Short Films



For my first interview I really wanted to cover someone I felt really embodied the type of filmmaker I want to speak to. Someone who’s just starting his film career, but knows exactly what direction he’s headed. I couldn’t have asked for a more representative and entertaining subject than Cody Everett.

His directorial debut, “The Greatest Lie Ever Told“, which he also wrote, premiered at this year’s Phoenix Comicon. It was also an official selection at the 2014 Jerome Film Festival.  He was also a producer on the short horror film Dust Jacket.

You can watch “The Greatest Lie Ever Told” on YouTube or make your life easy and click play on the embedded video above.

Friendly Neighborhood Filmmaking: Why did you get into film?

Cody Everett: That’s actually a really good question, because I never really thought about why I did it, I just always wanted to do it. I mean, part of the reason was to prove that I could, to the group of people I make movies with. That was the [biggest] part of it, to say, “No look, I can do it too,” because I didn’t think I was taken seriously. That was the main reason. I’ve always enjoyed movies from an early age. It’s fun for me to do. I love working on a set. At first, I wanted to be an actor in high school. Then I wanted to learn both sides and I just kind of gravitated more towards telling people how to act, because I was better at picking out shitty acting than I was at acting.

[A smile creeps across his face]

I wouldn’t mind being, what’s his name, Renny Harlin.

FNF: Who?

CE: The guy who’s directed everything. He directed Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger. Also one of the Exorcist sequels, one of the newer ones. This guy, he did one action movie and people were like, “Fuck it, he can do it. He does everything!” He did a horror movie and now he’s doing all this other shit, but no one knows it’s him because he’s not a great director, but he works.

FNF: Are you saying Harlan’s an influence or just, “Well, if he can do it…”

CE: It’s kind of both. [laughs] I mean, [Hollywood] will throw anything at him. He’s made a career at making mediocre movies. His claim to fame is he made the worst Die Hard.

FNF: I wouldn’t say that, have you seen the new one? With the son?

CE:   True.

FNF: Unfortunately, that guy had to wait twenty years for Hollywood to make a worse Die Hard than number two.

CE: You know Renny Harlan was just sitting there, hands clenched, saying, “Please suck.”

FNF: Well, other than Renny Harlin, did you have any other influences?

CE: I’m mostly influenced by comedy. My mom was really into old movies. I grew up with Jerry Lewis, the Three Stooges, The Carol Burnett Show, but also Dean Martin, straight men like that. I’ve always like over the top physical comedy. That’s where my humor started.   I found humor as a way to deal with things and situations in life. If you can make a shitty situation in life funny, it doesn’t seem so shitty. I feel I went through some weird film stages, but also some of the same film stages as everyone else. As a kid I was always drawn toward the darker, macabre stuff. It started out with what I call Baby Macabre, Tim Burton stuff, but then I started watching Troma stuff, which is weird because Troma had always been in my life.

FNF: Yeah?

CE: Yeah, I remember my dad taking me to the grocery store, back when you would rent movies from the grocery store, and they had me pick out a movie. Toxic Avenger had a cartoon on at the time and they let me rent Toxic Avenger 3, the one where he fights Satan. I got that one, where he knocks Satan’s head off, there are tits in it, all this crazy stuff. Total B movie. I watched it by myself, because [my parents] thought it was a kid’s movie. They just popped it in, like it was the babysitter. I watch that movie still to this day, and it’s like, “A kid should not be watching this!” I was eight years old. It’s weird, [Troma] was my phase through high school as well. I got into the kind of grunge way of filmmaking by watching those movies. [Troma] kind of said, “Alright, well make your own damn movie.” I would read or watch whatever I could from Troma. A few are some of the worst movies you’ll ever see, but I like a lot of terrible movies. There are people that will think certain movies are just god-awful and I’ll love them. I want to be the Uwe Boll of America.

FNF: Really?

No, I’m kidding, I want to be Renny Harlin. [laughs]

FNF: Tell me about the first film you worked on. “Return of Mothra”?

CE: Yeah, “Return of Mothra” was a high school film. It was a remake with Chris Wilembrect. The story was pretty cohesive. We had this moth we made in ceramics class and we had it attacking this Matchbox car. It was stupid, but we put it into the Phoenix Film Festival. It was just this stupid comedy, but we got a letter back saying “Return of Mothra” got in.

FNF: What year was this?

CE: 2003.

