When put on hold by a suicide hotline, Nick finds support through his neighbor and together they confront his ex-girlfriend and current boy toy leading to hilarious and ultimately cathartic results.
Interview with Director/Producer Jesse D. Turk and Writer/Director Jon Zucker
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Jon wrote this film after his own weird interaction with a suicide hotline where he was told to "Keep it to five minutes" and upon the hotline operator realizing she messed up, he ended up comforting her. That odd comedic moment inspires the tone of this short. Jesse and Jon both have had their own experiences with depression and suicidal thoughts and wanted to expose the messier reality to dark moments in life. They're not necessarily all melodramatic and life can be funny even when you're feeling your worst.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Watch this film to find comedy in the darkest of places and in the most unexpected ways. It's a chance to see people share their weird idiosyncrasies in hopes of making a connection and finding support when the normal channels for help aren't available.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
We feel that the theme of needing help but not knowing how to find it is a common one. We also feel that there is a lot of stigma and misrepresentation in media about mental health and suicide and we wanted to push back against that and challenge it. There is a juxtaposition throughout the film for all of the characters in one way or another between the upsetting moment they're having and how to deal with it. We all handle things in our own sometimes helpful and sometimes damaging ways and its important to realize that we're not strange or alone in doing so.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The script and film went through various iterations to achieve the tonal balance we were looking for between the reality of a painful, dark and uniquely personal moment and the comedy of daily life and the situations we get ourselves into.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Audiences have resonated with the film and we consistently find the theaters we screen in laughing throughout the whole short. We have also had various members of the film who had loved ones who dealt with or died via suicide as well as those who have struggled with it themselves come up to us and tell us how much it meant to them. Those have been some of our most rewarding moments.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It was relieving to see that the comedy played out and people were able to understand and embrace our perspective.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We are hoping to find a community of filmmakers to connect with as well find more options for our film's distribution and festival play.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Journalists, distributors, buyers and film festival directors.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
We are hoping this film entertains you and makes you laugh while also reflecting on a different way to view and understand mental illness as something to relate to and not be afraid of discussing and facing.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How did different real life experiences affect this film and how did you land on the tone you conveyed?
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Jesse D. Turk- THE TAKEBACK (short film currently in post), OMEGA ALPHA (short film in development), UNT. NIXON PLAY WITH MUSIC (play currently in development)
Jon Zucker- A pilot that uses absurdism to explore insecurities in high school.
Interview: March 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Based on a real experience. When put on hold by a suicide hotline, Nick finds support through his neighbor and together they confront his ex-girlfriend and current boy toy leading to hilarious and ultimately cathartic results.
Director: Jesse D. Turk, Jon Zucker
Producer: Jesse D. Turk
Writer: Jon Zucker
About the writer, director and producer:
JON ZUCKER is a writer, director, and comedian who regularly performs all over Los Angeles and is currently developing a television series that explores high school anxiety through an absurdist lens.
JESSE D. TURK is a Boston-bred and LA-based director and producer for theater, film, and TV with multiple upcoming projects including a short film called “The Takeback” about the fallout of empty relationships in the gay community as well as a play with music about Richard Nixon.
Key cast: Nick Skardarasy (Nick), Amanda Idoko (Cassy), Alexander MacNicoll (Brendan), Sierra Katow (Chelsea), Hannah Pearlman (Hotline Operator)
Looking for: distributors, journalists, buyers, film festival directors
Funders: Sphinx Head Society
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? Cinequest/San Jose and Redwood City 3/12, 3/17