August 24, 2018
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Weekends with GEP: STRAY BULLETS

This weekend, revisit Jack Fessenden’s directorial debut STRAY BULLETS.
Digital download available on iTunes.

Special features includes SWEATING BULLETS, a behind-the-scenes look at Stray Bullets.
Along with Jack Fessenden’s zombie-horror short film RIDING SHOTGUN,
exclusively on iTunes.

Don’t forget to pick up your very own copy on DVD!

“A blazingly confident feature debut”
– Hollywood Reporter

December 14, 2017
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Stray Bullets among pictures cited in celebration of Hudson Valley Film Production

From the Upstater:

It’s no secret that the Hudson Valley is home to countless Hollywood movie stars and producers—its lush and beautiful landscapes and proximity to New York City providing the best of both worlds. Though a handful of films have showcased the area over the decades, its cinematic footprint paled in comparison to other regions due to a flawed state program that didn’t consider the Hudson Valley “upstate.”

But that’s all changing. Last year, after significant advocacy from Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, New York State passed legislation allowing Ulster County and a handful of other left-behinds to finally compete for productions by offering the same 40-percent tax credit allotted to the rest of upstate New York. The legislation was signed by the governor in November 2016, and as a result, the entire Mid-Hudson region is now included and will benefit.

Recent months have seen Ulster County evolving into a hotbed for major movie productions…

Stray Bullets (2017)
Written and directed by 16-year-old wunderkind Jack Fessenden (with a little help from his father, veteran indie filmmaker Larry Fessenden), Stray Bullets follows two teenage boys who accidentally collide with a group of armed robbers on the run. Filmed across Ulster County, in Stone Ridge, Rosendale, Kingston, Woodstock and West Shokan.

Read full article here

June 7, 2017
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INDIEWIRE: Jack Fessenden one of 11 Indie Filmmakers 30 or Under You Need to Know

Check out the rest of the list…

May 8, 2017
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Jack & Larry Fessenden on Horror Happens Radio talk STRAY BULLETS

April 28, 2017
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The Family That Makes Movies
Together Stays Together

…When asked about directing his dad in Stray Bullets, Jack laughs, “I’ve directed my dad since I was a very young child. I’ve always been bossy, but now, I’m considered directorial. My dad’s been in my short films for three or four years now, in front of and behind the camera. What’s funny is that I assume he knows what I want because we talk about it so much beforehand, so on set I may neglect to give him direction when I should, and that can result in him saying, ‘Well, I didn’t know what you wanted.’ But we’re usually on the same page.”

Read the whole article

Watch the film!

March 14, 2017
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Jack Fessenden’s STRAY BULLETS out on DVD 14 March!

Jack Fessenden’s
Feature debut
now available on DVD
for your home collection.

“An enjoyably blood-soaked thriller with unexpectedly lyrical interludes — made very much in the shadow of classic genre forebears and on what was clearly a constrained budget — this is a strikingly impressive calling-card.” —Hollywood Reporter

Disc includes the hour-long “making of” featurette entitled SWEATING BULLETS.

Stop by your favorite brick and mortar video store or order on-line today!

Starring Asa Spurlock,
Jack Fessenden, James Le Gros,
John Speredakos, Larry Fessenden,
and Kevin Corrigan

and why not pick up the STRAY BULLETS Score from iTunes as well!

March 1, 2017
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STRAY BULLETS score available on iTunes

“lots of ambience and mood… a distinct feeling of desolation and claustrophobia
… fascinating, and very well produced … Give it a try.”
Soundtrack Geek

“particularly effective use of his own haunting, guitar-heavy score
… Fessenden could probably pursue a career in music if the challenge of film-making palls”
Hollywood Reporter

“an impressive debut with an equally impressive score”
Victoria Advocate

STRAY BULLETS original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Now Available from Lakeshore records

composed and arranged by JACK FESSENDEN
additional composing CHRISTIAN NOLL
engineer, mix and mastering MATT ROCKER
additional engineer WILL WHATLEY

keyboards, guitars, percussion JACK FESSENDEN
electric guitar CHRISTIAN NOLL

“Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert
recorded at DUBWAY STUDIO, NYC
engineer and mix RUSSEL CASTIGLIONE



Even after Stray Bullets picture-locked, my biggest creative challenge still lay ahead: composing the score. I had used pieces by Cliff Martinez, Brian Eno, and Philip Glass, among others, as temporary music in my edit to help myself understand what mood I was hoping to evoke with the score I would go on to write.

I worked with Christian Noll, a fellow musician and friend from school, to help get started with developing chord progressions and sounds for the music, and soon felt confident enough to continue on my own and compose the entire feature film’s worth of tracks. We recorded in only 4 days, inviting friends from upstate to come down to play bass, cello, and violin. Asa Spurlock, my co-star in the film, and his younger brother Cyrus made up our string section, and Mark Lerner of Phoenicia, NY offered a unique bass tone that occurs throughout the score. I played most of the other instruments, drums, keyboards and guitar, expanding upon previous ideas and coming up with totally new ones in the moment.