FNF: So you were, what, seventeen, eighteen?

CE: Yeah, something like that.

FNF: Wow, and you got a film into a film festival. What was that experience like?

CE: It was weird. It was the high school portion of it, so no one gave a shit, but I met Brian O’Halloran there from Clerks who was amazingly nice. John Waters was also there, who Chris was a big fan of, so that was the big thing to do. We have to go see John Waters!

FNF: So why did you pick “The Greatest Lie Ever Told”? What spoke to you about this film made you decide to make it your directorial debut?

CE: My goal was not to be a director. I didn’t feel I was that far advanced yet. I was trying to find a way to get respect from the group of people I work with. I felt I had to do something, so they could say, “Ok, he’s done it before. I’ll listen to him.” I mean, just because someone hasn’t done something before doesn’t mean their ideas are bad.

FNF: Agreed.

CE: Eventually I decided [directing] would make me a better producer, which is what I really wanted to be. So I was thinking, “What can I do that’s kind of easy?” I see everybody do these overcomplicated short films. I just wanted to do something easy, to show these guys I could do it. I was going to write this story about a father that shows up on his son’s doorstep. The son hasn’t seen him in years, but the father is expecting him to take him in. I was going to try and make it a comedy…

FNF: That’s pretty heavy for a comedy.

CE: [laughs] Yeah. So I did this Google search, like, “Ten Things A Drunk Father Would Say” and what came up was a list of things not to do in front of your significant other and I said, “That’s a movie.” I don’t why that clicked with me, but I knew that was the movie. It just fit perfectly. It was easy. I could shoot it at my friend’s house. I had to get a restaurant, but it was [just] two locations. My goal was to make, what I consider, a commercial film. A commercial comedy that you would go and see Seth Rogen in at Harkins, but do it in five minutes, and I did that. I know I did that.

FNF: So since this was your first time on set as a director, what was that like?

CE: I felt a little nervous with the time restraint. The first half of the night, the restaurant shoot, I bullshitted my way through that just trying to figure out what my style would be. What am I going to say to the actors? What do I want them to say? Kind of figuring all that out. Once I got through that portion of it, it was pretty easy going from there. Having fun was important, but also knowing when to work was important and having a great crew was important. I had all that, so it wasn’t hard.   But, if you ask the crew, they’ll probably tell you it was the best catering they ever had.

FNF: Do you feel there was any mistakes that, if you could do it again, you would’ve rectified?

CE: Oh yeah. Taking time, not rushing so much. Being quicker on reshoots. Time restraints, learning not to try and shoot everything in one night so you can get the best out of your actors, so they’re not so tired and ready to kill themselves. But also getting them tired and ready to kill themselves is great for some [scenes].  The editing process was a huge learning experience. We had three or four final cuts of that film. Also, how important it is to have good makeup people, because they saved our ass a lot on that movie.  I feel it was more experience stuff and feel of things, rather than, “Oh hey, I learned this real technical shot. Learned this perfect angle.” I really hadn’t learned any of that stuff, but the feel of a set, how to run a set, getting a feel for the actors, yeah. Were there a lot of things I’d change? Yeah, but I didn’t have the budget.

FNF: Are there any tips you’d like to give to any other first time filmmakers?

CE: Tons. First, be like Renny Harlin. Set yourself to a mediocre level, but crush that mediocre level. [laughs]

No, there is one problem I’ve noticed with short films. Everyone tries to be a superstar on their first short film. Look, if you’re independent you probably don’t have the budget. You’re probably not going to have [the best] script because you can’t afford a great scriptwriter writing it for you. Simple can be hard to do, but there’s a reason simple is hard to do, because it’s probably going to be your best shit.   Sometimes I see films and say, “Man, if you hadn’t tried so hard [to capture something big], you would’ve knocked it out of the park.”

FNF: Exactly, I just covered a filmmaker that said something very similar. That there are many beginning filmmakers that try to capture a big idea they know nothing about.

CE: Right.

FNF: Like someone doing a film about being fifty when they’re twenty-one. What can you know about that?

CE: Exactly. What do I know about being thirty? Everything in my film is somewhat grounded in reality. Yes, one day you’ll have to take a drunk girl home who’ll just ruin your whole day. That will happen. It’s all very relatable stuff. That’s what I mean when I say it’s a mainstream comedy. Then again, you’re always going to get that guy that says, “Oh, film is not meant for dick and fart jokes.” Fuck that, it’s meant to make somebody feel something. I mean, one of the biggest genres is comedy. When the market crashed, people went to the movies because life sucked so bad. Personally I didn’t go and see Twelve Years a Slave. Why, because sometimes I don’t feel like going to the movies and crying my eyes out because white people are so terrible. Don’t get me wrong there’s a place for that shit, but it’s not my shit.

