Chuck Hartsell and Chance Shirley formed Crewless Productions in the spring of 2001 as they began shooting The Seven Year Switch, their first collaborative movie effort, on digital video. Both had previously dabbled in moviemaking. Hartsell wrote and directed a student film called The Clock, and Shirley co-wrote and starred in a no-budget short called Goodnight, Springton.
The public responded positively to The Seven Year Switch, especially in Hartsell's and Shirley's hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, where Switch screened at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.
Encouraged by their success with The Seven Year Switch, Hartsell and Shirley began planning a follow-up. After meeting local cinematographer Rick Snyder, Hartsell and Shirley invested in an Arriflex 16mm film camera. Together with Snyder, they began work on Reciprocity, another short. It premiered at the 2002 Sidewalk fest.
In early 2003, Hartsell and Shirley put together Birthday Call. Originally shot as a gift for a friend, the less-than-three-minute comedy/horror movie became the most successful Crewless production to date, playing a few fests, including ZombieDance in Texas.
Birthday Call went over so well that Hartsell and Shirley decided to produce a feature-length comedy/horror movie. They brought on Stacey Sessions (Chance's then girlfriend/now wife) as a producer, traded the Arri 16mm in for an Aaton Super 16mm, and started shooting Hide and Creep in late 2003.
Hartsell and Shirley were happy to premiere Hide and Creep, at the 2004 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. The movie was released on DVD by the Asylum in the summer of 2005. It aired several times on the SyFy (then Sci Fi) cable channel and was re-released on "special edition" DVD by Celebrity Video Distribution in October 2009.
The next Crewless feature, Interplanetary, is expected to arrive on home video March 15, 2011.
For the latest Crewless news and whatnot, check out Chance's blog, "Tacos and Beer."
You can totally watch Hide and Creep right now via YouTube.
c/o Chance Shirley
5008 12th Ave S
Birmingham, AL 35222