THE NAME, 4min., USA, Drama
Directed by Phillip Whaley
Parker, a person who stutters, faces the undeniable fear of having to introduce himself to people, which leads to a whirlwind of thoughts inhibiting him even more.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
The thought that I could help anyone out there who has a stutter and deals with the undying fear of introducing themselves was enough to make me motivated to make it. As someone who struggles with this, this story is a real event that has happened in my lifetime repeatedly. Being able to overcome my fear of stuttering when meeting new people has changed my life forever and ridden me of this burden I felt.
2. From the idea to finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The idea for this film came to mind in late 2021, but I didn’t know how to make a film logistically, and I had no access to equipment either. All I had was a pen and paper, but I decided to hold off on writing it until I had everything else put together, so I could see it play out in a more realistic sense. The actual writing process started in the fall of 2022 in about September and lasted for a month and a half. Then the filming process was about 2 weeks of off-and-on shooting, just when I had available time in between classes and exams. And then postproduction took about a month to get everything where I wanted it to be. Overall, I was balancing school at the same time, which made it difficult to do this thing quicker, but I do not look back in regret, only gratefulness that it was all able to come together!
3. How would you describe your film in two words?
I would say that my film is somber, and hopeful. Somber because of the predicament that parker is placed in, being completely arrested by his stutter. But hopeful because he still, despite his circumstance, goes to the party, and realizes at the end that he is not going to let anything hold him back, as he rips off his nametag.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle was the fact that my crew members and even my actor quit on me last minute. It is such a cliché among filmmakers, but I really learned that the smaller the team, the better. My professor also told me that he thought I should act in it, and I am someone with very little (a.k.a. no) acting experience whatsoever. But because I have a stutter myself, he convinced me to do it telling me that it would be the most authentic, which I ended up agreeing with. So, I think acting in it was a new challenge for me. Also, besides cinematography and music, I did everything in this film. And to top it all off, I had the flu while I was filming, and I couldn’t back out because my cinematographers had a very tight schedule since they were conflicting with exams as well. It was a mess, but it came together!
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
My initial reaction was an absolute overflow of emotions. I was tearing up watching it because I was so moved by how many people were moved by it. My stutter being one of the most personal things about me made me so much more impacted to hear that people truly felt connected to Parker and his story, and how they saw themselves in his shoes. I was absolutely blown away and moved to tears, what a blessing that my film impacted so many people.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I have always wanted to make films for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I used to go around with a camcorder filming my brother and I acting out skits, and just doing the most random things just to have it on footage. But I only got really serious about it in 2020 during Covid when I watched my favorite movie, La La Land, for the first time. That movie influenced me more than anything I had ever seen previously and sent me into a journey to create something as beautiful as that.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
As previously stated, I would have to go with “La La Land” by Damien Chazelle. I am not a big movie “rewatcher,” per say, but I’ve definitely seen it several times and I only fall in love with it more and more
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 mean honestly, nothing at all! This festival has offered so many amazing outreach programs and footsteps to really get filmmakers to the next level. This has been an amazing experience submitting to this festival, and I do not regret it for a second!
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway has been nothing short of phenomenal. Truly the best site out there for filmmakers, they do such an excellent job at making festival submissions easy!
10. What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal has to be lasagna. It’s just a classic, so tasty and flavorful. I love it.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
There are some things in the works, but nothing is past the writing stage right now. However, I am currently working very seriously with my composer on a musical short film, so keep your eyes peeled!