The Short List: PAULIE

As part of the YOMYOMF Network series, The Short List, where we present short films we love every Friday at Noon EST, we’ve reached out to the filmmakers with 5 Questions to see what’s up since the production of their short film. It’s a way for them to revisit their film and get an update on their next projects. You can view all The Short List films here.

We ask 5 questions to director Andrew Nackman, regarding the making of his short film, PAULIE.

1. How did you come up with the concept for this short?

The writer of the film, David J. Lee, originally wrote the story focusing on the bully Tony Malpeide as the protagonist. But after rethinking it, he centered it on Paulie, whose experiences he claims are somewhat autobiographical except that Paulie is much, much smarter than he ever was. I read David’s draft with PAULIE as the main character, liked it a lot and we then collaborated from there to make it into a movie.

2. Any challenges or setbacks during production?

We lost a key location just days before shooting (the vice principal’s office) and had to use a vacant office space as the replacement. Our production designers came in the day before the shoot with fake walls, entirely new furniture and built a whole new room within that space from scratch. We also dealt with a very temperamental landlord at our Tony’s apartment shooting location so we regularly brought him cookies throughout the weekend to keep him from flipping out.

3. Any funny stories from the making of this film?

The dirt that Paulie (and eventually Tony) eats is made of Oreos, graham crackers and brownie batter. As one can imagine, that combination tastes quite incredible. So on-set, we had a difficult time shooting those scenes because some of the younger actors would eat it all in-between takes. We’d have to hide it from them or quickly make more on the fly. Ethan Dizon, our actor playing Paulie, at one point agreed to be paid for his work entirely in cookie dirt.

4. Where has your film played? Festivals or other places around the world?

Paulie has screened at around 40 film festivals so far with scheduled screenings still to come. It premiered at the 2012 Palm Springs ShortFest and won the Panavision Grand Jury Prize there and also won Best Comedy at the 2012 Los Angeles ShortsFest. It screened at LACMA in March 2013 at their annual Young Directors Night as well, where it took home the Art of Film Award. It has played throughout the US at the Hamptons Film Fest, Nashville Film Fest and others, in Europe at Encounters UK and Brussels Short Film Festival and in Australia at Flickerfest, among its highlights.

5. What’s been going on with you, filmmaking-wise since the completion of this short? What are you working on next?

Since completion of Paulie, I’ve been working towards directing my first feature film, which is a comedy called Out Party that is currently scheduled to shoot in the Spring of 2014. I also work as an editor and am currently editing the drama Love Land, directed by a fellow USC Film School alum, Josh Tate.

2 thoughts on “The Short List: PAULIE

  1. I don’t like the ending. It doesn’t resolve any of the conflict between the bully and the victim. Typically, in these kinds of stories, the bully and victim become friends because of their newfound mutual understanding of their individual life’s shortcomings. Otherwise, if the bully remains in the antagonist state, then it should show him picking on the new kid, then the protagonist can step in and justify being the hero. Otherwise, the whole time, the interaction doesn’t make sense why the protagonist continues to interact with the bully. If the bully is a threat, and you are the victim, you don’t keep going back to get a beating.

  2. Why was this taken down? I can’t show this lovely film to friends.

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