CLASSIFIED, 9min., USA, Action/Horror
Directed by Kevin McMahon
An elite group of soldiers go on mission to rescue missing comrades but when they enter the abandoned power plant they soon find that an evil presence is behind the disappearances and the fighters find themselves against an enemy they cannot beat.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
This all started with some friends and I having an idea at a party. I was a busy D.P. and my friends were stuntmen and we thought of a way we could put together all of our resources to make a feature film. We toyed with the idea of capturing a “found footage” film from the gear that Navy SEALs might bring into battle with them. Mixing the popular paranormal genre and military action genre seemed to be an easy concoction. I ended up writing the script and we signed an option with a production company, who then sold the option to another production company. This short film is the result of me spending about 5 months in a lab designing and building the camera system that was used. This short was a proof-of-concept of the prototype system to make sure it worked and we put it through the real riggers of a shoot with real stunts and wire work. Unfortunately the company that had the option couldn’t pull in the funding to get it made.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took about five months to design and build the prototype camera system used in the film. We ended up shooting this film over the course of 2 day and every stunt is practical. There are very little visual effects in the film. Editing took a few weeks.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle was working with the very intricate and unique camera system. It was a prototype and was very difficult and time consuming to set up and use. It is basically three cinema quality miniature cameras on one person. In the backpack were three recorders and batteries and wireless camera controls and wireless video monitoring transmitters. It was a lot but it worked.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
It was wonderful to hear the reactions of the audience because it is exactly what we were going for. As filmmakers we believe in our films and we know that they will resonate with loyal audiences of the genre. It was great to have proof that we’re on the right track.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
My parents took me to see Star Wars when I was 4-years-old in 1977. In the car ride home I proclaimed that I would also make movies just like that. It’s been my life’s pursuit ever since.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Geez, that’s a difficult question. If it’s just to relax and have a laugh it might be Dumb n Dumber but if it’s watching a great film as a learning exercise it is probably Raiders of the Lost Ark.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Was there a festival in person? I’ve been buried in a television production for the last three months so I missed the email that let me know that I made it in the festival. So I guess I missed it. I wish I could’ve taken part in the festival a bit more but maybe next time.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Flim freeway is great.
10. What is your favorite meal?
I guess that depends on the time of year. I had a great bowl of gluten free Ramen the other day that was great.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I have been working for years to get Classified the feature funded. I am still working on that while also working to get a slate of three other films funded, two that I wrote and will direct and that I’ll produce. Currently I am producing and directing a new television series called Are You Faster Than Blake Leeper, which is a show about Paralympic Sprinter Blake Leeper learning other sports from other Professional Athletes and Olympians. It is an incredibly powerful, positive and inspirational show that highlights a man with a disability who overcomes everything that is put in front of him. The show will air later this year on the People Are Awesome streaming channel and app.