Media Production Mentoring

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Short Film: Eros Elinore

This is a "creature feature" featuring succubi. This short film explores how selfishness impacts fulfillment in marriage.

Behind the Scenes

For your convenience, here are the nine chapters of the Behind the Scenes video:

  1. 00:00 Scriptwriting
    Writing is re-writing.
  2. 13:49 Pre-Production
    Meetings, script breakdowns, costumes, and more.
  3. 32:46 Production Day 1
    Cleo's House: Makeup takes time.
  4. 40:41 Production Day 2
    The Brewery: The oner.
  5. 55:23 Production Days 3&4
    The House: Solving problems with what you have.
  6. 01:13:06 Post-Production
    The things you miss will hurt you.
  7. 01:25:13 Premiere
    Yay! It's done!
  8. 01:26:02 Postmortem
    The good, the bad, and the ugly.
  9. 01:30:42 What's Next?
    We shall see...

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It took a year -- pretty much to the day -- to complete this film. The script took a long time to finalize, but we were working on costumes and props during that time as well. Several people made this film possible without whom I would not have a movie. Jonathan was vital to the script. Kavi helped me sort out color and costumes and wigs and horns. Laurel created the tails. And Brittany, with the help of Amy, got all the pieces together. This film would not exist with all their hard work.

And then there was the time people gave to this project. The cast and crew (and extras!) gave at minimum half a day to this project, out of their generosity. When I was younger, and a film student, people were way more flexible and could easily devote time to a project. As I've gotten older -- and so my friends have as well -- we now have to juggle work and family and adult responsibilities with creative projects like this. I am so grateful for the time given to this project.

I don't know if there's much more I can offer than what is in the BTS video above. This could easily be because it's been four years since I released the video. Things have dramatically changed in my life, and the specific thoughts and feelings I had at the time are lost other than the recorded interviews I wove together above.

Here are a few things from the video itself that jumped out to me:


I didn't want any technology to show up in this film, but when we were shooting in an apartment complex, we couldn't ask residents to move their vehicles. So, there was a truck in the shot.

There wasn't much I could do about it, but we mostly covered it up. So I let it slide. But then we pushed in for a closeup, and the truck was far more distracting and a larger part of the frame, pulling my eye away from the action. So I, an extra in the scene as Jezebel's latest boy toy, held her bags above my head to block it ... potentially awkward and therefore more distracting. But, overall, I think it worked pretty well.
Bag Blocking

Costume Props

The horns worked remarkably well ... but they were just held on by some magnets. They certainly were not growing out of the girls' heads. So any little bump would make them wiggle, breaking all illusion of outgrowth. So we had to shoot Randall kissing Elinore's horn a few times so it was gentle enough to not make it wobble. The things you don't think about when you're just trying to solve a costume prop problem.

Fake Tears

Emma was amazing (more on that in a minute), but real tears were a bit of a reach given the shooting schedule and all that. So, to make it possible for multiple takes, she put a few drops of contact saline solution into her eyes before we started rolling and then squeezed her eyes shut to push the tears out. It worked great and scrunching her face actually sold the pain more ... even though it was mostly to get the false tears to start following.
Film Tears


I talk in the video above about using just the lights of the bedroom for illumination. The bulbs were, I believe, 45 watts, but our lens could go to at least 1.4. This meant that the camera saw things my eyes couldn't. So when she's in bed after her indescretion, Randall's kiss is meant to convict/hurt her. And I just love the way the light, as he turns them off, falls on her face in the dark. I didn't expect or plan for that, but when I edited that scene, I was thrilled. It was perfect!
Edge Lighting

Color Correction

I was not good at color correcting four years ago. I'm getting better now -- with much more practice. So there are shots, watching the short today, that my inability to hone the look is all too obvious. And, of course, I'd love for it to be better. But I think it's also important to lean into the Ira Glass' message: Your work may be a disappointment to you, but you need to push through. There is a temptation to go back and remaster it and fix it ... and while that is an option, it's probably better, for passion projects like these, to leave them as they were and keep making more work instead of trying to perfect the past.
Noptimal Color Grading

Amazing Actress

Emma brought so much to this project. The ending of the film is so much stronger because I just feel her vulnerability. I don't think I even directed her into that. She just absorbed the emotion and let it out in her performance. I love working with non-actors, but there is something great about also having people with experience, too. Especially for moments where they have to carry the scene with a pained, hopeful half-smile.

That's all I've got for you at the moment. I look forward to potentially getting back to producing more in the years ahead.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

P.S. See more short films by Luke Holzmann here: