Small Group Films is composed of Writer/Director Ryan Daniel Dobson and Producer Suzanne Watson. Having produced several award-winning short films they have now turned their attention to feature films with a strong emphasis on telling faith-based stories in honest, unabashed ways. They believe that some of the most raw, wounding stories of Grace have yet to be told on the big screen.
WHO WE ARE
Ryan Daniel Dobson
Ryan Daniel Dobson is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. With a career that began exclusively in acting, Ryan subsequently branched out into the production world with a project sold to Fremantle NorthAmerica and Alloy Ent. in BURDEN OF TRUTH.
To date, he has written and directed several short films, featured at festivals around the world. Ryan recently swept the Napa Valley Film Festival with Audience Choice, Sony, and Jury awards for his films THE ROMANTICS and WEAPONS. Ryan currently has been signed to adapt the play THE BIG WOOP into a screenplay for Alhambra Pictures.
Suzanne Watson is an award-winning producer based in Los Angeles. She began her career in special events with the Super Bowl Host Committee in Houston, Texas and has planned and produced major events for Super Bowls, MLB Pre-Game Celebrations, Presidential Inaugural Balls, College Bowl Games and the Presidents Cup. In 2006, she accepted a production position on the New Line Cinema film FULL OF IT. Shortly after filming, she relocated to Los Angeles where she worked as an actor and continued to produce events.
In 2013 she teamed up with Ryan Daniel Dobson to start Small Group Films combining her love for the entertainment industry and experience in film and special event production to launch a new, independent production company. She and Ryan won the Sony 4K Film Challenge at the 2013 Napa Valley Film Festival on their first short film WEAPONS. They are currently in production on the short BE MY UNFINISHED and in pre-production for their first feature HOSEA.
In the sweltering heat of Oklahoma City 1998, a young HENRY MILBROOK hops on his bike and rides out of the afluent neighborhood of Heritage Hills. Shooting across Classen Blvd, he quickly enters the impoverished adjacent neighborhood Classen-Ten-Pen and the dilapidated house of his childhood sweetheart KATE HENSON. Henry loves Kate, more than most 11 year olds would - but they are children whose lives are dictated by their circumstances and these are their last moments together for over a decade. For Henry, he is pulled away from Kate when his mother suddenly moves from the city after discovering his father in the midst of an affair. For Kate, poverty and abuse determine her path into the sex trade and habits of cutting; the men who surround her damage, victimize, and abandon her until it is all she knows or feels.
Sixteen years later Henry returns to Oklahoma City to serve as the priest in a downtown Episcopal church. Even though years have passed, Henry has never stopped caring for Kate, writing her letters, and thinking about her. While he hasn't heard from her in a long time, he holds out hope that he will be able to find her once he is back in the city. As fate (or the Divine?) would have it, their paths do cross and Henry is shocked to find that Kate is working the streets. Unable to reach her except through her pimp, Henry hires her to meet him in a hotel room - where she is shocked by his return to the city - and he tries to convince her to come with him; to change her life. He again confesses his undying love to her and his belief that God wants them to be together. Unbeknownst to Henry, Kate's situation is dire. Nearly killed after turning a trick that went south, she's now ready to find a way off the streets. She's skeptical of Henry's proposal - not believing that her life can be different - but Henry is resilient and convincing, and ultimately woos her back.
The two get married and begin to set up life in Oklahoma City; Henry as a priest and Kate as a photographer. But things are not going well at the church which is fraught with financial problems and infighting amongst the Church Board. The problems deepen for Kate who finds that one of her regular johns - a controlling man named Bruce who already holds a grudge against Henry - is one of the key members of the Church board. Kate's dark secrets keep her from ever anchoring in her new life. Instead, she is tossed about by difficult pregnancies, postpardum, substance abuse, and a complicated marriage.
One especially dark night Kate is caught by Bruce in a compromised situation. He feels that his life - his career - is threatened by her presence in the church and wants to scare her away once and for all. He verbally abuses her and ultimately rapes her to send the message home. Broken, literally beaten, and rooted most deeply in her identity on the streets, Kate wanders back to her pimp. Henry discovers that his wife has run away, turning back to the very life from which he saved her.
Henry must determine if his love is potent enough to seek Kate out again. He begins chasing her trail through the hidden corners of the city as she spirals back down into the sex trade. Unable to bring her back, Henry seems lost and without recourse, until he finds a passage in the New Testament reminding him that we are "bought with a price." Motivated by unconditional love, he is suddenly convinced that he can buy her back. Henry liquidates their assets, finds Kate's pimp, and saves her, yet again, from the darkness.
BE MY UNFINISHED
Status: Filming and Post-Production
When a Woman is killed in a car accident she suddenly finds her memory gone and a breathless Angel at her side. The Angel urgently explains that her memory loss means she has some kind of "unfinished business" to resolve before her soul completely departs her body in the next 5 minutes. She must either remember who she is and what she has to do, or be stuck forever in the "in-between."
The story of two people who love all things classically romantic. The first time he sees her, she's riding a vintage bike, in a skirt, with a baguette in the handlebar basket. The first time she sees him, he's driving a vintage car, smoking a pipe, and checking his pocket watch. But their infatuation quickly turns into dramatic competition as they duel to maintain their position as the Most-Romantic.
Watch The Romantics here: https://www.fandor.com/films/the_romantics
Winner of the 2013 Sony 4k Challenge, WEAPONS was entirely produced in 50 hours - written, produced, filmed, and edited on provided Sony equipment in just over 2 days.
WEAPONS tells the story of a couple trapped inside a wine country lodge in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse. Faced with the task of finding a weapon to defend themselves against the plodding Zombie horde, they must make a difficult decision regarding what they are willing to sacrifice in order to survive.