By Jordan Hale & Chace Saumell
Chace@SdU: 5 Year Dream is a short film project from LUDUS Studios in Dallas, Texas. This film was directed by director Shane Connelly and written by Keiland Goffigon.
It stars Julio Alonzo and Rebekah Bruflodt as the main characters in the film. When I first became friends with Julio Alonzo almost a year ago he was filming 5 Year Dream. He had gone through a dramatic transformation physically and emotionally to do this movie. He literally poured his blood, sweat, and tears into this project. Everyone involved in the making of this film was transformed by it.
It is a dark drama full of symbolism and unexpected twists and turns. It travels back and forth to different periods of time to tell the story of a love triangle gone wrong.
5 Year Dream illustrates the dark side of love and attraction and how a mistake made in one’s youth can haunt someone forever. This film was a labor of love for all of those involved and was a very personal and emotional piece for the writer Goffigon as well as the star of the film Alonzo.
I can assure that watching this film one time will not give you the full perspective of the symbolism of each element of the film as well as how beautiful and full the cinematography is.
Jordan@SdU: I completely agree with your last statement Chace.
5 YEAR DREAM. This film embodies genuine and poignant subject matter.
I felt the score fit the tension of the story quite appropriately, moving in peaks and valleys as the characters’ emotions developed, wavered, and spun out of control. It was subtle when it needed to be, but never so much that it disappeared. Also quite inventive were the editing and cinematographic techniques in the film: the shots were imaginative and well thought-out, and the editing was innovative, avant-garde even.
One thing I found lacking however was the dialogue, which could have been more real, and could have used more creative banter to tell the audience what they need to know. Short films are too short for expository shortcuts. When you only have so much dialogue to work with, it’s important to really make every word count.
That being said, I thought the actors both really went for it, I’ve seen so many actors hold back in short films because they haven’t had time to really get into their characters.
The dedication at the end was especially moving, and solidified the feeling that this story had something to say beyond the realm of “pure entertainment”. (Continued below..)
SDU: A labor of love was 5 year dream. We could feel it pouring out of the screen as some of us at Sundown United had a private viewing for ourselves. As an actor what were some of the major challenges involved in this project from each take, to scene, and finally yelling that’s a wrap?
Julio@Ludus: There were so many challenges with this film for me as an actor I can only provide a brief glimpse on how hard it was for me to actually finish the production and deliver the best performance possible. It defiantly took a lot out of me on my side but it was fun and a truly great learning experience.
1.Well the first thing for me as a new actor on the scene…..The 5 Year Dream role was my first time out being in a big supporting role, so I had to really prepare myself physically and mentally to match the dynamic of the script and especially with the casting. When director Shane Connelly, first stated that he wanted to cast Rebekah Bruflodt as the lead, (A great actress by the way) I knew I had my work cut out for me, mainly because there is such a big age difference between us in real life. For the film I had to lose 30 pounds, change my hair color, and do my best to compliment her on screen. I worked very hard to try to make our chemistry as believable as possible. Also Shane played with a lot of symbolism, foreshadowing and back in time shots. So, if you’ll notice closely – I look younger in some shots and even lighter in weight in other sequences all to appear to the audience there was a time gap that could have been about 5 years.
2. Do to on site audio problems on the dates of production we were not able to record any on set audio. So, everything that you hear in the film was done via ADR which is an acronym for Automated Dialogue Replacement. We literally had to go back and re record the dialogue, folly and sound effects etc. in separate sessions. Once again being a new actor and having to go back and watch the prior performance on a monitor and re-punch dialogue was very hard for me. Especially, on such a very emotional film like 5 Year Dream. I have never done that before, so having to match the vocal affliction and cadence of the character “Luis” for every shot was very brutal and time consuming. Shout out to fellow Ludisians: Michael Traverzo and Esme Traverzo for being so patient with me in the dialogue recording booth process.
3. One thing I would like to mention that I am very proud of that most people do not know. Both Michael Traverzo & Shane Connelly also wrote and compose the score for the film. Shane even played the drums on the ending credits.
