A sleep-deprived corner store clerk wonders if he’s seeing things when a man mysteriously appears on his security camera feed… but not in the store itself.

Monitor is a psychological-horror short directed by Ryan Polly and Matt Black. Despite it’s tight concept and minimalistic nature, the film is packed with thematic motivation. How does conflating digital reality with actual reality impact our own behavior and the decisions we make? How have over-inflated promise and the constant barrage of digital marketing compromised our view of our own lives and our happiness?

Writer Matt Black wrote Monitor purely as an excuse to make a tight, tense horror short that can serve as portfolio piece, while also entertaining viewers that would watch the short on Halloween. He brought the film to myself, producer Grant Wakefield, and DP Daniel Routh to bring a unique vision to the film and help bring it to life.

I was incredibly excited when I was asked to co-direct the film. It’s one of those concepts that is so simple and genius that I couldn’t wait to tell the story and get it in front of audiences to see their reaction.

With a minimalist concept, Monitor finds its depth through its character and his perception of things. The tone and structure of the film creates an incredibly tense setting, heightened by its striking soundtrack. But most of it comes from the sharp photography lead by the team.

Our production company Maker Table is thankful to own an ARRI Alexa Mini, which is what we shot the film on. We shot on Tokina Vista Primes from Jyra Films– our DP Daniel had a lot of great stuff to say about the glass: “They have this beautiful, creamy falloff that I haven’t seen a lot of in modern lenses. But yet they are super sharp and clean at the same time.”