We’ve recently started this short film contest, in collaboration with Bataan. We thought it was the perfect time to get in touch with Director of One of our favorite short films of all time (The Gunfighter) and ask him some urgent questions about how he and his team were able to create such a challenging short film. If you’ve never seen The Gunfighter before (have you been living under some rock?) make sure to check the trailer below. It’s worth the time.
New York City
Ok, let’s see. We were born in New York City and was certain that I would never leave the city until I awoke and discovered 3d movie maker all the city had to offer was exhausting. I relocated from Los Angeles ten years ago hoping to find a spiritual and cultural wilderness, but instead, I discovered an amazing, exciting, and somehow peaceful location that I’ve now called my home. I have two children that are both terrifying and amazing. I love film and music as well as television. I also play video games every now and then but not as often as I used to do before I have children. I’ve been a long-time fan of politics (since prior to 2016 thank you greatly) and I’m convinced that if I didn’t have a job in the field of film, I’d most likely be in the field of government. Also, I enjoy food. It’s not something I make (I cannot even cook an egg) and eating it. It’s funny, my main interests seem to be centered around eating things. What does that tell you about me?
I’ve always loved films from the age of a child. I began making short films of my own in college. I also spent a year in the Film Academy in Prague where I began my formal education. In the following years, I took an edition of Final Cut Pro 1.0 (sorry, Apple) and began to learn the art of editing. Then I informed everyone that I could about my experience as an editor, and video production company near me eventually, someone believed me and asked me to edit a few funny short films. The result was editing some comedy TV. This led to editing a few comedy films. I ended up editing many Hollywood comedies such as Role Models, Bruno, The Dictator and Daddy’s Home. Editing is a wonderful profession however it wasn’t always the most satisfying and so for every film was edited by me, I’d make an ephemeral short film to satisfy that creative urge.
The Gunfighter resulted from the fact that I was looking for something bigger and more… bold. I wanted to create something that was more elegant and visually refined than what I’d previously made. So, when a colleague of Kevin Tangling of mine sent me a story he’d written about an audible narrator who was in an Old West saloon, I was immediately aware that I would like to create short films from the story.
Kevin took a break in the morning and began writing a Western brief story. He wasn’t planning to turn it into a comedy. Kevin is just like my own… He always trying to make fun of things. It’s difficult for any or us to consider anything seriously. Therefore, he was poking at the genre rather than taking it seriously. I thought that the short story was amazing and convinced him to make it into a film with me into an animated short.
Style of Lighting
We attempted to make it be as close to Django Unchained as we possibly could. We shot in the exact location that they used. I instructed my DP to replicate Robert Richardson’s style of lighting (which is basically the blasting of light from above and balancing everything else). We tried moving the camera close to what Tarantino can as much as I could. It was pretty impossible since we had only an entire weekend for shooting the entire process, but I’m pretty sure we were able to create a few interesting visual apex.