I'm very excited that, this Friday, I'll finally be able to show everyone THE NEXT ROOM -- a quarantine project, if you will -- that I began earlier in the year. Back in April, I was working from home during the first wave of COVID craziness and I was honestly getting a little stir-crazy. 1) Because I was stuck at home unable to leave my home, and 2) Because I was itching to do some kind of new project. I had always planned on writing/shooting something in 2020, but I definitely didn't plan on the pandemic that would come along with the year. A short film contest showed up on my radar that instantly intrigued me -- something that could possibly scratch that itch.
The contest's goal was to have filmmakers create a short horror film within their home that was no longer than one minute in length and then their film would ultimately appear within an anthology with a bunch of other shorts. This seemed like a really interesting challenge. I would have to cut any dialogue from a potential script and I'd have to actually act in the film (I've always been more of a behind-the-camera kinda guy). I was thrilled to give it a shot, though -- right up until I read the fine print. See, I was wondering how I'd be able to shoot a short plus add the title and credits to the film all within a 60-second timeframe, but then I read: "Do NOT add a title or opening/end credits to your short. Your name will appear in the end credits of the anthology and all filmmakers will receive credit for the project as a whole." Huh? I wasn't about to take credit for some potentially bad films and I certainly wasn't about to let the filmmakers of said potentially bad films take credit for my own short. That just rubbed me the wrong way.
So, rather than putting together something for nothing, I decided to take the screenplay that I had already started writing and I moved ahead with the film to air on our Geek Pants YouTube channel. I also decided to take my time with the story instead of crunching it for a time limit, so rather than 1-minute, it's now closer to two minutes in length. I couldn't do it alone, though. I was very lucky to get some help from two incredibly talented guys. My amazing brother James Livitski shot the film and even cameos in it. He also created the awesome, retro artwork for the poster and its video thumbnail (seen below). For the score and sound design, the incomparable, insanely brilliant Ethan Myers stepped in for the assist, and I couldn't be more grateful.
THE NEXT ROOM airs our channel this Friday, November 20th, at 5pm EST.