had pitched him months earlier, he started on what would be a 90-page screenplay.

"Be The Shoe" had made a few movies before: short films shot with a handful of actor friends, but nothing of this scale or complexity. They recruited Emily Bates as the lead, used what they had available and figured it out as they went - a suburban landscape, teenage and college actors, many of whom had met through their high school theater department, cheap cameras, and a makeship steadycam.

They premiered the result at the Plaza Frontenac—a sold-out show that started only 48 hours after Randy, Jason, and Emily had finished editing the final act. This is real independent filmmaking: unpolished but authentic, and the audience, most of which didn't expect a "real movie," raved about it.

The premiere was the beginning. The people involved were hooked, and would spent the next several years of their lives making movies and trying to perfect the art form they'd fallen in love with.

Premiered at Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis

Screened at Stotler Lounge in Columbia

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