ANTIQUE FAILURE, 15miin., USA, Romance
Directed by Carter Cavanaugh
Collin (Joel Sena) lives a simple, disillusioned life as a small-town’s only mechanic. However, his world completely shifts when Roman (Rickard Claeson), the lead singer of touring punk group ‘Antique Failure,’ comes to Collin for help on his broken-down van. The attraction is instant, but in fear of his small, conservative community, Collin must decide between keeping safe, or taking his only chance at love.
"Antique Failure" is the most important piece I've ever worked on. I finished production just days before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. I've never had a challenge quite like trying to edit, graduate, and get work in my industry, all while uncertainty and death loomed above my head. For my main character, his life is also filled with doubt, depression, and insecurity. It took months to find him again, to find myself again, to see my characters and my world and remember how important this story is for me, how important it is for my community.
As a queer filmmaker, queer characters and queer film mean everything to me. For years, in my program, I was told to look at film and see myself in it, in these characters and these stories. How could I, when every story was a straight man's fantasy? How could I see myself when I didn't exist at all? My statement as a filmmaker is to create LGBT+ characters with depth so that while anyone can relate to their experiences, they explicitly give queer audiences the space to truly see themselves and their struggles reflected back at them.
Antique Failure is a story about being true to yourself.
This film is dedicated to every LGBT powerhouse I've ever met - I love you, thank you.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
As a queer storyteller, queer introspection is always my topic of choice. All of my previous films, as well as my other writings, have centered on queer characters. For this film in particular, I wanted to create a romance inspired by my clash in music tastes, indie rock vs. hardcore punk.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I initially had the idea during my junior year of college for a writing class, so that was way back in 2019. I shot the film at the end of February 2020, just one week before my college shut down. The pandemic put me in a hard place, and I finally came back to the film this year to finish.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Obviously the pandemic was a huge struggle. I had to buy a $3,000 computer just to edit a rough cut for my thesis final after being separated from our editing labs at Montclair State. I think for me though, it was the emotional toll of the pandemic. I just couldn't find it in myself to create, especially when we had graduated with little to no ceremony, and an industry that had completely shut down.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I just felt immediately seen and connected with so many people's feelings on the film. I'm incredibly happy that what I wanted to get across, got across.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I had opted to go to a vocational school for multimedia and theater rather than a traditional high school, and there I shot my first ever film. I don't think my love for making films really hit me until college, however. I went into my film program thinking I wanted to be an editor, but by Junior year I fell in love with writing and directing, as well as production designing.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Oh boy, that's probably gotta go to Back to the Future. That's the first film I'd ever seen where I remember thinking, "Wow, this Has to be my favorite film." I'd just never had that concept beforehand.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I don't have any suggestions in particular, I'm just so grateful for the audience feedback I received. That is such an incredible tool that really helps me as a filmmaker to see what people outside my circle think of the film.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It's definitely been easier for me to navigate one single site that handles applications rather than contacting each festival individually. It's especially helped me find festivals catered to my work around the country, where I wouldn't have known about any of them beforehand.
10. What is your favorite meal?
I've always been a sucker for beef stroganoff.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Great question! Currently I've been freelancing in theater and film, so that's taken up a lot of my creative time. My next project is an ambitious one but it's something I've wanted to delve into since I was a kid - game development! I'm currently working on a queer horror story, leaning into a visual-novel type gameplay. It's in incredibly early stages so I won't hype it up too much, but I've put a lot of love into it so far and I'm hoping to work on it a ton in 2023. Just over a year ago I did an experimental little game inspired by my last film, "Apparition," which you can play online for free on my itch.io: https://cartyrs.itch.io/apparition
Outside of that, it's been a dream of mine to someday turn "Antique Failure" into a feature film, following Collin in his 50's as Roman finally comes back to fulfill his promise.