An insightful parable of racial alienation

Trouble In The Water was a collaboration between Jim McQuaid and Roger Edwards. Jim met Roger by hiring him as a technical writer, all part of their day jobs. As they became more acquainted, Jim learned about Roger's screenwriting work and aspirations and Roger learned about Jim's filmmaking pursuits. Eventually Jim suggested that Roger write something simple (set in the present day and ordinary circumstances) and they would produce the film together.

The film was written and directed by Roger Edwards. Jim assisted with casting and locations, served as the DP, recruited the crew and did the editing with Roger.

Trouble In The Water addresses racial alienation within the Black community. A boy hears negative things about other Black people and internalizes some of this negativity. As an adult, a chance encounter with another Black man finally breaks through this negativity, pointing him to a better life.

The film, originally shot on MiniDV is available in multiple formats.

Torrey Lawrence
Torrey Lawrence has been in many local theater productions including The Justice Theater Project, New World Stage, StreetSigns/UNC, Deep Dish Theater Group and the Raleigh Little Theater. Torrey has appeared in other local film projects by Banzaii Entertainment and UJAMAA Digital Works among others. He received the Triangle theater Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2002 for his performance in A Lesson Before Dying. He dedicates every performance to God, his late mother Violet Jean Lawrence and Uncle Hank Lawrence. Also he wants to thank his family and friends for believing in him when others didn't. Torrey is currently working in LA.

Michael O'Neal
Micheal O'Neal, Sr. brought his 54 years of life experience into play with the role of Chester. Micheael appeared in the movie Po' Lane Road, playing the Sharecropper father of the lead. He also played a Zombie Slave Master in the horror film, "SALT." He enjoyed portraying this role for Turnip.

Barbette Hunter
Barbette Hunter has appeared in numerous productions in the area, including the Justice Theatre Project, Theatre Orange, Raleigh Ensemble Players, Raleigh Little Theatre, StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, Actors Comedy Lab, Dog and Pony Show, New World Stage, North Carolina Theatre, Theatre in the Park and Temple Theatre. Barbette has appeared in several Turnip Films productions.

Edward Nubian James
Edward Nubian James has considerable experience in commercial and industrial production, and has worked as talent with companies such as Progress Energy, IBM, and Southwest Airlines. Edward is also the author of the novel, Shakedown. Edward enjoyed bringing his literary and video experience come together in the role of GARY SR.

Brandon Veal
Brandon Veal, though only five years old at the time of shooting in 2005, brought a lot of experience (and energy) to this role. Brandon has appeared in Smart Start Kids, in commercials and on stage in Raleigh in The North Carolina Theater Production Company's The King and I, where his energy and dramatic focus were commented on by reviewers. Brandon's youth and innocence, coupled with his talent, provides a key starting point for the main arc of the story of Trouble in the Water. Brandon has shared the stage with Ira David Wood in Raleigh's famous A Christmas Carol show.

Roger Edwards

Formally educated as an electrical engineer, Roger went to work designing telecommunications and computer networking systems after graduating from North Carolina State University. Later, he went into business as a technical writer, writing technical books and documentation for clients such as Nortel Networks, IBM, W&G, and IDG Books Worldwide.

Despite success, Roger didn't find this truly fulfilling. He had always had aspirations in the entertainment industry.Roger engaged in a variety of creative writing efforts including poetry, a children's science education book (entitled Max Science and the Glowing Firefly), travel articles, and screenwriting.

His creative appetite led to his involvement in aspects of theatre and film, including acting, mime, assistant directing for community theatre, and working as PA, Grip and Sound Recordist on low-budget productions. Roger's first teleplay was produced for a children's TV series. His first short screenplay took First Place in a screenwriting competition. His first feature screenplay nabbed an Honorable Mention in another . And his second feature screenplay was quickly optioned.

These successes prompted Roger to enroll in the Hollywood Film Institute's Film Producing Program, and to channel even more of his energy towards reaching his creative goals.

Camerawork: Jim McQuaid with Wayne Pecinich and Mark Duncan; 3 cameras active in some scenes. This was the film where I learned to have a camera available to keep on a very young actor at all times.
Composer Eric Johnson Eric Johnson, of Blazing Sound & Music, created the score for Trouble in the Water and also greatly improved the sound with a simple sound design. We are indebted to Eric for his assistance with this project.
Crew: Lea Ann Walden provided assistance and slate, John Teague and Terry Green were the boom operators and Anthony Dunn was the PA and grip. For the walking at the track scenes our "garden cart" dolly was pulled by Drew Wright. Jim King also assisted and Catrena Hall was the still photographer for this film.