CHECKED BAGS, 2min., USA
Directed by Mark Cline
A combat veteran is traveling by a civilian airline. The airline now requires all passengers to check their emotional baggage before boarding any flight. After checking his bags, the man experiences the serenity of becoming unburdened by the guilt and trauma that he carries inside all the time.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
As an armed services veteran (non-combat) I know that many veterans suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. In between the building out the visuals for 'Checked Bags' I would watch different podcasts interviewing prior and active service members. I would hear them independently discuss their personal story and how PTSD and TBI's go hand in hand. The veteran community is getting better at sharing these stories with the public and more importantly with other vets in letting them know that they are not alone in this type of recovery and help is out there. In a way this is my contribution to help spread the word.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The one-page script took four hours to write. While the rest of the creation of the 'Checked Bags' took six days.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Honestly, the biggest obstacle was oddly enough, the sound design. I spent more time trying to find the right sounds to compliment the feel and the mood. After a day or two of 'okay' progress I scrapped the majority of the extra sound design work that was unnecessary and kept it simple. This of course doesn't include the flashback scene. I knew that I needed the sound design to be jarring, throbbing and impactful. Which in the end it does exactly that I think.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Very positive. Everyone that participated in the review had a different take-away that was unique. I say that viewers understood the concept and the story I was attempting to tell with 'Checked Bags'. This makes me very happy to know that my message wasn't lost on viewers.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
My path to filmmaking was not linear or a straight line if you will. In most situations I had to learn a skill or piece of technology purely out of necessity. So I would use that skill or technology for a period of time to solve problems in a non-film project and then move on. Then another situation would occur and I had to learn another skill and so on. In retrospect, everything I've attempted in my personal and professional life was just the building blocks for filmmaking.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
It has to be either 'Blazing Saddles' or 'The Fifth Element'. I will watch both of these films at least once a year.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Some festivals are only online which have their own benefits but filmmakers do miss out on the networking aspect. Festivals like Under 5 Minutes give filmmakers something else that is important to one's journey; unbiased opinion and analysis. On that note, maybe organizing some sort of Q&A panel with a few audience members and the filmmaker after the feedback video was released.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
I have used FilmFreeway for over three years now and I think it is one of the better platform sites out there. I've used two other festival sites for other submissions and those experiences were all in all positive, I just like the format of FilmFreeway ease of use.
10. What is your favorite meal?
It's a toss up between a great cheesesteak (regular or breakfast) or the burrito roqueta.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm actually in both pre and post production at the moment. I'm working with the post VFX team and sound design of my new dark comedy short 'Every Other Night' and last week just entered into pre-production on a new project of another short. Very busy times!