Lesser Cousin is a 2018 finalist in our shorts category, and we ask Patrick Metcalf a few questions on behind the scenes of the shoot.
What was your inspiration behind the story?
Every funeral I've been to has always had a hierarchy. The close family, the friends, the spouse of the deceased. And then there are like twenty people who didn't really have come, but it's nice they came, but they kind of feel awkward that they're there. I wanted to take that awkward position and heighten it even more. Jack goes into see Aunt Peg with too little information during a too late visit, and Peg takes it upon herself to confide in him. Suddenly the awkward outsider becomes the most important person at the funeral, and to me that tension was really fun.
DID YOU COME ACROSS MAJOR HURDLES DURING THE PRODUCTION / WRITING PROCESS?
Well the camera fully broke in the middle of Aunt Peg's death scene...so that was cool. We were shooting with a truly spectacular Arri 535 35mm camera, but for some reason, our mag stopped taking the film. Our brilliant AC and DP pulled the whole camera apart and put it back together, and we got the rest of the film in the can from there. Without the dedication and knowledge of this crew, I probably would've unspooled the negative on the bedroom floor.
Do you have any tips for aspiring film makers?
Read Sidney Lumet's Making Movies. I carry it with me wherever I go. It makes the craft accessible and teaches you just enough to convince you to go do it on your own.
You can view more of Patrick Metcalf's films on his IMDB link below