That Time I Made an Award Winning* Short Film

Action InkBack in the Fall Semester of 2012, I took a Single Camera Production Class… which was basically a film class in the Television Department at Brooklyn College. This was the same class I made the music video in.

In this class the Russian Lady Professor didn’t say “I don’t like this” and instead would simply say “This is not movie.”

God I loved her.

At the time, I was friends with an animator (who I am now dating) and he gave me an idea.

Now, when I say “Gave me an idea” what I really mean is “Gave me a way to get someone who could draw things for my movie”.

All of that aside though, the concept and the script was the easy part. I showed the animator, he was down to help and star in the movie. I gathered cast and crew (who ended up being interchangeable) by asking them if they wanted to “play” on my set. I say “play” because it sounds way more fun than “come work for free”.

Even the class TA (a grad student who is now my roommate) wanted to help.

Somewhere in there I went through a break up and later started dating the animator.

I only broke down crying three times (privately) during the course of production due to stress and wondering whether or not I could actually make a movie… and it came out pretty close to how I imagined it.

For my first short film, I have to say, I’m pretty proud.

It won the film festival (in the undergrad division). It got laughs where I wanted it to. I beat my arch nemesis…

All in all a great experience.

So here it is. My first opus. My short film. Action Ink.

A comic book artist that retreats to his drawings under stress, has to learn how to deal when his girlfriend decides to break up with him… but this time what he’s drawing comes to life. His girlfriend is kidnapped by a group of thugs and he must learn to be the hero the way he’s always drawn himself.

I would like to thank my DP Chris Raddatz (for half the shoot) who also played Jack and was very willing to walk outside of his apartment in nothing but super hero boxers, a Reptar shirt, and work boots when my original actor canceled (only after I called him because he was a half hour late). I would also like to thank his girlfriend, Caitlin Davis, for letting us use her apartment (well the outside of it) so willingly.

I want to thank my Roger Hanson who was the inspiration for the goon before he was even willing to work on the movie. I would also like to thank him for giving me a whole speech when I simply asked what’s his favorite Rocky movie and why. “Yeah, just say that” was my response (it appears after the credits).

I would like to thank Danny Viveros for waking up hung over in the Bronx and still coming to be the sound guy for the film… and also for being the Ben Affleck to my Matt Damon.

I would like to thank Dave May for coordinating all of the stunts, falling like a champ, and making us all laugh so hard that a lot of the footage was absolutely useless in the best way.

I would like to thank Dannielle Ely (if anyone sees her, please point out her name is spelled correctly) for being busy growing a human, but still coming to help with my movie.

I would like to thank Tolan Aman for turning down the part of the henchman so that Dave May could play it and instead of being the sound guy, being the DP for the days Chris wasn’t able to be there.

I would like to thank my family. My mom who gave me some money for the movie. My grandparents for laughing when Dave chloroforms himself, and my grandma especially for saying, watching the credits, “That was great…. wait, you wrote that too?!”

I would like to thank Irina Patkanian for making me want my movie to “be movie” and telling me I’m good because I’m weird.

And last, (since lastly isn’t a word… or not a pretty one anyway), I would like to thank Josh Howell.Without him I would have never had the idea, never had the artwork, and would have never filled the two main roles of the movie. He puts up with me and deserves a medal for it. Also, without him I wouldn’t have this picture


which makes me want to do this

Screen shot 2013-06-19 at 6.40.08 PM

which I also wouldn’t have if he didn’t draw it.

It was a great cast and crew (though, one is pretty much the same as the other) and it was a great time. Sure, we don’t have the rights to any of the music… but we won the *Brooklyn College TVRA Film Festival.



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