SdU: Shane as the director, when building the scene is it the emotion or is it the conversation, that helps you determine the direction?
Shane@Ludus: It really depends on what the project is, and the message that is being portrayed. This was a very emotional piece, and it was a bit taxing on the actors. I really pushed for facial expressions and long gazes to pull some of the emotions out. Rebekah Bruflodt(Sophia) is a fantastic method actress, and requested that we shoot certain scenes on different days. The day we shot all of the serious
scenes, she showed up on set with a completely changed demeanor. From call time, until the end of the day, she was Sophia. Soto answer your question, I like using both tactics.
SDU: What was the inspiration to tell this story?
Keiland@Ludus: Julio Alonzo and I wanted to do a dramatic piece for this short film so I ended up coming up with the idea to do a tragic love story. I wanted it to be something that everyone could relate to in some way and the inspiration for it came from being in love and having expectations not turn out the way I had hoped.
SDU: As a writer on the film was it hard to translate the story to the actors?
Keiland@Ludus: No, it wasn’t hard because the actors and everyone involved pretty much understood after one read of the script where we were going with the story. Also I believe that the actors drew from their own experiences to make the story their own.
SDU: When do you start working with the Ludus group? Was it difficult to get them on board for 5 year dream?
Keiland@Ludus: I started working with Ludus almost instantly after I met Julio back in November of 2010. We met randomly at a bar and started talking about film and hit it off really well. I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it, but he emailed me the next day and we immediately started working on 5 Year Dream.
SDU: Shane, what’s your genre of film you can picture yourself getting lost in forever?
SDU:Equipment, what you packing? Your favorite and why and where is the best time to use it? For all those film students that don’t have a clue.
Shane@Ludus: For the price, I have been shooting on HDSLR’s. There are plenty of problems, as it is not completely intended for film. It is a photography camera that happens to shoot video. I like using these cameras for “Guerrilla” type shoots, because most of the general public still doesn’t realize they shoot video.
SDU: Your performance seemed it was drawing from a lot a personal experience of the past for you, especially as the film came to the pivotal part in the film were your characters life changes forever. Would you touch upon that a bit, if you don’t mind?
Julio@Ludus: Hummmmm. Yes, truth be told, I did draw from many experiences in my past that helped me bring the character “Luis” to life. 5 Year Dream – is a very real and personal story for both Keiland Goffigon the writer and for myself. When I first read the rough draft of the script, I told Keiland, wow! This “Luis” character is very real to me on many levels. So Keiland, asked me more questions and dove in deeper with the writing of the script. I honestly, had to take a step back after I read the final draft of the script to absorb it all in because in the back of my head I knew I was going to have to rehash a lot of bad memories.
A part of me almost did not want to do it because I felt it was going to push me to madness trying to express it and deal with it. (Which it did a little. lol) But then on the flip side I felt as a new actor this would be the best opportunity to play a character that I was already familiar with in real life.
Needless to say producing and acting in this film, was almost like attending a long therapy session for me… It’s over, we did it…. and it’s a piece that I am very proud of. I would also like to give a huge thank you to a member of the SDU family Chace Saumell. Not only for her writing contributions to the opening narrative of the film but also being a great friend, during the whole process. She helped me get through so much especially after the last day of filming. The last two shots of the film were very intense.
SDU: Come 2012 what projects do you have lined up? Any you can speak about at this time or gives small details on the direction of the project?
Shane@Ludus: 2012 will be a very exciting year for all of us. There are so many things I wish I could talk about, but at this point I have been advised against it. You will just have to follow us on twitter and other social media outlets, and watch as we unveil what is to come.
I will just leave you with two thoughts though… Hitmen, and alternate dimensions.
Julio@Ludus: Shane and I have some awesome projects in the works for 2012. I am not at liberty to speak on it too much, but one project in particular. Will bend the state of reality. (Insert Evil Grin here) It will also be accompanied by a marketing campaign that will be unparalleled to what the film industry is used to. Taking DIY film making to a whole another level. Stay tuned…