Patty Smith & Oscar Cifuentes
Erick Castillo & Lynn Goodwin
Astrid J. Segovia
Erick Castillo & Aaron Rhodes
Jonathan Mugford, Kirill Oleynikov & Greg Byrd
Greg Byrd, Terrell Cummings, Oscar Cifuentes & Jett Boyton
Adelicia Rodriguez & Katie Chavez
Nick Najdowski, Aaron Rhodes, Stephen Jules Rubin, Leslie Harrell Dillen & Ron Weisberg
Greg Byrd & Astrid Segovia
Erick Castillo
Patty Smith & Peter McCarthy
Victor Alonso, Spencer Jay, Lisa Jay & Gwendolyn Falcon Jay
Tuff shed into a crypt
Peter McCarthy, Larry Glaister & MerrItt Glover
4' cell tower perspective
Construction on Cerrillos was a bummer for drivers but a plus for us
Patty Smith, Lisa Jay & Erick Castillo at the one room office
Dani Lenski in the makeshift ADR studio

                                         -expansive contraction

                                                                                      -less is more

                                                                                                                  -stay on the same page

                                                                                                                                                               -keep it simple

                                                                                                                                                     -it is what it is


                                 -single static camera

                                                                           -narrow depth of field

                                                                                                                           -back lighting

                                                                                                                                                                 -no insert shots

                                                                                                                                                                                                   -super 16mm look



photos by Lisa Jay

The first person to read a draft of Death & Taxes was cinematographer, Erick Castillo, a former student of mine at the College of Santa Fe. His response – “It’s great, let’s do this!”  His enthusiasm was refreshing, but I knew doing a film for next to nothing was going to take time & effort to put together. Aaron Rhodes, who plays the lead, HAROLD, read it next. I had Aaron in mind when I was writing because he's one of the funniest guys I'd ever met. I had no idea he was a ten-year vet of Chicago's Second City, had toured with the company, and had done a short film with Stephen Colbert. When Aaron said he'd do it, if I offered him the role (which I did after auditioning other local actors), for the first time I actually felt the film could happen.


Other former students of mine, Greg Byrd, Nick Najdowski, and Jason Siegel, stepped in to help, as did many recent Santa Fe City College film grads. The first crew members to start work, however, I found on Craig's List. Lisa Jay, my Art Director, had recently moved to Santa Fe and had never worked on a film before, but she was smart, talented and eager to learn, and even with two small kids somehow found the time. Shawn K. Deasy, Attorney at Law, who specializes in estate planning, I persuaded to set up the LLC and other necessary documents to get the production rolling.


Other key personnel just seemed to fall into place. Lynn Goodwin, who plays Harold's wife, JUDY, I’d admired in local theater productions. Lynn introduced me to Patty Smith, my casting director and 1st AD, who then introduced me to Oscar Cifuentes, whose company, Seige Films, provided our gear, and who became an integral crew member.


Makeup artists, Adelicia Rodriguez and Dayan Morgan-Sylvaen, heard about the project and found me. One of the final crew I found was Donovan Thomas, a Native American craft service person, who my buddy, Dale Lotrek, had recommended. I lucked out when Donovan agreed to do the film. He helped in so many ways and kept us nourished and smiling for 20 days of principle, a pickup day, and a green screen day, all in one month.


What’s different about Death & Taxes as compared to most micro-budgeted (under ten grand) digital productions is that it was shot in a retro fashion. There weren’t a bunch of cameras wing-dinging every scene, just one. And the script was tight, rewritten dozens of times. Then it was broken down into a 5-day, 4 week, production schedule. Shooting axioms for the look of the film and production axioms for the design were adhered to. Most of our public locations, like the mini-mart gas station, the bar, the church, and the park, we never own and had to shoot around whatever activity was happening. And sometimes there was a lot. We were fortunate that a some great Santa Fe restaurants kicked in meals, which was a generous thing to do.


Post-production took longer than expected, but it always does. Aside from learning Final Cut Pro X, I continually honed the film and tried to make it as tight as possible. I also did the laborious digital timing to get the look I wanted for Harold, which was way more time consuming than I anticipated. During post an incredible thing happened; award-winning dialogue editor, Rich Quinn, a friend of Erick's, saw the film and offered to put together a team to cut sound and do a mix. Working with re-recording mixer, Roy Waldspurger,  sound  supervisor, Everett Moore, and a talented crew of sound technicians was truly a memorable experience.


Everyone who gave their time and effort did it pro bono, and in return will be a profit participant, if the film ever makes money. The fact that a radically satirical film like Death & Taxes could get made in New Mexico, and be done the way I envisioned it, is amazing and speaks volumes about the burgeoning film biz here. The movie's awesome look and wonderful acting is a testament to everyone who contributed, and I can't thank them enough.



