Featured Short Films

Random Stop | Featured Short Film
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Random Stop

A first-person P.O.V. recreation of events from the life of a highway patrolman. Based on a terrifying true story.

Random Stop is based on the true story of Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Dinkheller who – at the end of a shift – pulled over a speeding pickup truck driven by disturbed Vietnam veteran, Andrew Brannan. The film, seen from the Sheriff’s point of view from beginning to end rolls entirely on one continuous shot, which turns the film all that more realistic and traumatic.

Footage of the stop is now used in police training throughout the world. Told from an incredibly unique perspective, “Random Stop” gives viewers unprecedented insight into the dangers that law enforcement officers face daily. It is a deeply visceral and highly emotional experience that is difficult to ignore or forget.

We’ve all seen one shot P.O.V. shorts before, music videos like Bad Motherfucker and viral short Superman With a GoPro quickly come to mind, but ‘Random Stop’ brings in a different mind set with much more rawness. The short starts off rather tenderly but catches us completely off guard with the intense reality of things.

Kyle Dinkheller’s story is one that I discovered completely by accident. In December of 2012, I was reading an article on gun control and found, in the comments section, a link titled: “This is What a Semi-Automatic Rifle Can Do.” The link led to a grainy YouTube video of footage from a traffic stop in 1998. A young police officer pulled over an older man, they got into an argument, it turned violent, and – without much warning – the older man shot the younger one to death. All in the space of a few minutes. This was the police car dashcam footage of Kyle’s murder. It was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen. I was in shock – the cruelty and the speed of the violence were completely beyond anything my life had trained me to expect from such a mundane scenario. The experience of watching that footage stuck with me. For a long time. It felt important, and raw. When it came time to direct my thesis film at UCLA, I knew instinctively that this would be the story I should tackle. Kyle’s story showed me a side of law enforcement that I had never seen before – a vulnerable and profoundly human side – and I’ve spent the better part of the last year doing my best to bring that story to the widest audience possible.

- Benjamin Arfmann – Director

What amazes us is the amount of coordination and action spread over a wide area and all fit in into one single take. Then come all the details that make the experience all the more real, like the shot wounds and even the Officer’s reflection on the car.

The chase sequence was definitely a challenge, involving five separate permitting office and detailed rehearsals, but we really nailed it. A chase in POV isn’t something an audience will soon forget.

- JP Castel – Producer

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