Blog Post #15: Retrospective - Proteus (2013)
Updated: Sep 12
To commemorate my start as a filmmaker 15 years ago, I am sharing a retrospective series of write-ups dedicated to my past short film work that includes brief commentary for each short film as well as a few "fun facts" about their creation.
14/15. Proteus (2013)
A silent film about a man who receives a troubling letter in the mail. Starring Alonso J. Rhenals and Paola Mejia Rhenals. Original Score by Ben Morris.
"Never work with animals or children." -W.C. Fields
What started out as an idea for a light video with viral potential featuring my older brother and his dog turned into a 10-minute dramatic and deliberately paced silent film. The choice to make it a silent film grew out of not being able to have any sound crew on-hand to record live dialogue. Looking back, I'm not so hot about the decision but it was an interesting experiment nonetheless.
This short film is also noteworthy for being my first collaboration with the exceptionally talented young composer, Ben Morris, who provided its extensive original score. Before I got into filmmaking, I initially admired the musical storytelling of such film composers as John Williams, James Horner, Maurice Jarre and Basil Poledouris more than the visual storytelling of their directorial counterparts. So, it was an absolute delight to finally bring someone into the fold who decidedly had even more passion for film music and music in general to a film project of our own.
• Proteus, played by my brother's dog, Titan, is an American Staffordshire Terrier.
• Nearly every shot of Titan involved me or someone else just off-screen manipulating the environment or producing some stimulus to get Titan to react in a certain way or stay still. Patience and luck every single time.
• The film was partly inspired by this real life story of a man and his dog.
Festivals & Awards:
• Official Selection at the 9th Annual Action on Film International Film Festival in Monrovia, CA, 2013
• Screened at $3 Classic Movies in Springdale, AR, 2014