Spotlight on Shorts: Somebody

This week I really wanted to do a genre focus leading up to my first interview. Since the filmmaker I’ll be interviewing specializes primarily on comedy, we’ll be spotlighting a rather ingenious little comedy short entitled “Somebody“, which premiered last month at the Venice Film Festival.

Directed by filmmaker Miranda July, this film is rather unique in that it promotes a real life app called Somebody. The app allows one user to text another user within the vicinity of somebody they wish to tell something to, but don’t have the courage to say to them face to face. It works not unlike Tinder, but rather than searching for booty calls, it searches for brave individuals who can approach complete strangers and relay messages of a personal nature without the emotional disconnection associated with mere texting.

The film is not exactly a commercial, but an actual comedic short that shows the app in action. It’s seems pretty clear from the tone of the film that July is focused less on promoting the app than she is with pointing out the direction society is headed in a world where social interactions are becoming more and more digitized. This appears to be more of a mock social experiment, exploring a world where communication via social media is becoming increasingly dominant over the old school method of personal interaction.

As a film, “Somebody really shines in the area of casting. The actors really do look like anyone you’d find off the streets; complete with the type of diversity we’ve come to expect walking the streets of a big city. This is used to a comedic effect as users of the app selectively choose the most unlikely participants to relay their heartfelt and/or heartbreaking messages to their recipients. This is very apparent in the first scene where we see a small, lanky hipster being “broken up” with a large, bearded man wearing a tracksuit complete with consoling hug.

The film also uses a familiar technique from films like Timecode by showing actors from the previous scene walk past or show up in later scenes to show that each experience is connected. This has a different effect in “Somebody”, as it introduces us to a world where this app has become a standard communication tool that everybody is using. This is also apparent in the way the rest of the world reacts to the app’s users, oftentimes without any surprise, as if usage of the app has become an everyday occurrence.

July’s method of promoting this film as a package deal of sorts is rather creative. It’s possible that she’s making yet another comment of modern day society by suggesting that promoting a short film requires more than just old fashion word of mouth. In an age where new technology is just as highly looked forward to and hyped up as summer blockbuster films, perhaps July is suggesting that in this day in age media and art need to be a combined to have any chance at getting noticed in a culture that has become oversaturated. Either way, it’s an interesting approach to advertising and I look forward to see its effects.

“One Man’s Trash”: The Best Character Driven Short Film Hidden Within a Popular TV Series

Fans of Tiny Furniture, rejoice! Lena Dunham has announced she is directing a new film. I would love to go into the details and tell you that she’s the perfect director to bring Catherine, Called Birdy to the big screen. Alas, I’ve never read that book, so I have absolutely no idea if this is a good fit for her, but while we’re on the topic of Dunham, let’s talk about her most popular contribution to audiences, Girls. More specifically, let’s talk about one particular (and unnecessarily controversial) episode of Girls, “One Man’s Trash”.

From the people I’ve asked about it, Girls appears to be the kind of show you either love or hate. I would argue that due to it’s popularity, clearly more people love it than hate it, but those that I’ve talked to that dislike the show tend to feel the characters are self-centered and entitled. I actually agree with this, but what I’ve always found hypocritical is that people who dislike Girls’ characters for espousing these traits seem to speak endearingly about the characters in Seinfeld or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for possessing the same qualities.

Remember when George's fiance dies and the cast is devastated?  Neither do I.

Remember when George’s fiance dies and the cast is devastated? Neither do I.

With my two cents out of the way, I’d like to try and focus on the particular episode of “One Man’s Trash” without getting into the controversy mentioned earlier, but rather analyze the show as a standalone piece of the series which structure acts as a guideline for creating a well-made, character driven short.

With that out of the way let me now disclose this post is full of SPOILERS!!!!! Those not familiar with the episode, take some time to watch it. /HBO On Demand/Girls/Season2/Episode5/Watch… Ok, back? Commencing post.

