Award of Excellence – “The Candidate” (USA)

Title: The Candidate
Runtime: 6 min
Country: USA
Director: Michael Hilf
Written by: Blaire Baron & Robin McDonald
Placement: Award of Excellence
Competition: January, 2017

Synopsis: The Candidate goes through a rigorously impossible vetting process to determine if he is The One for someone’s very specific agenda.


OR: What was the inspiration for your film?

BB: Robin McDonald and myself are always writing shorts and bouncing ideas around. We wanted to write something we could play off each other in – and also bring in actor Will Gressman, who has multiple talents – which we wanted to use in a short amount of time.  Then an idea hit us pretty fast.

OR: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

BB: The idea came quickly – over morning coffee at Casa Chocolate – it came in March. We made our film in Mid-April. And it was ready in June. It was one of those things. We shot it in a day. We had an amazing crew. Director Mike Hilf, DP Mark Lecky, Barret Nichol, Gavin Farnsworth, Scott Gardner, Mike Russell – this crew made it happen for us.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

BB: How to tell a story the best way possible in the shortest amount of time. We kept using the watchword: economical.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

BB: Well….we had a time constraint, a lot to cover, and some strong, creative personalities under pressure. Getting all the coverage we needed by sundown was our big stressor. But we fought for it and we did it, and in the end it really made the film!

OR: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

BB: Don’t produce and act in your film unless and until you have a very ample crew. As producers, (and stars) Robin and I had to do a lot of the schlepping, thinking, worrying, coordinating – while also starring in the piece. As an actor, that was incredibly stressful. Just make your film – and star in someone else’s film.