Three Southside graduates ‘go all out’ in starting their production company, 2W Productions
By Nicole Davis
There is never going to be a better time. Why not now? That was the sentiment behind three Southside natives’ decision to start their own production company, 2W Productions.
“When you have an agent you get sent to auditions all the time,” said Adam Mahan Williams. “You’re just waiting around. We thought instead of waiting and sitting at the table, why don’t we build our own table and people can come to us?”
Williams, Colin Bowles and Dylan Taylor designed the company to give a platform to talented artists and their projects, no matter the medium. They founded the company in September, made it an LLC in October and launched their Website, twowproductions.com, in February. Shirts and face masks can be purchased on their site in support of the startup. So far, the only outside funding they have received is from The Second City’s Co-Owner D’arcy Stuart. They will begin shooting their first film, Charlatan, in April.
The three friends met at Franklin Township Middle School, though Williams graduated from Lutheran High School while Bowles and Taylor graduated from Franklin Central. Bowles graduated from the University of Indianapolis in 2015 and moved to Chicago, Ill. in 2017. He began working for The Second City, a comedy club, comedy theater, and school of improvisation in Chicago. He shared his experience with Williams, who felt inspired to move to Chicago in 2018 and join Second City, too. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the two friends and roommates found themselves at home more and realized with all the extra free time, it was the perfect opportunity to take action on their shared dream of starting their own company.
“We really wanted to establish a brand that could blossom into something,” Bowles said.
They approached Taylor with the idea, asking him to handle the business side of things. Taylor, the company’s CEO, currently resides in downtown Indianapolis with a business background.
“Longterm, we’re looking at being a mid to high-level production company, having other companies or people approach us wanting to produce their films fully, adjust a screenplay, the whole nine yards,” Taylor said. “Film production is the long-term goal.”
In 2018, Bowles created, wrote, directed, and acted in the web series Yuppies, streaming on Prime Video. The company’s upcoming production, Charlatan, is a thriller unlike anything Bowles said he’s done before. He became inspired while visiting his aunt, sitting on her boat.
“We were looking at the house and thinking, we have to shoot here, we have to do something,” he said. “To have a beautiful house will help us stand out. With this house, it stands for upper class. But what if someone was in the house who doesn’t belong there? The film deals with class. I want people to have a difference of opinion of who the protagonist and antagonist is. It’s one of the best things I’ve written. As a writer, you never admit that, but I feel good on this one.”
Williams agreed, “I couldn’t put the script down. It all ties together in the end. I’m really excited about it.”
2W Productions auditioned for the film and cast 20 people. They have hired for photography, sound, makeup and a production manager.
“We’re going all out for it,” Bowles said. “We’re not going to look how other people do it, how they make movies, how they make income. We will keep our head down and do it how we want to do it. Yeah, it might be a mistake in the end but we could do something pretty cool. It can open doors. Keeping our head down is a big thing with us, and being surrounded by good people that want to make film and have that entrepreneurial spirit when it comes to the company.”
Charlatan will be filmed in Chicago, Indianapolis and Plymouth, Ind. The release date of the film will depend on film festivals – potentially in the fall.
“We’re excited for everyone to see Charlatan,” Taylor said. “That’s our big project. We think that’s gonna wow a lot of people and bring some pride back to home.”
Aside from working on their own film, Bowles, Williams and Taylor intend to help others who wish to break into the entertainment industry. Their services include production, script consulting, editing and assisting with self tapes.
“If I didn’t have anyone here, I wouldn’t have anyone to read with, a proper backdrop, proper lighting,” Bowles said. “That can make or break an audition. We’re trying to provide a low-cost way for other actors to avoid that. Our unofficial motto is just create. It doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t have to be bad. Just create.”