I met Mitchell Slaggert the star of Moss, when I was rushing through the Cape Fear Community College campus to a screening of one of my films. I was running late and saw Mitch out of the corner of my eye leaving class. Something told me to go after him. So I ran back and gave him my card.
I like to work with raw talent. That’s why when my instinct tells me to – I scout people. Casting is so essential to my creative process. I love the magical experience of “discovery” and helping someone find their potential. When you integrate this dynamic into making a film, you can get the most unexpected and honest results.
The first time Mitch ever held a script, he nailed a cold reading. I decided on the spot I wanted to make a film with him. Six months later Mitch had just turned twenty-one and we were shooting Moss on Carolina Beach, an island very near where we met. I like to call the film “local and organic”. Everything about the process was drawn from the working-class community surrounding us, and our shared roots in the country ways of the South. We both grew up playing in the woods and absorbing the brutality and isolation of nature. We wanted to explore how this informs identity, relationships, love, and loss.
Just like Moss’s Dad creates sculptures from driftwood, as a filmmaker, I see myself as a similar artist. I work with what I find. When the current brings you that special piece, you already know what it will be.
Daniel Peddle, Writer & Director
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