Long Way Down

Director Sam Benenati

<em>Long Way Down</em>
Courtesy Photo

The laugh-out-loud short comedy, shot in black & white, follows a down-on-his-luck man who has a run-in with some squirt gun-toting kids. After tracking down their mom, he winds up with way more on his hands than expected.

The film kicks off with strong imagery in the opening scenes. Do you feel it’s critical, especially in short films, to start with a bang?

Yeah, I mean sometimes, depends what it is I guess. I think more than anything it needs to establish the mood of the film, and this one was pretty loud.

Why did you decide to go black and white?

Oh man, this is a long story, so I’ll try to be brief. The movie was originally shot in and intended for color. We had first shot the film in its entirety last March. After looking over the footage, I thought it would be better to replace the kids’ dad with a mom so we regrouped three months later to reshoot in June.

Unfortunately, one of the kids we had from before lived in Florida so I had to find another kid and reshoot the sunny pool scene. On the day of the reshoot fog rolled over and rain came pouring in — I had to postpone it for another day. I couldn’t get everyone back together till the next month, so I checked the weather reports (83 degrees) and scavenged every last penny for the big day.

That morning I woke up and looked out my window and my heart deflated: rain again. I met the cast and crew at the hotel who felt like they were attending a wake. (Mine most likely.) We had no choice but to continue to shoot and assume we could fix it in post.

We mixed footage from the first shoot with the third. Needless to say, it was far too expensive to fix it in color, but we saw that it was a little more seamless in black and white, and it helped with the sad tone of the picture as well so, yeah….

What’s your S.B. connection?

Born and raised.

Were you aware that the mother of the boys is the same actress used in another short film (The Wallet)? I’m just curious how that came to be.

No, I wasn’t. I mean, I knew she was in the The Wallet but didn’t know the film was in the festival. That’s great! My friend Michael Karman who is also an actor worked with her on The Wallet and recommended her for the role in my film. Rebecca was great and I would love to work with her again.

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