I like to enter the studio with a solid understanding of what is needed and an openness to working spontaneously; I had made crude recordings of several of the main pieces with different parts and instrumentations mapped out, but other themes were less developed, and were discovered and refined in the studio. Never have I handed a musician a sheet of notation; I like to talk with collaborators and get them on the same page and then see what they have to offer, how they respond to my direction. Improvisation, especially with a largely atmospheric and ambient score such as this, is how we found the most memorable sounds. I believe it is in those last minute adjustments and additions that the music can really come into its own.

We mixed the music right there in the studio, Underground Audio on 3rd street next to Hells Angels, and were out of there in the afternoon of the 5th day. Sometimes I question myself before entering into an ordeal like this, fearing that I hadn’t done enough to prepare, but by surrounding myself with like-minded and willing collaborators, meticulously articulating my vision to them and letting them make of it what they will, I was able to shape the material and expand my original themes into the moody score I was looking for.

Jack Fessenden
Jan 2017


Crooks Bridge
We Got It Good Here
What Took You So Long
Sweeten This
You’re Next
Stray Bullets
Crashing Down
“Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert

buy on iTunes

February 9, 2017
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Exclusive: Alternate posters give STRAY BULLETS some teenage kicks!

Click here to check out the exclusive posters…

January 26, 2017
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STRAY BULLETS: coming soon

In the lobby of the Village East, STRAY BULLETS poster is in good company.



December 29, 2016
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Entertainment Weekly exclusive: STRAY BULLETS trailer debuts


The new crime drama Stray Bullets (out Feb. 10) was written, directed, and edited by Jack Fessenden, who also stars in the film, composed its soundtrack, and is among the movie’s credited chefs. That’s an impressive array of contributions to this tale of two teenagers in upstate New York whose lives intersect with a trio of gun-toting hoodlums. But the amount of hats Fessenden sported on Stray Bullets is doubly noteworthy given he is only 17 years old and was just 15 when he directed the film.

“I’d been making little movies my entire childhood [but] I started taking movie-making more seriously when I was maybe 12 or 13,” says Fessenden. “When I was 13, I made my first real short film, called Riding Shotgun. We showed it at the Woodstock Film Festival and, ever since I’ve known that I wanted to make a movie like Stray Bullets. I always referred to it in my mind as ‘my epic.’ It wasn’t necessarily going to be a feature. It was just something that would incorporate a story [in] my comfort zone — of kids upstate — as I’d done before, and then also the story of these crooks. In the summer before I started high school, I started to write the story and realized that it was very dense for a short film. My mom, one day, said, ‘Well, why don’t you just make a feature?’”

It could be said that Fessenden was born to make films — certainly, he has been involved in their creation virtually since birth. His mother, Beck Underwood, is an animator and production designer while his father, Larry Fessenden, is the director of such influential indie-horror movies as Habit and Wendigo. Fessenden Sr. has also nurtured a long list of filmmakers through his Glass Eye Pix company, including Ti West (House of the Devil), Jim Mickle (Stake Land), Mickey Keating (Darling), and now his son, whose film was overseen by the production outfit in conjunction with Jack’s own Fessypix. Jack himself appeared in Wendigo when he was just a few months old and, down the years, helped out on a number of other GEP movies, including 2008’s Dominic Monaghan-starring I Sell the Dead. “I helped age some old boxes,” he laughs. “I got paid $50. That’s a pretty big payday for a 7-year-old.”

Larry Fessenden recalls that it was the time he spent goofing around with Jack and his friends which really inspired his son to become a director. “Instead of going out and playing with a ball, we’d go out with a video camera,” he says. “Jack would have three friends over, and we’d say, ‘Let’s pretend you’re running from something terrible!’ And I’d have the fun of designing the shots. I used to edit them, put the music in and so on, and [say], ‘Look, that fun thing we did this afternoon, this is the result.’ Eventually, Jack would take the camera and I’d see him off telling the kids what to do, and I think that’s how he became a filmmaker.”

Jack and his friend Asa Spurlock play the lead teenagers in Stray Bullets while the movie’s three criminals are portrayed by John Speredakos (Wendigo, The Mind’s Eye), James Le Gros (Living in Oblivion, Girls), and Larry, who also shot the film and produced it with Jack. Indeed, with Underwood overseeing the movie’s production design, Stray Bullets is very much a family affair, although Jack insists his father was careful not to offer too much input during the shoot. “He was always there to help, whenever I needed it,” he says. “But I mostly think he wanted to give me some space, so that I could feel that it was my project — and he did that very well.”

Stray Bullets premiered last September at Germany’s Oldenberg Film Festival and won a rave review from The Hollywood Reporter which described it as “an enjoyably bloodsoaked thriller with unexpectedly lyrical interludes.” Jack says he has plans to make another film, but has to first deal with some matters which aren’t usually an issue for first-time filmmakers. “I’m in junior year in high school, so I have to crack down a little bit more than I have been,” he says. “I have to keep my grades up!”

Stray Bullets is released Feb. 10.