When a fabled man in their rough backwoods named Gentleman calls on them, Abel & Sam nervously head out to the darks to investigate.
‘The Gentleman Darks’ is an incredibly moody piece that will have you lurking on with almost no explanation. We are placed in the middle of a mysterious situation when Abel and Sam answer a summon from a fabled man named Gentleman, they nervously head out to the dark edges of their rough backwoods with a heavy mixture of fear and hope. They know the potential of falling under Gentleman’s wing could change their simple lives dramatically but whether that is a good or a bad thing becomes a decision that they will each have to make on their own.
I had written the piece after reading a bunch of Southern Gothic short stories from authors like Flannery O’Conner. I got hired to direct a commercial for Purina dog food that was to be shot in northern, Ca and I decided that would create a perfect setting and situation to try to make this film in. My dp, Gareth Taylor, and I filled a rental van with equipment and headed north from LA with the plan to shoot this short on the way to our commercial shoot. I had cast my younger brother (who played Abel) and his friend (both non actors) who both lived in northern California and had been rehearsing with them over sykpe for a couple weeks.
As a filmmaker it was really about making a piece that created a specific tone and stayed in that groove escalating in a controlled manner.
The beauty of the story is in its shear vagueness, where we do not know specifically what is happening, but we are baked into the moment and conflict that comes. The director Brandon Vedder had a clear goal to start late in the story and get out early and leave the exposition for the viewer to fill in. Despite being played by two non-actors, the story was perfectly rounded around the characters of Abel and Sam that they performed fantastically.
We brought the actor who played Gentleman up with us from LA and flew him home afterwards. We shot the film over 2 long nights with my other younger bother doing sound as the only other crew member than myself and my DP.
The Gentleman Darks is all about placement, the carefully crafted situations always keeps us on the edge leaving us itching for answers. We might not get all the answers, but we will definitely be asking questions long after the credits role.