A sick elderly woman hears the voice of her deceased husband and he tries to convince her to travel to the mainland. She sets out for one last journey. (Adapted from a short story of the same name by Stephen King)
Interview with Writer/Director/Producer Landon Kestlinger
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thanks, I made this film first because I love Stephen King’s stories. Second, I was studying abroad from the USA in Scotland and was not allowed to take any film classes, so I decided to make a short film instead. I knew about King’s Dollar Babies Program, and once I got approval from his people, I thought it would be fun to film while I was abroad.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
You should go see this film because it shows a romantic side to death and expresses the feeling that even when someone is gone, they’re not really gone. It’s an interesting piece that turns a normally sad occasion into one of warmth and comfort. The last reason is because the scenes are beautiful to see, I love the locations we shot out but wished I had more time to shoot there.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Defiantly the theme of death is huge in this short. Personally I have had to deal with it and universally people deal with it. I think there is also the feeling of missing out in this film from both Stella and Alden. Stella missed out on the mainland years ago, while Alden was missing a chance to connect with his mother. Both are yearning for something and they search for it, but only Stella really gets what she wants.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
This script and story developed and changed from the day I wrote it all the way until the set. My producer, Iona, and myself kept changing the script because of our low budget and the changes in our locations. Honestly when I was told to expect the unexpected and everything will go wrong, that’s exactly what happened. We persevered and came out with a piece I am happy with.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback that I have received is that it’s good and shows potential, but that I could go back and do better. I feel that's what all mentors say.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I wouldn't say that the feedback has surprised me; I knew everything wrong with the film and how to improve it in later film I work on. I think the feedback was rather very truthful. I know I should re-shoot some shots, but for me not knowing anyone in Scotland and coming out with a piece that is in the Corner I am very happy. This film was more of a learning experience for me. I did this to prove to myself that I can go anywhere and just make a film I am passionate about.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I would love to show that if you have a passion to make something not matter where you are that you could make it. I would love to take this opportunity to show how great Scotland is to film and how great some of the people are from there, including the people I made it with (GUST). Besides that I would like to use this to help show that the next generation of filmmakers are working hard to get to their dreams.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I honestly don’t have a great answer for this. I would say festivals so I can show this film more and to see the audience reactions. Also I would say journalists to help give the next generation, like me, a chance to be heard. Besides that I think for this film I have moved on and I am not looking at my future projects.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I want this film to have the reaction of knowing that someone cares for you, no matter if they are alive or dead, there is someone who cares. I hope the audiences come out not crying but rather uplifted knowing that people are looking out for each other.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
I don’t think this film has a deep question to sparks debate, maybe that we should listen to our grandparents or parents when they say crazy thing like hearing/seeing dead relatives. It’s more a piece to spark ideas about your own beliefs on death. My next film is meant to spark debate about bullying and how society does not pay attention to it.
Would you like to add anything else?
I would like to tell those who are reading this article and thinking that their dreams of becoming a director, writer, producer, etc. are too far away, that it's not. Anything is possible, you just have to work hard. Yes, things might not go right all the time, but you get through it and the experience helps you grow as a filmmaker. Go out there and make something.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
The next project, I am currently in development with, is my undergraduate BFA thesis project. The project follows bullying in sleepaway camp, roughly based on my experiences when I was younger. I feel that this story needs to be heard because so many children are affected by bullying and many media outlets are not doing a great job of expressing bullying. This film is meant to start debate and shock the audience with how real it is for so many people.
Interview: May 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTIAQ+, scifi, 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
A sick elderly women hears the voice of her deceased husband and he tries to convince her to travel to the mainland. She sets out for one last journey.
Length: 9 min
Director: Landon Kestlinger
Producer: Iona MacRitchie and Landon Kestlinger
Writer: Landon Kestlinger (Adapted from a short story of the same name by Stephen King)
About the writer, director and producer:
Key cast: Freda MacDonell, Steven McDonald, and Carrie Dodds
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Funders: University of Glasgow and Elon University
Made in association with: GUST (Glasgow University Student Television)
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? It cannot be released online, due to the restrictions of the contract with Mr. King, but it has been submitted to other festivals to come.