CLOSURE, 9min., USA, Action
Directed Gui Agustini
A detective. A mercenary. Of course it didn’t work out but when a relationship ends messy, can you ever really have Closure?
Creative Team Statement:
This project came together through the company New York Combat for Stage & Screen (NYCSS). NYCSS has over 25 years of experience in fight choreography; training actors to help hone their craft and aiding productions in navigating staged violence.
The goal of this project was to create new opportunities, help actor-combatants put to use their trained skills and create a space for the entire crew to play and gain experience in the world of action that we at NYCSS are so passionate about. This project challenged us to create a compelling story that would lead to climactic violence, that could be choreographed, rehearsed and finalized in only 5 days. The whole team came together with a sense of play and optimism without which we would never have been able to complete filming in ONE day. Every person on this project was tenacious and passionate; all while navigating a pandemic, doing it in ‘spare’ time - which is minimal for most artists - as a true labor of love for their craft. We cannot wait to share the product of this teams’ hard work and dedication with the world.
-Kaitlyn, Jared & Gui
Get to know the writer/producer Kaitlyn Farley:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
This project began as part of a stage combat summer intensive with the goal being to create new opportunities, help actor-combatants put to use their trained skills and create a space for the crew to play and gain experience in the world of action. Personally, I began producing to create strong female leads and opportunities to play complex characters in the action world.
My motivation for this film in particular was about crossing back and forth, blurring the lines of romantic intimacy and violent intimacy. Violence is a very intimate thing, it's close body contact and personal engagement and fueled with powerful emotions. So often in stories the strong emotional aspect is hate or anger - (which is fueled by love, otherwise you would be indifferent). Other times people are fighting because of or for someone they love. So our thought in writing this was what if you're fighting the person you love, BECAUSE you love them. To the death, because you're convinced it's the better option for the person you love. How do we play that intimacy in the midst of very intense violence? A fun challenge both in choreography and for us as actors.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
We had a couple of weeks of writing and pre-production, and as it was part of a week-long workshop, we choreographed, rehearsed (both the fight and the camera work) and finalized it all in only 5 days. We shot the whole thing in only 1 day. It then took about two years in post production, which was due largely to covid throwing a wrecking ball into what was our lifestyle. The other aspect in that timeframe, is that this project served as an opportunity for people to learn the detailed work that goes into post production for an action film. So we took our time and as a learning opportunity it was largely successful.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
As the producer, getting it all together in one week was tricky, but ultimately I think it may have been lockdown spreading our post production team out virtually. Notes and communication took longer in that regard.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
The feedback video is so helpful! It is great to hear what worked and what drew people in. It is always helpful to hear what people got out of the story and if that aligns with our intent and it is always good as a new filmmaker to hear what maybe what needed some clarification and specification.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I realized I wanted to make films when I kept imagining awesome roles I wanted to play and ideas would pop into my head that I felt either weren't out there for me or were few and far between. I love telling stories and I thought, "well, other people are doing it, so why not make this happen for myself."
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
My most watched film of all time is probably, Hook, with Robin Williams.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
The fact that we receive feedback is amazing and truly next level. The video format is fantastic because when receiving it, you can understand what they got out of watching it so much better when you hear HOW they are saying things and talking about their experience. I think one thing I like about in person festivals is celebrating together and meeting other creators so if there was a way to organize a meeting or watch party of each other's trailers so we can see other filmmakers and what catches our eye there that we would like to go watch on your streaming network.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Film freeway is great! It's convenient and straightforward. The fact that it's easy to search for keywords in relation to festivals definitely opened up the amount of festivals I knew about and applied to.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Popcorn. And yea, it's sometimes my dinner.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
The Hunted: NYCSS, a Webseries I've produced and am also starring in, is hitting the festival circuit for 2023. All 7 episodes are also fully available on YouTube. And in post production I am currently working on a short film showcasing Shakespeare's Joan of Arc battle from Henry VI.