Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you stand. Let these engaging, interesting characters lead you down a path to lessons learned. A boy learns the importance of family after a near death experience and then a journey with a wise girl and her friend.
This film has been approved by the Dove Foundation for Family viewing.
The story follows Daniel, a teen that can’t stay away from technology. He is always texting friends on his phone, messaging friends on Facebook, or playing MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games). However, he ignores the people that care about him the most – his family. One day, this behavior causes him to be thrown into a mystical world where he meets Izzie, a wise seven year old girl, and her protector. They must lead Daniel away from a faceless figure, so he can return safely home. The journey leads Daniel to a crisis point in his life.
Total Running Time: 13 minutes
Camera: Shot on a Canon EOS 5D & 7D
Genre: Family, Drama, Fantasy, Adventure
Location of Production: California (Stu Segall Studios in San Diego, the City of Escondido, San Diego County Parks, Queen Califia’s Magical Garden)
Question: Why did you want to create this film?
I’m starting to see a trend in our society of people having difficulty establishing relationships outside of online relationships. Making connections to friends online is not bad in itself. However, internet addiction, similar to any other addiction, can pull you away from fostering a good relationship with family and friends.
Question: How did you come up with this film?
Ironically, I found the story online. Gus Blanco, a writer from Canada, wrote a short story and posted it. It made me cry. So I contacted him to obtain permission to write a screenplay adaptation and to create a short film based on his short story.
Question: What was special about this particular story?
I liked the fact that this story has an important social issue, however, the fantasy and sci-fi elements make it entertaining as well. Further, there are a lot of hidden meanings. The Black Hooded Figure is an allegory for Daniel’s addiction to his phone. Every time he takes it out, the Black Hooded Figure appears. Daniel does not realize the connection until the end. He finally destroys the Black Hooded Figure when Daniel destroys the phone. Also, the character of Izzie reminded me of a wonderful little actress named Hannah Swain. She is only 9 years old, but there is something very wise about her. I think it is because she’s been through a lot. Hannah was diagnosed with leukemia just like the character of Izzie in the film. She’s been in remission for five years and has been hustling to become a successful actress. She’s always in a class, at an audition, or on stage. She’s an inspiration.
Question: Did you have any problems creating this film?
The main problem was obtaining a budget for visual effects. We had great special effects makeup artists for the Black Hooded Figure. However, there are certain parts that would need visual effects in post production such as Geronimo and the Black Hooded Figure falling off the bridge and the Black Hooded Figure shattering to pieces at the end.
Question: What was your most enjoyable experience in making this film?
Working with wonderful people. Everyone was very positive, supportive, and dedicated to making a great film (and supporting me … a new filmmaker). I am very thankful. It has been great working with such a diverse cast and crew – a writer from Canada, DP from Croatia, actress from Sweden, actress from the other side of the U.S.