Writer, Producer & Director

Peter McCarthy


Associate Producers

Aaron Rhodes, Lynn Goodwin & Lisa Jay


Production Legal

Shawn K. Deasy, Attorney at Law


Casting Director & 1st Assistant Director

Patty Smith


Art Director & Still Photographer

Lisa Jay



Erick Castillo


Production Sound

Nick Najdowski


2nd Camera & Assistant Camera

Oscar Cifuentes


2nd Camera, AC, DIT & Steadicam

Greg Byrd


Key Craft Services

Donovan "Donzer" Thomas


AC, DIT & Grip

Victor Alonzo



Terrell Cummings


Additional Gaffer, AC, DIT & Grip

Kirill Oleynikov



Astrid J. Segovia


Assistant Camera

Madeleine Lauve


Electrician & Grip

Jett Boyton


AC & Best Boy Grip

Sheridan O'Donnell



Jason Seigel


2nd Assistant Camera, DIT & Grip

Kenney Cox


Digital Information Tech

Jonathan Mugford


Key Makeup

Adelicia Rodriguez



Dayan Morgan-Sylvaen


Makeup Assistant 

Rachel Lively



Kristen Chavez


Additional Production Sound

Alex Raguini


Green Screen Production Sound

Phil Arnold


Swing Boom Operator

Andrew Jay






Peter McCarthy


Green Screen Editor

Greg Byrd


Original Score by

Joe West


Additional Score by

Bardford Reed

Kevin MacLeod


hill & Trip


Supervising Sound Design

Everett Moore


Re-Recording Mixer

Roy Waldspurger


Additional Re-Recording Mixer

Malcolm Fife


Dialogue Editors

Matt Hartman

Malcolm Fife

Richard Quinn


Special Thanks To

Chris Scarabosio

Ryan Fries

Jon Greber

Doug Ford

Mike Lane

Bonnie Wild


Special Effects

Luke Fitch


Digital Cinema Print

Alex Usatine

High Desert Digital


ADR,Music, Additional Sound

Cutting & Mixing

Digital Effects & Color Correction

Hugh Kares




Joe West

Hamell on Trial



Clem Snide


Smoking Section




Lisa Jay, Patty Smith, Nick Najdowski, Aaron Rhodes, Greg Byrd, Peter McCarthy, Erick Castillo, Oscar Cifuentes
photo by Lynn Goodwin



Erick Castillo, Lisa Jay, Patty Smith, Aaron Rhodes & Lynn Goodwin

Shawn K. Deasy, Attorney at Law.

Oscar Cifuentes - Seige Films

G-Byrd & Zoo Crew Productions

Victor Alonzo & Dead Vinyl Productions

Donovan “Donzer” Thomas

Joe West, Bradford Reed, Will Dyar & Trip

Rich Quinn, Everett Moore, Ray Waldspurger, Matt Hartman & Malcolm Fife

Luke Fitch & Seth Lliff - Altitude-FX

Lex Lucius - Lex Lucius Design

Jim Smart - Smart Motors LLC

Charles Ashley - Bernalillo Film Liaison

Bernalillo County Courthouse

Phil Arnold - Southwest Music Productions

Jennifer Migliore aka Jennifer Best

Rob & Angelo DeSimone & Fillup Mini Mart

Michelle Dube, Michelle Gonzalez, Robyn Archuleta & Open Hands Thrift Store

Eduardo Castillo & Molly's Restaurant & Bar

Marsha Wolf at Western Equities

William Roybal & Rosario Cemetery

Dick & Derrick Padilla & Beyond Waves Mountain Surf Shop

Kathy Leyba, BSB/A & Corazon Family Health

Jim Sowa & Alice Springs & The Universalist Unitarian Church

Emily Powell & Laura Nunnelly & Santa Fe University of Art & Design

Melanie Moraise at Daniel's Insurance

Ceasar Barba & Marcus A. Boston

New Mexico Film Commission Website

Peter Grendle & The Screen @ SFUAD

Alex Usatine & High Desert Digital

Lorraine Edge Castillo – Poster Graphic Artist

Wendy Chapin        Tomas Moore     Jessica Long          Bill Georgenes

Eddie Rio        Mark Gutterend     Brian Murray Crane     Ben Taxy

Jarod Lawrence     Alton Walpole     Matt Page     Dale Lotrek     Marti Mills





Andiamo's     Blue Corn Cafe     Counter Culture Café     Jinga Bar & Bistro     Joe's Diner     Maria's     Olive Garden     Santa Fe Baking Company     Schlotzsky's     Upper Crust Pizza     Zia Diner



Evanselina Rivera     Marcelina Martin     Melissa Sprout-Singh    

Pascale Million     J.P. Jallifiter     Anna R. Rael     Delfina Bowles    

Adam H. Schwartz     Larry Burke      Georgia Bueno



Deborah Chavez      Dolores Garcia     Daniel Romero

Edgar Allen     Dylan Del Compo      Destiny Velarde

Genoveva Reyes     Nereida Villalobos     Manuel Samario

Olivia Gallegos      Cesar Barba



Robyn Archuleta      Michelle Dube     Angelo DeSimone



© 2020 Prickly Pear Productions LLC