The wonderful thing about this episode is that it can really be viewed separate from the rest of the series. So for all of you that said, “screw it.” and continued reading because you figured you had to get caught up on the whole series before viewing “One Man’s Trash” worry not, you don’t. From the get go “One Man’s Trash” introduces its characters well enough that you’ll have a good idea what’s going on. Ray and Hanna begin, outside of the coffee shop they work at, by discussing whether Hanna has been the first to coin the word “Sexit” (as in you leave an event to go have sex). A quick Google search from Ray dashes Hanna’s hopes of adding to the American lexicon as Urban Dictionary describes it as having to make a quick exit after sex.

Much like Pulp Fiction, “One Man’s Trash” introduces our characters in a non-expositional way, letting us get familiar with the characters by hearing them converse and get a feel for their dispositions. The fact that Hanna and Ray are writing up the menu on a chalkboard in front of a coffee shop gives us enough information that we can infer they work there. Giving information about characters without using exposition is one of the hardest parts of the writing process in my opinion. It seems natural that we would inform the audience about the histories of our characters through dialogue, but unfortunately expositional dialogue is boring. Anyone who’s ever been on that particular type of bad date, where the person across from you relies on telling you every little thing about themselves rather than being engaging, can attest to this.

From there we are introduced to Joshua, played by the one and only Patrick Wilson, or as I like to call him, the Everyman’s Everyman Everymen wish to be. Joshua has noticed that trash from the coffee shop has been mysteriously been found in his designated receptacle. As the title suggests, its female cast primarily drives Girls, but Joshua acts as a participant in Hanna’s self-discovery in this particular episode as we will explore. His entrance is a nice transition. We know that his entrance, as mundane as it may seem, will lead to something more.

Just an Average Joe, doing Average Joe stuff!

Just an Average Joe, doing Average Joe stuff!

That something is the fact that Hanna is the one sneaking trash into Joshua’s trashcan. She could have easily let it go, sneaking off into a corner when Joshua confronts Ray and cease to continue trashbombing Joshua’s residence, letting the whole thing just blow over. Instead Hanna makes the extra effort to go directly to Joshua’s Brooklyn brownstone and fess up to the act. Such an aggressive move reveals that there must be some hidden motive to Hanna’s going the extra mile as Joshua is clearly so curious by Hanna’s arrival that he lets her right into his place.

When Hanna and Joshua begin to make out, before even asking each other’s names, we begin to see the episode entering the rising action. Anyone familiar with Freytag’s Pyramid knows this point of storytelling. It is the moment where we the audience know that the actions being presented before will lead to greater conflicts. Sure, it’s possible that Hanna and Joshua could just bang it out, leaving Hanna with the perfect opportunity to “Sexit”, but it’s probably more likely that this action will have its consequences or reveal more about our characters motivations. This is yet another need within a character driven model. The conflicts that arise must often be a choosing of the characters and not something directly derived from the plot.

As Hanna and Joshua continue their two-day tryst with one another, much is revealed about the two of them. We find that the two could not be more different. Beyond age discrepancies, Joshua is a doctor as where Hanna is now recently unemployed. Joshua is recently separated from his wife, Hanna has a hard time keeping a boyfriend. Yet despite their differences, the two seem to need each other, at least for this moment, as the prospect of Hanna leaving compels Joshua to get on his knees and beg her to stay.

This all comes to a head when Hanna begins to truly open up to Joshua about her problems. Despite Joshua lending her his ear, it’s clear he just can’t relate and it becomes apparent that this short romance is beginning to lose its luster. Going back to Freytag’s Pyramid, this is the climax, or the point of no return. What’s said has been said and through Joshua’s reaction we can see that the two of them probably won’t be able to keep the magic going for much longer. With this reveal the mystery is gone. It’s clear to Joshua that Hanna is not just some alluring, carefree nymph, but a person with very real problems, some he may end up having to deal with.

As Hanna wakes up the next morning, Joshua is gone, back to the responsibilities his life demands of him. The fantasy is over and it’s back to reality. As Hanna takes out the trash one last time, her stride has a confident bounce to it, one that suggests that during these last two days she’s taken something very important away. What that is we don’t really know, but we do know that Joshua and Hanna needed something from one another, even if only briefly, and that has changed them for the better.

"Character Arcs", the type that won't give you coronary disease.

“Character Arcs”, the type that won’t give you coronary disease.

