Listen Up | Comedy Short Film | Knoxville, TN

Twin Pines Pictures formed in March of Two-Thousand Fifteen. Chuck Morgan and myself came together and decided to participate in an upcoming Fifty-Four Hour Film Festival. It was a contest that gave you Fifty-Four Hours to write, shoot, and edit a four to seven minute short film. Since then we’ve won two of these competitions and participated in many more competitions around our local area. But we didn’t limit ourselves to just festival competitions either.

In two thousand Sixteen we made about 12 short films throughout the year. And then in two-thousand eighteen we made twenty short films and was selected to participate in the Tennessee Ten competition, which gathered the top ten filmmakers in the state to each make a twelve to eighteen minute film. While we didn’t win any awards, we were quite proud of our film “Hell Followed With Him” and have sent it off to other film festivals around the nation and brought in a few awards since that competition and it’s been selected for many other festivals for later this year.

So, Twin Pines Pictures has gotten quite used to gathering on the weekends to film a short film about once a month now. For this year we decided we wanted to tackle a bit longer and bigger productions, which brought us to our first production of the year, “Return to Dust” – A film written and to be directed by Chuck Morgan.

Unfortunately, production got pushed back a month or two due to factors all local and low budget filmmakers face – LIFE! We’ve been pretty lucky to have families and friends who understand our love of filmmaking and put aside the time to come together to help us make our films, but sometimes shooting a short isn’t meant to be some days!

Finally, we settled on a date to film “Return” the last weekend of February. Everything fell into place. Our actors were available. We had a crew! (Which for Twin Pines Pictures mainly consists of just Chuck and I, but over the last couple of years we’ve been very lucky to garner a few dedicated crew members who have been awesome to come out and help on shoots) And we were ready to film—

–Then two days before tragedy struck! Not family emergency or “someone’s been hurt” tragedy. No, this tragedy was the type only filmmakers can understand. The kind that turns your stomach and makes you say “aw, man” —

The forecast was calling for rain on Saturday.

“Return” was an outdoor shoot, so rain was unacceptable! After weeks of trying to get everyone together for this film we didn’t want to scrap it. So, I came up with a plan! I decided to write another short film, something simple, that we could film in a day and most importantly INSIDE! So, I cranked out a short eight-page script titled “Someone to Talk to”.

It was meant to be simple, but ended up actually being a bit more complicated than originally planned. But everyone still wanted to get together on Saturday and film it! We ended up shooting for eight hours and knocked the script out, making up the shots on the fly. Which for me is something I don’t like to do! I’m a storyboard and shot list kind of guy!

Post-production took a couple of weeks for the film to be completed, mainly the time given to scoring the film by our super talented composer and some tedious vfx work. But after about three weeks and a title change we were able to release our first short film of Twenty-Eighteen “Listen Up”.

We’re super proud of the way the film came together on a budget of twenty bucks (used for feeding our crew/actors) and just the volunteering of some amazingly talented people. We hope you enjoy it!

–Jeremy Lowery


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