Over the past several years, certain unprecedented acts of bold, state-initiated violence and aggression have drastically altered our political atmosphere. Over the past several decades, a major technological shift in communication has altered the way people participate as a collective nation to respond to such changes. My short film Does Free Speech Matter? is my response, both in the narrative content and the production process behind it, to this age of a rich, all-penetrating mass media system which has banished our considerations for our socio-political environment into inexistence and a dubious, de-localized, democratic system.

The narrative of the short film Does Free Speech Matter? revolves around a social aberration, Abraham Vanizetti. His tale is tragic but, on the way to his fate, a ferocity of democratic resolve and productivity is given rise to. Vanizetti’s bold actions are contrasted against the passive, hypnotized, spectatorship quality of his son. We must imagine that Vanizetti, although ultimately doomed in his three minute, forty-five second existence, retains the hope that his “faith in democracy” and avoidance of “women, drink and dance” will change the outcome of the future for his beloved nation.

Regarding the production process behind this short film, it was fast and frugal. The production took no longer than four days, averaging one to two hours of videography for the first three days of the production, and the last remaining day dedicated, in its entirety, to the editing of the collected footage. The post-production manipulation achievable through digital tools significantly enhanced the overall speed and control over the final product.

Furthermore, the production was frugal and zero-budgeted because I only worked with immediately available resources (i.e., relatives as talent, my own house as the central location, etc.) and wrote the screenplay around these easily accessible elements. These two primary features of the production process resulted in a short film of agreeable picture quality and generally enthusiastic audience reception, successfully combatting the non-local, homogenizing corporate media beast; at least for the few minutes my short film held in captivation, the consciousness of the viewers.

The narrative content prepared for my short film Does Free Speech Matter? and the resulting production process was a refreshing trip away from the passive acceptance and reception to the content of my television and local cineplexes. In my future adventures in filmmaking, I hope to continue the tradition of speed, frugality and, above all, a concern for what I am communicating to my audiences. They deserve better.