SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - What does it take to be a hero? Super powers? Being selfless? Everyone's cheers? Willingness to help? What if all of that doesn't work, and the harder you try, the more harm you do no matter how well-intentioned you are? That's just what Darren Hale has to experience in "Someone's Hero." premiering at the 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
It's a tale many of us are familiar with. So take the opportunity to sit down and watch this short film, shot in Santa Barbara, and you may just realize that becoming a hero sometimes means you have to find who you really are instead of trying to be someone you're expected to be.
Darren Hale a strong-willed young man struggles with his direction in life while living in the overwhelming shadow of his older brother's heroics and untimely death. Overzealous and inept, Darren washes out of the police academy yet again and fails to prove himself to a disappointed and demanding father.
Desperate to find his path, Darren sets out to find the hero within himself. However, his unsuccessful attempts end up causing more harm than good. Alone, adrift, and forced to move on, Darren finally finds his path when an unexpected accident brings his true calling into focus.
Q&A WITH DIRECTOR AMALIE LINTRUP
Why did you decide to make this a short film instead of a feature length production?
This was simply because the film was made in a class called Capstone at Santa Barbara City College and the purpose of the class was to make a short film. I did write this script prior to the class and when I did that I had it in mind as a short film simply because I wanted it to be a story with a good and proper meaning without forcing things into the storyline to extend the time. I didn’t feel like it was needed.
What was the inspiration behind the film?
I’m a very big fan of superheroes myself. I used to watch the cartoons as a kid, read the comic books and now at an older age I watch the movies as well. I felt that in a world where we see all these great heroes on screen, I wanted to write about someone who had those intentions of wanting to be a hero and be great like those superheroes, but not knowing how to. Someone with all the best things in mind, but being born without a superpower and the talent to become a police officer like his decorated family.
It was actually a comedy first, where the things he failed at were comical instead and his parents never cared what he did, but simply thought he was a very odd fellow. Alike the film Kick-ass. As the drafts started building up, things changed and it became more serious and had more power to it I felt.
During the process I drew from my own experiences, not of being any kind of superhero, but from the fight that I think we all go through, where we try to figure out our place or spot in life. I’ve tried a bunch of things and I’ve never really felt like it made much sense until I started taking film classes and narrowed down that field.
I also wanted to honor (Sounds like such a strong word) my Grandfather Soren Gregersen, who was a hero in my eyes and to many others. He was a doctor and he always helped me when I was sick and he always supported my creative side.
Talk about the challenges you and the crew faced on the making of this film.
We had a couple of problems and challenges during the making of the film. During pre-production we had smaller challenges, with locations. They were very hard to find and a couple of times we thought we had one and then we got turned away or told we could film there, if it only took 4 hours.
We have a short alleyway scene, that we shot in a day, and at first we’d found another place that had pretty much agreed to have us film at their property they just wanted to meet us. The producer, I and the DP showed up and everything was fine until we handed him papers to sign, agreeing to let us use their alleyway in a short film that could in the future be screened to others. They called the day after and said no, they were no longer interested.
We had a very smooth production period, but I do think the biggest problem we had as a crew was when not just one of the trucks we used for hauling gear broke down, but two within a couple of hours and we were filming that evening and didn’t know how to get all that gear from the trucks to the location. We had to call around and drive back and forth several times, but the camera and gaffer crew worked really hard and it went faster than we would’ve thought.
We also had a couple of outdoor shoots and usually that would not have been a problem, but we had two days where it rained pretty heavily and we thought we had to cancel. One time we did have to move the shoot, but the other time it cleared up after a while, however once again the crafty camera and gaffer crew worked heavily with plastic bags and small pavilions and other covers to protect the gear while we filmed. This obviously happened on the biggest day, where we had an ambulance coming in and four actors had dropped a couple of days before.
But the crew worked hard and so did the actors, we had very few challenges! In post we had technical difficulties, but that happens every time.
What were some of the most memorable moments you experienced making this film?
It’s hard to pick memorable moments, because there were a lot of them. It’s the first time I’ve directed a film this “long” and it was hard work, but I ate up every moment of it. Both the harder more frustrating parts and the amazing ones.
During pre-production I went on a ride-along with an officer from the Santa Barbara Police department as research and study of character, which was definitely a memorable moment for me. I’ve never been in a police car and I got to ask all the questions I wanted during the ride and walk with the Officer everywhere. I just needed to stay a few feet behind for my own safety. He also very kindly helped out on a location, calling in that we would be shooting there and luckily enough, when just moments later an officer showed up asking if we’d informed them we could gladly answer yes and continue our shoot.
That same night, was the night the trucks broke down, but it was an amazing day. I wanted a very typical alleyway look with smoke steaming in the far end and our amazing DP reminded me that an alleyway would usually be watered down slightly and that he thought it would look great, so our DP ran back and forth pumping water and then spritzing it everywhere between the takes. I’ve never seen anyone so intend on making the ground and the walls wet. He was also very correct, it does look great in the film.
Working so intently with one actor for weekends at a time, was very memorable and especially our main actor, who came from LA and was always so positive and ready to make a great scene, was such a great experience to me.
And of course, seeing the final product with the amazing score that John Joveth composed. I was so happy, he truly captured the essence in my eyes and I remember listening to the music with the producer and the both of us walked around humming the song for the next couple of days.
Who’s your favorite superhero?
I’m more of a marvel fan - Captain America and Spiderman are my favorite ones. I wore my very fancy Captain America t-shirt on set once and I’m also very proud to admit I own a Spiderman toothbrush and a Spiderman bedspread. A very proud 22 year-old.
How does it feel to have your film screen at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival?
It’s amazing to have the film screened in the city I got to live in while studying abroad and its great to see all the work and effort we (The cast and Crew) put into this short film, being shown to the public. I’m very excited to see it with everyone again for the first time since we finished it. Also it’s the first festival the film got into, and it’s also the first ever festival any of my films have gotten into and I think it’s an amazing opportunity, being able to be a part of the great Santa Barbara international film festival, that works so hard on showing films from all over.
If there’s one thing viewers should take away from this film, what would that be?
I hope of course people will enjoy it, but I would like for people to see that despite not necessarily knowing where exactly you fit in, in this world or who you want to be, its okay. One day you’ll figure it out.
Saturday, February 11 - 5:40 p.m. - Metro 4 Theater, screen 5.
Amalie Lintrup is a dedicated and sarcastic four-time short film director from Copenhagen, Denmark. Since 2011 she’s worked on several short films, and had a variety of roles on set. Amalie is currently working towards a degree as a Film and Television production major in Santa Barbara, California, where she wrote and directed the short “Someone’s Hero” - an ambitious and heartfelt story about finding oneself.