FLEECED, 9min., USA, Comedy
Directed by Wesley Alley
Farmer Johnson, a man of few words, loves his life of solid routines. Every day is exactly the same, from his usual order of two eggs over easy, two strips of bacon, two pieces of toast, orange juice, and his coffee. Even his lottery ticket numbers are the same, played so often that Millie, his usual waitress, doesn’t even have to ask him what they are any longer. She simply punches them in every morning and gives him the ticket with his tab at the end of his meal.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
After I finished a very successful film festival run with my short film "Good Girl" I wanted to do another short film and started looking for the right piece. I wrote a few, read more, and a friend of mine who is also originally from Idaho just like myself sent me a handful of short films to read. I really liked a couple BUT.... Fleeced was awesome. I ended up booking my first feature length movie as a director "The Voices" which is on every major VOD and most SVOD platforms included in your AMAZON PRIME membership! (Shameless plug) so I pushed short films to the side. After my movie came out, I wanted to shoot something else and Fleeced never left my mind. I ended up shooting a short film that is used as a "Proof of concept" for a feature length action movie I want to make, Four Hour Layover in Juarez (also currently killing it in film festivals this season) and Fleeced got pushed to the side yet again. I love short films, and I think it's an absolute shame that short films are not considered a viable art form like short stories. The biggest authors in the world will write a novel and then a short story or 2 and then another novel etc. I would love to see directors do the same. So I try to keep making short films. I LOVE SHORT FILMS. So a few years after I first read FLEECED I contacted my writer friend and inquired if Fleeced was still available, and it still was. So I called up my Neighbor in Los Angeles at the time, Tim McLaughlin, who I have been looking for a project to do with, and my producer, DP, and Actress friend in Idaho, and I have ALWAYS wanted to go back to Idaho and make a movie and I was playing at a film festival in Idaho soon, and scheduled this short for the weekend after the festival. Clearly it was a HUGE SUCCESS!
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Depends haha from the 1st time I read the script to completion I would say 6 or 7 years haha but from the time I actually decided to make this short film to completion I would say it was 1.5 years.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Working with wild cows hahaha Animals are hard, and non trained, non film animals are even harder. TRY WILD ANIMALS haha
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I loved it. This short film is really great, and what started as a fun little project to do for fun with friends turned into one of the short films I am most proud of. It turned out so great and watching a video of people talk about all the things they liked and how much they liked it really showed me how successful it was.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I have wanted to make movies my whole life. I always told stories to other kids when I was little, and acted in plays, and did everything I could do to entertain people growing up. Growing up in the country in the middle of nowhere Idaho, we didn't have cable or TV or anything, so we always watched movies. My dad loved movies and that was how we bonded. Then one day as a little little kid my parents got divorced and I was so young I didn't understand why my dad couldn't live with us anymore or why my parents couldn't just stay together. Sitting on my dads lap one day we were watching "The Goonies" and for that hour and a half or however long it was I remember being 100% lost in the excitement of the film, I completely escaped the troubles of my life watching these kids take their life in their own hands and fight to save their town. I knew the moment that it was over that I wanted to make movies like that.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
My favorite part of festivals is either the master classes and lectures or the networking... I think that's the hardest part for online festivals to get. More interactive zoom lectures or Q and A's etc. or being able to interact on social media with the people who are talking in this example video etc... being able to make friends and interact with the other filmmakers and the fans of our films are so so so important.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Film Freeway is a great resource.
10. What is your favorite meal?
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I have "Fleeced" and "Four Hour Layover in Juarez" currently making the festival run (AND KILLING IT). A few things that I produced coming out soon, as well as a handful of music videos and commercials that I directed. BUT... I'm also currently in various stages of development and pre-production on several feature length movies, but I still LOVE short films. So I am not only in the works of pitching a "show" that is basically short films to some of the major streaming services (There is more to it, but i can't share all my secrets here haha), but I am also shooting a sequel and a prequel to my short film "SockMonster" and 2 other really really cool and fun short films.... LOTS and LOTS of stuff coming soon!!!! Follow me on all the social media platforms to keep up with the stuff that is coming up...