This is a particularly good example of how a good, character driven story should come to an end. When dealing with these types of stories, it’s important to show that the conclusion comes from a change or revelation within the character and not by simply solving some event presented through the plot. For example a film like The Wrestler is probably the best example of this. His relationship with his daughter, his wooing of Cassidy are all driven by his journey to come to terms his past as “The Ram”. In these select plot points, he could either succeed or fail just as long as we the audience witness the end result of his soul searching, expressed when he decides to give the crowd what they want and perform his signature move despite the harm it will most likely cause him.

For those of you interested in creating more character driven stories, I believe “One Man’s Trash” as well as Dunham’s Tiny Furniture serve as good examples to those looking to understand the type of structure these films require. Say what you will about Lena Dunham and Girls, even if you don’t like her characters or writing in general, there’s no arguing that the cast primarily drives her stories. Unlike shows like Entourage, which repeatedly place the same set of characters in various situations, Dunham’s stories are a result of characters trying to find their way through life and the situations that arise from that journey.

Spotlight on Shorts: Factory 293

<p><a href=”″>FACTORY293</a&gt; from <a href=””>Meaning Maker</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

This week I really wanted to focus on cinematography in film and how nailing it effectively can add to the production value of a film without necessarily adding to the budget. Although having a top of the line HD camera and a large budget certainly will increase the look of a film, I’m always impressed by filmmakers that do a lot with fairly little by taking the time to study shot selections and how they translate to an audience visually. I was lucky to find a short last night called “Factory 293” that’s a fantastic example of this.

“Factory 293” is a period piece written and directed by Roderick MacKay. Set in WWII during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, it follows a factory in the middle of the Russian tundra that produces artillery shells for tanks, really big guns or Soviet era Jaegers specifically designed to take on Nazi Kaiju (how the hell am I supposed to know, I’m not an artillery expert).   Grigori runs the factory and is having an affair with Yelena, a factory worker. From the outset we know that something is clearly bothering Grigori. He rejects Yelena’s advances and glares menacingly at the picture of Stalin hanging on his wall.

When the power goes out, Yelena is charged with turning it back on. In the attempt to restore power, she finds a lone soviet soldier out in the tundra on the brink of freezing to death. From there we learn more about Grigori, the mysterious soldier and the extent of Yelena and Grigori’s relationship.

I think the most surprising thing about this film is that it’s shot far, far away from the frostbitten lands of Russia in sunny Perth, Australia. Even more impressive, is that despite clearly looking like it took place on the planet Hoth, it was shot in the middle of summer. Through the use of fans, fake snow and some incredibly impressive green screening and digital artistry, they managed to turn Perth into something out of Kris Kringle’s nightmares. All this was done within a relatively small budget estimated at $100,000 dollars.

For those of you interested in the process of how MacKay managed to pull this off, it’s chronicled in a Behind the Scenes video below:

<p><a href=”″>FACTORY293 Behind The Scenes</a> from <a href=””>Meaning Maker</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Despite the impressive digital work in the movie, what really struck me was the choice of shots MacKay went with to tell his story. One specific shot is an overhead angle capturing the portrait of Stalin ominously overhead of Grigori. The shot hints to the ever-looming presence of Stalinist Russia, mimicking the paranoia the dictator was so well-known for, his eyes constantly on the lookout for dissenters to the Soviet cause.

MacKay also does some impressive work with camera focus, specifically while shooting down the barrel of a gun, many of the shots seemingly coming from the point of view of the targets.

All of this excellent cinematography enhances the film further, giving it a very polished look for, relatively, pennies on the dollar. This demonstrates what good shot selection can do for a film, drawing the audience further into the film by making the framing and movement of the camera just as much a part of the storytelling process as the dialogue spoken by the characters. This is a lesson I feel a lot of beginning filmmakers can learn greatly from, that camera position is more than a matter of just getting the actors in frame. Let’s not forget that films are moving pictures and not just a collection of static shots.

Spotlight on Shorts: Death to the Tinman

“Death to the Tinman” is a short film I found a few years ago.  It’s directed by Ray Tintori and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 where it won the short filmmaking award. It was his senior film at Wesleyan University. Since then Tintori has gone on to direct several music videos for several bands such as MGMT and The Killers.

On its surface it’s a simple tale of love and loss, but it also deals with more complex issues such as religion and intolerance.   As the title would suggest, it draws its influence from the Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum. It’s a good example of using a well-known story, old enough to be in public domain, and expanding upon it.

