Stealing Kindnessis a short film about how the victim of a mugging uses the opportunity to help a wayward teen turn his life around. Presented as part of the Santa Barbara Filmmakers category, the film is mostly set in the S.B. Brewing Company.
Director Roy Hathon recently answered some questions via email.
What inspired this story?
While I was listening to NPR in April of 2011, a true story about a man came on, one which he used kindness to diffuse a potentially violent mugging. He gave the mugger his coat, along with his wallet! The story caught my attention. I started analyzing my own attitude, and questioning what kindness was. I didn’t get the idea to make a film about it until my friend, also the sound designer, Tony Regalmuto, posted the same story on Facebook. From that point on I sent the idea to my writer, S. Houston Jones, and over the course of a month or two, we nailed down an amazing screenplay. Once we got the ball rolling on that, there was no stopping the inertia.
Have you personally been given second chances in life?
I have been given so many second chances in life, especially a big one recently. But isn’t that what life is all about? Making mistakes, learning from them, then doing it right, or better the next go around?
Was it easy working with the SB Brew Co folks?
Santa Barbara Brewing Company was such an awesome company to work with. Dane Hodgson was a huge help, and so very cooperative. We filmed at night, between midnight and dawn, so we didn’t interrupt business. Which so happens to be the same time that Kevin, the brewmaster, makes the beer. So the entire time, we had the brewing process going on, which was incredibly noisy. Thus the main reason we had to A.D.R. the entire film! (Automatic Dialog Replacement, recording the actors voices separately, then matching the voices with the actors mouth.)
Do you plan to present this to other audiences, perhaps at-risk kids from Santa Barbara, who might take away the message and use it in their own lives?
We have a plan to present our film to an array of audiences, including Santa Barbara kids. We want to share this story of kindness to many, and perhaps deter at risk kids towards a kinder way of thinking. Not just to think of it as a singular act of kindness, but kindness as a general attitude.
Where did you find your actors?
We posted for our actors on Craigslist, and via word of mouth. However, Teal Riege, the hostess, was actually in a promo video we shot to raise awareness for Stealing Kindness. Through the contact info we exchanged that day, she contacted us and auditioned for her part in the film.
Stealing Kindness screens as part of the Santa Barbara Shorts Program 2 on Thursday, February 2, 2 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre, and Friday, February 3, 10:40 a.m. at the Metro 4.