Rian and Liz may not make it out alive, but the case lives on. Giving those who discover it a chance of their own to succumb to the strange spell of the mysterious attaché

The Attaché is an experimental short film that follows the perilous effects of a mysterious case thrust upon the lives of a group of southwestern inhabitants. Directed by Andre Stringer, the film kicks off with a troubled couple on a scenic hike. But just as the couple’s discussions start getting heated, things take an unexpected turn as they are interrupted by a shocking, fiery plane crash. Without a cell signal to call for help, they rush to the aid of the lone living passenger. The discovery of an alluring briefcase amid the rubble drives the wedge between them even further, deepening the existing cracks in their relationship until it goes pop. Rian and Liz may not make it out alive, but the case lives on. Giving those who discover it a chance of their own to succumb to the strange spell of the mysterious attaché.

Film Objectives

Years working in the commercial form have shaped my view of storytelling; I’ve always leaned towards emotion over traditional story. Moving into narrative opened up the possibility of experimenting with the poetry of mystery—open ended questioning into these deeper moral/intellectual quandaries while also growing my understanding of, and facility with, cinematic storytelling. Yearning to grow my work, the experimental narrative form pushed me to reframe every stage of my process. Challenging many of my foundational understandings along the way.

While the idea of having an unknown content inside a suitcase may sound cliché, this film is nothing near that. Mainly because so many elements surrounding the case are shocking and captivating. But it may also be that we are never referred to an object for say, but more of a sensation. The film dives into the mysterious psychological effects the case foists upon the human and animal characters it encounters. Ultimately asking questions about the existence of free choice in our own lives.

How The Attaché It Was Made

The narrative short is a wonderfully fertile ground for community building. There is no source of funding and no significant revenue stream once made. So this project was only made possible by the generosity of a group of my friends and long-time colleagues. All of whom donated their time to the broader effort of growing their experience and shepherding more projects like this into existence. We found the scale of the Attaché in fostering that kind mentality in all the collaborators and vendors.  From the large plane pieces to the CG wolf to all of the little additions that every artist brought to bear on the film along the way. This also meant leaving a lot of creative leeway in the idea itself. So that each additional collaborator could add to the broader potential of the project.

I also saw our shooting and post timeline as a flexible player in the underlying approach. We did more paired-down and short shoot days over a longer period of time. The chaptered storyform that we embraced allowed each episode of the narrative to be crafted by different types of teams at different times, which was enabled by a general openness in regard to timing. Lean and talented teams were key; we could scout and shoot locations in the same day across wide swaths of desert, feeding the diversity of terrain in the end and expanding our storytelling voice.

This film was shot primarily on the RED Monstro and Helium camera, with some additional aspects shot on a RED Gemini and the RED EPIC MX. They used their set of rehoused Canon K35 lenses and the Cinema Devices antigravity rig as the primary camera platform.