The black and white cinematography gives it an old 1930’s Universal monster movie feel to it.   Although I don’t have any information on the type of budget he was working with, I have to imagine it wasn’t much. Although the film has a period feel to it, the costumes are more modern day, some so simplistic that they look like they came from a Party City. Sometimes it looks like it could pass for something Ed Wood would have put together. Even the Tinman’s suit looks like it was pieced together with old trashcans.

The look of “Death to the Tinman” is something I believe beginning filmmakers can learn from. It’s a great example of a film that substitutes expensive set pieces and costumes with a whole lot of character. When dealing with stories that seem to require extravagant production values, purposely giving it a super low budget, almost duct taped together feel can give it a quirky, childlike mood provided you have a strong story to back it up.

Tintori says that he was influenced by the likes of Werner Hertzog. Tintori had this to say about his contemporary,

“The Herzog thing was also about not being afraid to do enormously complicated stuff: Shooting with an airplane that we built that we were trying to fly all the time. He’s just extremely brave physically, and (this was) a film a that would be physically exhausting to make because you were out in the real world trudging around in a snowstorm or in swamps or something like that.”

He also lists Spike Jonze as an influence, which I think is a little more apparent.

Tintori notes that since he made the film while he was in college, he tried to stick to familiar territory. This is good advice for beginning filmmakers that might try to wow audiences with their first film by tackling complicated subjects that may be out of their realm of experience. Sticking to what you know before culminating strong research habits can allow filmmakers to put out quality work that comes from the heart. Kevin Smith is a great example of someone who has benefitted from this, making his first film Clerks about his experiences working in a convenience store.

Tintori gives what I thin is his best piece of advice on this subject,

“Yeah, I think that sometimes young filmmakers feel like they need to prove themselves by tackling issues that are really older people’s stories. So you end up getting these festivals with a ton of films by really young kids trying to tell stories about middle-aged people going through traumatic, angst-ridden moments in their life, but you get the feeling that the filmmakers actually have no first-hand knowledge of living through any of those things. So while they’re trying to be truthful, it ends up ringing very false. I recently taught a class at the University of Virginia and one of the things I said to the students was to recognize their own level of immaturity and try to make films that knowingly operate on that level.”

Spotlight on Shorts: The Naturalist

<p><a href=”″>The Naturalist</a> from <a href=””>Connor Hurley</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Most of my favorite films are social commentary films that are presented in unlikely genres. For instance, I absolutely love Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove because it addresses the very serious issue of nuclear warfare, but frames it in the form of a comedy. The film succeeds on so many levels, in part because you have the likes of Peter Sellers, arguably the greatest comedic actor of all time, playing multiple roles, but also because telling the story through comedy allows the audience to more easily digest a rather frightening reality.

“The Naturalist” is a short film I came across that also deals with a serious social commentary, but choses to do so within the confines of an unlikely genre. One would hope that the future portrayed in “The Naturalist” would never come to pass. In it, abnormalities of all sorts are shunned, homosexuality unfortunately being one of them. As our protagonist and his lover hide away from this oppressive world, a friend comes to visit to offer him a “cure” for his sexual orientation.

“The Naturalist” could have easily have been a drama set in present times. The concept of homosexuality being a “disease” to be cured could be paralleled to the current, atrocious practice of gay reparative therapy. Filmmaker Connor Hurley, instead, choses to go the sci-fi route, placing the film within a dystopian future.

This is something I feel all filmmakers can learn from. Just because you may want your film to deal with something like how your addiction to video games have caused your wife and children to resent you as a suitable father figure, doesn’t mean you have to reflect your life verbatim within an environment that’s similar to yours. Any setting or genre can be used to best communicate the moral of your story to the audience. The excellent sci-fi film Snowpiercer deals with class warfare by addressing it within a post-apocalyptic future aboard an eternally running locomotive. Dawn of the Dead is about consumerism. I’m sure the horror of the Holocaust could be addressed within a sword and sorcery fantasy provided it still deals with the core theme in a new and interesting way.

Hurley shot the film on a Red One MX with Cooke S2 lenses and was lit almost solely with natural light. Since the lead actress was sick with tonsillitis throughout the shoot, ADR was necessary for most of her lines.

As you watch “The Naturalist”, pay close attention to how a modern day issue can be further explored within unlikely settings and genres. Perhaps this might inspire one of you burgeoning filmmakers to break though that writer’s block and discover the best way to address your next big idea.