Story-film duo shine nationally

  • Trey Anderson, right, and Jerod Hollyfield discussed a scene on the “Goodfriends set” in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. - Photo courtesy of Dr. Jerod Hollyfield

  • Trey Anderson and Kara Jackson, a Franklin-based actress with Williams syndrome, in a cut scene from “Goodfriends.” - Photo courtesy of Dr. Jerod Hollyfield

With both a passion and God-given talent to write short stories, as evidenced by having various works published in book-form in recent years, Trey Anderson also has a celebrated film background.

In fact, his full-time job at Ingles in Farragut has been the subject of one of those more celebrated short films, produced by a best friend from high school.

Dr. Jerod Hollyfield, an associate professor of Film and Communication at Carson-Newman University, got to know Trey while they were students at Farragut High School (Anderson is a 2001 graduate, Hollyfield a 2002 grad).

“He was in a lot of film projects that I made in high school,” Hollyfield said. “…. He’s a very talented actor. He was in a play that I directed in high school and just blew everybody away with his performance.

“So I really wanted to work with him and find an avenue that would allow him to shine,” he added.

Anderson “shined” professionally “about eight years ago. I made a short film that he starred in,” Hollyfield said about projects that began with the duo working at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where Hollyfield earned his doctorate degree.

Though “Goodfriends,” produced in Baton Rouge, was only 10 minutes long, “We ended up playing 14 film festivals across the United States,” he added. “And it was also a film that the Sundance Institute invited us to apply for, by ‘invitation only,’ because they had heard about the film. … We played the National Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale and a bunch of festivals that were Oscar qualifiers.

“It was a pretty big success, and he was really well-received.”

The film, which took “only about three days” to shoot, “Is basically about a grocery store bagger, and it’s based on some of Trey’s real life experiences,” Hollyfield said about Anderson’s starring role.

In keeping with Anderson’s talents, “Trey has a story credit on the film as well,” his best friend said.

“I think he’s more settled on being a writer — and maybe being an extra in some of the movies here and there,” the professor added about Anderson, 37. “… I think he’s a very dedicated writer. … He writes every single day.”

Anderson’s perspective

“I started writing short stories in the eighth grade,” Anderson said. “… In high school I took creative writing classes. It taught me a lot.

“And then, when I graduated high school, I started working on books and short stories more often,” he added. “And then I started looking around for publishers.”

About Hollyfield, “He’s given me tips and advice about different things,” Anderson said.

After his first book, “Twist in the Dark,” which was a collection of short stories, “I published a children’s book a few years later. ... about 70 pages,” Anderson said.

Also among his works, “I’ve published a suspense book and a poetry book,” he added.

“Becky Collins,” his latest book, “Is about a runaway teenager (who), after her parents die, is a depressed teenager,” Anderson said. “… It’s a dark turn from there; it’s a suspense.

“My first book and my latest book are on Amazon,” he added.

C-N student involvement

Having an influence academically, “Last fall my video production class at Carson-Newman ended up turning one of his five-minute-long scripts into a semester-long project,” Hollyfield said. “He wrote a script called ‘Sarah’s Mansion’ that was based on a short story he published about “10 or 15 years ago.”

“It’s a five-minute short (film). The class got together and filmed it. They worked with Trey.”

Latest works, goals

Though Anderson hasn’t made a lot of money publishing his works, “I’m just going to keep on working at it and try to find the right publisher that will get me in that right direction,” he said.

His latest short story, “Mr. Orange and the Science Project,” can be obtained by e-mailing Anderson at

“I’m hoping to make it big someday.”