Official Online Short Film Release: Philip K. Dick’s “Beyond the Door”

22 05 2012

It is with great pleasure that I officially announce the online release of my directorial debut, “Beyond the Door.”  The film was produced by myself and Dan A. R. Kelly, and stars Lisa Sain Odom as Laura, Reid Dalton as Larry and Eljiah Chester as Bob Chambers.

Shot over Labor Day weekend in 2010, the film went through a lengthy post-production phase, largely in part to my hectic schedule at the time.  The film was shot by the very talented Jeff Stepp, had production design by UNCSA alum Antonia DiNardo and the score and sound design was completed by Down Fenix Media, LLC member Jon Fredette.  Without the generous contribution of all these people, the rest of the crew, my brother John Mandrano and many others, I could have never completed this pet project.

The budget was completely out of pocket; if memory serves me, somewhere in the $3,500 range.  For some that’s not much, but for me at the time that was quite an undertaking in congruence with my regular bills.  Though it was a lot out of my pocket, all the wonderful people who helped me complete this film took huge cuts on their usual rates, some helping for no pay at all, and for that I am eternally grateful.  Over the three days of shooting, no day was less than a 12 hour day and our middle day was close to 17 hours, so it definitely wasn’t a cake shoot.

Anyway, I’ve got several posts on here that dig a little deeper into the production of this film if you are interested in checking them out, namely here and here.  So, without any further adieu, rambling or behind-the-scenes dialog, I present you with my directorial debut and the adaptation of the Philip K. Dick public domain short story “Beyond the Door”:

A Short Recommendation…

18 02 2012

Many apologies for the lack of posts lately, it has been a busy time!  Currently, I own two properties: a new house and the condo we moved out of.  So, I’ve spent the past couple weeks using all of my spare time painting, cleaning, washing and vacuuming trying to get this condo on the market, which I am happy to report will land on the market early next week.  For any of you looking to move to North Carolina, I’ve got a deal for you if you’re looking for a condominium.  Anyway, in regards to my movie/television watching behaviors, I’ve been working diligently through season 2 of Downton Abbey, so I’ll definitely be posting my thoughts on that soon.  Also, I hope to get back into the regular movie watching agenda quite soon as well to get more reviews up here at a regular interval.  In the meantime, however, I’ve decided to leave you guys with a short film to watch.

The majority of my production work, at least in a narrative regard, has been on short films.  Yet, I rarely ever mention much about short films outside of when I complete one of my personal projects.  So, being a lover of the medium, I’ve decided to start occasionally giving recommendations for short films that have left a lasting impression on me.  The short is a very different beast from a feature, there is less time to develop character, less time to incite plot and usually a much smaller budget than is available for feature productions, as shorts are usually independently funded.  Many young filmmakers cut their teeth on shorts, but there are still a plethora of seasoned feature film directors who will still produce shorts in between their larger productions.  For instance, a favorite director of mine, Terry Gilliam’s, most recently released production was a short film shot in Italy called The Wholly Family.

For our first short recommendation I want to present one of my favorite shorts that I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.  For you fans of Groundhog Day, you will find much to like in this one, and remember, that this short came out before that film, so if you draw any conclusions keep that in mind.  The film is titled 12:01 p.m. and stars a familiar face to fans of That 70s Show, Kurtwood Smith.  It was produced in 1990 by Chanticleer Films, which used to be a wonderful production company that funded short films specifically.  I’m not sure whether Chanticleer is even still running, but if they are, their output has definitely slowed down.  Directed by Jonathan Heap, who I’m surprised has not really had a great career following this amazing debut, the film focuses on elements of time, space and human consciousness.  The film runs about 25 minutes, but I think you’ll be glad you watched it, and feel free to post your thoughts below!  Also, it’s worth noting that, though this film didn’t win, it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short in 1991.  I don’t want to spoil any of the fun, so without further adieu, enjoy:

Shorts and Festivals

13 09 2011

Copyright Walk in the Park Pictures, LLC

At Walk in the Park Pictures, LLC, where I serve as the Technical Director, we currently have two films that are making their festival runs.  The first is Dan A. R. Kelly’s Banks of Vltava which, based on folklore, tells the story of a young Rabbi during World War II who uses ancient mysticism to rise up against the Nazis and protect a group of Czechoslovakian Jews.  The second is my directorial debut, Beyond the Door, which is an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story of the same name.

Banks of the Vltava has screened recently at the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival and ConCarolinas.  Just yesterday, we found out that it has been nominated for four CLAW awards at the Terror Film Festival in Philadelphia.  The nominations were for Best Actor for our leading actor Rami Rothstein, Best Special Effects for Shane Smith, Best Director of Photography for myself and Best Horror Film.  Writer/Director Dan A. R. Kelly and family will be in attendance at the festival and we are all excited about the opportunity of presenting this wonderful short to audiences up north!

Beyond the Door received its first Official Selection from the ITSA Film Festival this past week.  This festival takes place in Groveland and Sonora, California over Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2011.  We are also very excited about this film’s acceptance to the festival and look forward to submitting this short to more festivals in the near future.

It’s an exciting time at Walk in the Park Pictures, LLC (!  I’m glad to be a part of such a wonderful collective here in the Triad region of North Carolina and look forward to future opportunities to screen these films, as well as produce new projects in the future.

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