FilmLocal logo

Last Beat | War Drama Short Film | Sacramento, CA

“Last Beat” is a movie emphasizing the effects of a soldier’s journey to completion, following a traumatic memory of a fallen comrade. The story’s emphasis is based on an incomplete musical score, prematurely silenced, by the complexities of war. I rejected the idea of telling a conventional war story, previously depicted in movies. Instead, our film explores the psychological effects of an individual, where there are no heroes, only survivors. The parallels to recovery, loss, progression and surrender are powerfully expressed.

As a passionate storyteller, I wrote and directed this piece at the age of 22. The film’s creativity was the result of our team’s effort to maintain a low budget, yet high quality, visual production. Creating war scenes on a $500 budget was challenging yet allowed for experimental innovation for our vision. Resourcefulness for making blood, explosions and war scenery was a challenging obstacle. The soundtrack and imagery had to match both rhythmically and poetically. Each shot was carefully planned and sketched through story boarding.

Reflectively, there are many opportunities for young filmmakers to utilize their own resourceful surroundings to create compelling stories. My belief is that anything that comes from a good movie, begins with the script. Simple ideas with complex characters are the hallmark of my passion.

“Last Beat” has earned several recognitions and Film Festival Awards in just a few short years. As the successful Festival run has completed, the movie is now viewable online.

Paul D. Bestolarides is an Adjunct Professor at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California. He is an Independent filmmaker who continues to write and direct films.

Acknowledgments / Film Credits –

Cast: Luke James, Seth Muzichuck, Keith Johnson, Aziz Muhaiudin.


Director of Photography – Michael Thygesen,

Editor- Juan Avelar,

Music – Christopher Findlaytor,

Sound – Kristina Morss,

Grip – Trisha Brill, Milo Mendoza, Trisha Brill,

AC – Alec Tucker

Special Thanks – Kevin Martinez, Nicki Croly.


Want your film project featured on Local Films? Fill out this form!

Share this post!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get work notifications, local event invites and in-depth film industry articles.