Beach Boy

Ben-David chases after his elusive first kiss, but he may have to break his mother’s trust to get it.

Can you tell us what inspired you to bring this story to life?

A friend of mine from the Stony Brook + Killer Films MFA program, Kate Levitt, had written this short script as well as others that I loved. So much of the MFA program starts you out forcing you to do everything yourself, which is important to learn, but everyone knows that filmmaking is the most collaborative medium and I really wanted to make a film that brought as many creatives into the fold as possible to help inform the vision. For this story, I certainly could relate to Ben-David’s early adolescent struggles and awkwardness.

How did you go about casting for Beach Boy?

We mostly cast through Backstage, when you could still do most of your casting in person. Those were the days.

How close was the film to the original script? Did you have to improvise any bits?

Pretty close. As with any script, things that work on the page don’t always work so well when bodies are moving around in space. As such, we cut some lines and made some adjustments on set. The part with Ben-David waiting grew substantially from what was on the page and really came together through music, effective use of B-roll, and articulating all of the emotions Ben-David was going through. Raoul Silver as Ben-David does such a great job performing it all. Another moment that was found in the edit by Kyle Ronald was the stare-off between Ben-David and Maddison (played by Skya Theobald).

Do you have any tips or advice to offer fellow filmmakers who are filming on a beach?

Don’t do it! But if you have to, point the boom away from the water as much as possible. And get a really great sound engineer like Benjamin Scott to clean things up for you, and be prepared to record some ADR (I won’t tell you where ours is). We didn’t even try for lavaliers because of the wardrobe.

Help filmmaker Douglas by supporting their 90s set mystery/thriller film Carry The Darkness about metalhead teenagers from that era reckoning with the satanic panic. Join them on @seedandspark