Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Notes on "Second Star"

I don't want to give away too much info or clues because I want the story within the film to remain open to interpretation.

Reactions have been mixed towards this project. Not many people have seen it yet (under 100? as of this writing) but I know that some people have enjoyed it, "got" it, and some people it's not making a good impression on.

Fair enough.

It was meant to be the film equivalent of a punk song--not something polished, lovely, and sugary. The ragged edges, for this project, I think make sense. The film came out feeling the way it was supposed to.

"Second Star" is an ugly little film and it was created to be as such. I value the fact that viewers (some friends, some not) have been honest when it comes to praising it or saying "Ugh! No!" to it.

The story.

More than anything, people have asked about the story. "Second Star" is full of references and allusions (both painfully obvious, obscure, and some double-meanings). If you want to go full-out "Di Vinci Code" with this ragged, little indie short, you could have a field day in that respect. The symbols and allusions are very much there and this film, when it boils down to it, is much, much darker than some viewers may initally realize. What exactly does the film mean? And what happens it in?
If you like the film or you're about to watch it or you want to watch it again, consider these questions:

Does The Girl actually have an encounter with the supernatural or is she just hallucinating? Is it a bad drug trip? Or, maybe, was she just dreaming? Or, maybe, a mixed up combination of all the above?

The he actually a real character in the story? Or is he just a memory or amalgamation of past lovers; an idealized synthesis of long-lost boyfriends? Is he an interactive flesh-and-blood person or is he just a symbol? Is The Girl just imagining that he's there with her? Was he ever there at all?

The fairies....or demons....or figments of the imagination.....or people that The Girl knew in the past who reminded her of storybook characters from her childhood, who now, have morphed into confusing outside entities?

"Second Star" is lost in a narrative haze. What do you see in the fog?

What happens to The Girl? Does she freeze to death, alone, in an alley in the middle of winter, in the middle of the night? Is it all nihilism, doom, and gloom? Is her life over? Or are the bells chiming to wake her up--to strip away the past--to move on? Is a period of her life over?

And what is the film about? Aging? Fighting emotional demons? Regret? Drugs? Lost innocence? Lost potential? The cruelty of nature? Of occurance? Of history? The supernatural?

Is it all metaphor? Or should the scenes be taken literally? A mix of both?

I can definitely tell you this but I won't constrict the storyline into my own interpretation:

"Second Star" is about endings. Endings also lead to new beginnings as they always have and always will. A huge inspiration for the project, I've come to realize, is The Velvet Underground song, "All Tomarrow's Parties". The film is not about a party, but about the end of a party. Or the end of many parties. It's about disasters of conciousness and fallouts of the human heart.

The gradual, ugly decay of a personal civilization--an internalized Fall of Rome.

The film created itself. A muse came to me, punched me in the face, and said "Hey! I want you to make a short film, using Peter Pan as the basis, and have it be about......". I needed to make this film, to tell this story. It's actually helped me deal with some things that happened to people that I knew, some things that have happened to me, people that I had in my life, people who changed, things that I've felt or feared and things that others close to me have felt or feared. When an idea comes on that strong, and that clear, the right thing to do is to honor it and aid it into creation, whether it's nice, sweet, polished, and filled with story hooks OR if it's gritty, weird, awkward, a bit mean, a bit silly, with a multifaceted narrative ax to grind.

Sometimes you have to do what you're told. And now there's the short film, "Second Star", out there for you to see and for you to see in it what you will. The story doesn't belong to me or my friends or J.M. Barrie or to Greek mythology. The story in "Second Star", this ugly little modern fable, now belongs to you for you to tell it to yourself in whatever way makes the most sense to you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Second Star" press release

All information and photography below can be used freely by journalists, bloggers, periodicals, websites, etc. for the purpose of promotion, mention, or critique of the Addovolt Productions short film "Second Star" by director Derek Quint.

The film, on Youtube, is right HERE.

Chicago indie film house Addovolt Productions has released their new project online for free viewing. "Second Star", a 10-minute short film, is a dark tale that takes place on New Year's Eve. Inspired by J. M. Barrie's "Peter Pan", the film tells the story of a troubled young woman who is unable to differentiate between reality, memory, and fantasy.  The film is now online to watch on Youtube.

Writer-director Derek Quint says, "The film is somewhat based on people I knew and it's kind of a warning fable; not so much about drugs in particular, though it does touch upon that, but more about how hard it is to keep control of one's self, how difficult it can be to let things go, and how quickly time passes. More than anything, it's a story about time, selfishness, possessiveness, and cruelty. The script seemed to write itself and, clearly, there are story aspects of 'Peter Pan' that are incorporated throughout 'Second Star'. I've always thought that 'Peter Pan' had some deeply sinister, subversive elements to it. This project gave me a chance to play with a classic story while also creating a unique film that has depth and emotional resonance to it."

poster image by Derek Quint

Stephanie Sylvester as The Girl in "Second Star" short film.  photo by Derek Quint

Stephanie Sylvester as The Girl and Troy Zitzelberger as The Boy.  photo by Derek Quint

Andrew Bochniak as Peter.  photo by Derek Quint

Brittany Collins as Bell.  photo by Derek Quint

"Salome" press release

The film can be viewed HERE.

All information and photography below can be used freely by journalists, bloggers, periodicals, websites, etc. for the purpose of promotion, mention, or critique of the Addovolt Productions short film "Salome" by director Derek Quint.

Even after all these years, Salome still dances for the head of John the Baptist.

Adapted from the 1891 play of the same name by Oscar Wilde, this experimental art film takes creative ques from a number of sources--Babylonian wall reliefs to Flemish Renaissance paintings to Robert Mapplethorpe photographs--in order to create a bizarre and hallucinagenic viewing experience.

Chicago indie director Derek Quint says, "'Salome' is an old story that's been told innumberable times through different mediums. I saw the story differently because of the Oscar Wilde play and I wanted to express these characters in a way that is rarely done. My goal was to emphasize the isolation of the title character and how emotional experience lead her to do what she does to the holy man. Salome is always portrayed as this fire-breathing femme fatale but, in the Wilde play, she's shown in a completely different light. I wanted to stick close to the spirit of how she and the John the Baptist character were envisioned by Oscar Wilde. I love this story and it was great to be able to do a short film adaptation that can be viewed by anyone anywhere. That's what makes the internet so great. The names and story associated with 'Salome' are kind of stuck in the back of the mind of pop culture but not everyone is familiar with how they all piece together or what exactly happens in the story. Now they can watch my short film and see a quick adaptation that keeps all the major details. The film is pretty weird which suits the surreal mood that's established within the play."

The "Salome" short film is now online to be freely viewed. Visit the Addovolt production blog at or simply Google "salome short film addovolt".