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Our first Shorts Festival continues into the weekend with a pair of screenings on Saturday (Buy Tickets) and Sunday (Buy Tickets), both with different programs. We reached out to the filmmakers of Day 2 to answer a few stock questions to get some insight into their projects, and to give y’all an idea of what to expect.

blue monday

Blue Monday
Filmmaker: Charles Chintzer Lai

1. Give a short pitch of your short.
Blue Monday is a naturalistic character study of a young woman confronting anxiety on her birthday. Claire’s birthday serves as a reminder of her underachievements. It forces her to take stock of her situation: a dead-end job, comparing herself to her more successful best friend Amelia, and tentative flirtations with the aloof, distant Greg and the immature, available Ethan.

2. What was your inspiration for this project?
I was going through a time when it felt like birthdays were no longer fun for me and my friends. Birthdays were becoming more of a milestone, and a reminder of how our lives haven’t lived up to expectations. I had some feelings of failure and disappointment, and making the film was a way of confronting things that were weighing me down.

3. What’s your best story from this shoot?
My favorite scene to shoot was the scene where Claire (Josephine Starte) and Greg (Sean Hart) make a suicide pact. We never rehearsed the scene. We had a script, but I told the actors to be spontaneous, to surprise me. And they took it to a place I did not expect, and really elevated it with their chemistry. It was just a joy to watch.

4. What’s next? Do you have anything in the pipe you’d like to talk about?
I recently completed a new short Insomniacs. It’s an emotionally charged, romantic drama about 2 people struggling with chronic insomnia. Also I am developing my first feature, which will hopefully shoot sometime in 2014. You can keep up with my work via Twitter.

berlin

Berlin Day to Night
Filmmaker: Theodore Collatos

1. Give a short pitch of your short.
A brief, near ghostly collection of people and places in Berlin, ultimately capturing a cacophony of events, sometimes violent, sometimes meditative, and always confrontational.

2. What was your inspiration for this project?
I’m interested in all cultures and all people and wanted to do an experimental documentary of conversations between them.

3. What’s your best story from this shoot?
Shooting in a foreign country is a story in and of itself both wild and unpredictable.

4. What’s next? Do you have anything in the pipe you’d like to talk about?
I’m working on three scripts and in pre-production on a documentary in Brazil and looking for collaborators to help.

sanko

Sanko
Filmmaker: Graeme Maclean

1. Give a short pitch of your short.
Sanko is a short film about puppets making puppets, it features the wonderfully creative work of Erik Sanko and the Phantom Limb Company.

2. What was your inspiration for this project?
Our aim with Sanko was to profile the extremely talented work of puppet-maker Erik Sanko in a creative and unique way. North Sea Air’s Amy Lipkin, who produced the film, has known Erik for a long time and brought the whole project together. We wanted to feature Erik and his puppets on film in an interesting way, rather than a stereotypical craft or maker film.

3. What’s your best story from this shoot?
We shot Sanko in just one day at Erik’s Bushwick studio, towards the end of the afternoon Erik had to leave to pick up his daughter a little earlier than expected. We still needed a few shots so we had to operate one of the puppets ourselves! Not an easy task, as you can imagine, bringing about quite a few chuckles. And they’re surprisingly heavy too.

4. What’s next? Do you have anything in the pipe you’d like to talk about?
North Sea Air is currently wrapping up a video project for The Glenlivet whisky company featuring a Brooklyn based perfume house called D.S. & Durga. The project is a unique collaboration based on a collection of scents by D.S. & Durga called HYLNDS, resulting in the ‘Spirit of The Glen’, a fragrance inspired by The Glenlivet whisky and the region. The video component is documentary style, highlighting the perfumer David Moltz’s journey to Scotland gathering inspiration and knowledge for his HYLNDS collection. This project was also co-directed and shot by Christopher Sturman.

dick doblin

Dick Doblin: Private Eye
Filmmaker: Tyler Hall

1. Give a short pitch of your short.
Dick Doblin: Private Eye is a comedy that follows old fashioned P.I. Dick Doblin as he tries to make instructional pro-tip videos on the mean streets of Brooklyn. During the process he gets his camera stolen and has to find the thief as he completes his tip videos. Look both ways before crossing Dick Doblin!

2. What was your inspiration for this project?
Seeing so many Brooklyn hipsters dress like they just time traveled from “simpler times” made us wonder: What would happen if a man of the past had to make it on the streets of Brooklyn today? Also, we thought Dick Doblin was a silly name.

3. What’s your best story from this shoot?
We filmed lots of the show outside of the Park Slope Pavilion Theater (Nitehawk’s arch-enemy). There’s a great sit-around-on-park-benches-scene near the Pavilion. Lots of interesting characters spending their whole day lounging on some city seating. We were worried about continuity of shots because we were filming over two days. Different cars and people are parked in different places day to day, etc. However, to our surprise, when we returned for our second day of shooting, exactly the same bench folk were sitting on exactly the same benches. It was like a little Truman Show world.

4. What’s next? Do you have anything in the pipe you’d like to talk about?
Yes! We are currently developing a few ideas to turn into a 22 minute pilot. It is all in the early stages still, but all if you are a TV executive, please meet us in the Nitehawk elevator for the best pitch/blowjob of your life.

01

Whatever Happened to Amelia Earhart?
Filmmaker: Jon Truei

1. Give a short pitch of your short.
Whatever Happened to Amelia Earhart? is a paranormal horror short in the style of old classic black and white monster flicks based on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart during her flight over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.

2. What was your inspiration for this project?
This project was shot when I was 19 and a sophomore at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (I am 23 now). As part of the NYU Sight and Sound: Film program, we were required to shoot a series of movies on a really restrictive black and white 16mm reversal film stock, with no live sound recording. That medium definitely has a really distinct look to it, and rather than try and fight it, at the time, I just tried to come up with a bunch of movies that would look better in 16mm black and white reversal film than they would shot on any sort of pristine looking HD digital camera. I’ve always loved oldschool monster movies, and in the end, I decided to do one as my final project for the class.

3. What’s your best story from this shoot?
When we were shooting the “white void” scene for this movie, where Amelia Earhart is beamed up into an alien spaceship, we had Meg Rutenberg, our Amelia Earhart, and Jules Hamilton, who was playing the alien, show up at the same time. My roommate, Alex Diaz, was doing Jules’s makeup while we shot Meg’s scenes first, and we thought it would all just figure itself out.

Jules ended up waiting for hours, so he and Alex ended up commandeering my computer and posting a million prank videos on all of our Facebook friends’ walls, always with Alex talking into the webcam first and then Jules jumping from out of nowhere and screaming in his alien makeup and attacking Alex. They ended up sending so many similar prank videos to so many people on Facebook that Facebook must have thought it was some sort of insidious hack or something, and all of the videos got taken down for some time.

Obviously though Jules and Alex fought hard to get them back, and now I have a couple of them saved as video files on my computer for posterity.

4. What’s next? Do you have anything in the pipe you’d like to talk about?
I work professionally in post-production in New York City now as a freelancer, and I’m trying to pursue a career in narrative directing on the side. I recently completed my NYU thesis film, Secondary Education, which is sort of a 90’s after school special/educational entertainment throwback combined with elements of the Power Rangers craze from that era.

We’re currently trying to get Secondary Education picked up as a series, and in the meantime, I’m going to keep pursuing other similarly narrative-based content, web, serialized or otherwise, so I can keep beefing up my directing experience!