<em>The Wallet</em>
Courtesy Photo

This short romantic comedy employs a found wallet to instruct a young man on how not to lose the love of his life.

This is inspired by true events. Can you explain that?

A buddy of mine came across an article about an elderly man and woman who were once madly in love but hadn’t seen each other in over 60 years. The article was about a worker at the nursing home who spoke to both the man and woman separately and realized the two of them had a connection they both grew up in the same area as kids. When he brought the two of them together something magical happened. The elderly woman reached out and touched the mans cheek and started crying, it was her long lost love. The worker had no idea they had even knew each other let alone they were each others true love.

I was so fascinated on how two people who once crazy in love and had not seen each other for 60 years could be living a floor apart and not know it. I needed to make this into a film. And The Wallet was my vehicle to tell this beautiful story. Everything else in the film was created to help tell this story.

How often do you think true love is lost because of people making career or education moves?

I feel that life’s events in general have a great role in deciding true love. I feel that timing is everything. True love is about being at the right place and the right time. I also feel that space and distance heightens true love. You begin to long for someone when they’re gone. And I tried in my film to show this, the justification between the young couple and the elderly couple.

Stanley is able to see his future while on his mission to return the wallet. If Stanley lets Brooke go to the East Coast and not go after her he could end up living his whole life with the regret of not going after her, like John did with Jane. We often times never forget our first love and in the olden days before multi-media, the chances of going your entire life without seeing/hearing your first love was very possible.

In this short I wanted to show how much one could hurt by letting go their true love. One decision could lead to a life time of hurt. In this story, both the elderly couple and the young couple are reunited with their true loves, because of this lost wallet. So to answer your question, I feel people may “lose” their true love briefly due to career’s and education but if it’s really true love they will be reconnected at some point later in their life.

How often is it lost because friends complicate matters?

I feel friendships can defiantly come into play with ruining relationships. Best friends are very important when it comes to relationships. Most guys and girls need reinforcement when it comes to someone they are dating and if their best friends don’t like their significant other it can mess up the relationship. It almost becomes a decision, what’s more important: my best friend or my relationship?

In my film John is so scared of losing Stanley as a friend that he does everything he can to ruin his relationship with Brooke. It was important for me to finish John’s character arc and I did so by having John help Stanley at the end of the film get Brooke back.

How did you cast your film? I am especially interested in the older actors.

The casting was very difficult. I saw over 150 actors, I used an online casting site to book the auditions as well as a day of open calls. Michael Karman is one of my closest friends brother and I wrote the short with him in mind. Ross who played John was a request from Michael. Ross has his own show on YouTube and once I saw him I knew he was perfect to play John. The man playing Freddie had worked with my producer and came highly recommended. He actually saved me because I had cast someone else to play the role of Freddie, but he hurt himself days before we were going to film and luckily David was able to take the spot. Doing a fantastic job I might add!

One of the most important roles I needed to cast was Jane. I was very nervous about casting this role and sure enough Elaine walked into the room after day 2 and I knew right away she was the one. I had chills watching her audition. She was perfect for the role.

The best story of casting had to do with the role of the “Elderly Woman” who is in a hurry to watch jeopardy at the end of the film. The woman who was cast was told the wrong call time so I needed to someone on the spot to fill in. We shot all the nursing home stuff at an actual nursing home. So luckily for me Elaine (a different Elaine from who played Jane) was living at the nursing home and stepped up and played the role of the Elderly Woman. The workers of the nursing home told me that it made Elaine’s year and everyone at the nursing home still calls her “The Star” because of her role in my short. We even made the local paper about her stepping in. That was one of my highlights of the entire film.

Are you aware that the actress you have as a realtor is also in the film, The Long Way Down? Any idea how that happened?

Actually I had no idea until you just told me. However, Sam Benenati is very good friends of Michael Karman, the lead in my film, so I’d like to believe Michael suggested Rebecca to him. She was very talented and very funny so I can see why he would use her.

What is your S.B. connection?

I grew up my entire life in Santa Barbara. Montecito Union School, Santa Barbara Middle School, Santa Barbara High (2004) (Multi-Media Academy), and then left the area to go to USC Film School. I still live in Santa Barbara now, although I work in L.A. My fiance Katie Rhew lives in S.B and is a. CPA at Bartlett, Pringle and Wolf, an accounting firm in Santa Barbara. And we have a little one that is a first grader at MUS. Her name is Maggie Rhew!

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