5Q's w/Jeff Palmer "Split Costs" Director

#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 140 characters?

Two women hit the road and life hits back in this gritty drama that shares the lane with movies like Thelma & Louise and Five Easy Pieces.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

In January 2016 we raised nearly $2,000 for this micro-budget project on GoFundMe and went into production during late February. As the film's writer, directer, producer, cinematographer and editor, I was presented with an array of logistical challenges such as shooting guerrilla in Panera Bread, getting a variety of camera angles inside a cramped compact car, and audio mixing with engine and highway noise... but such is the thrill of independent filmmaking and capturing intimate stories on a shoestring. The 24-minute film has an all-female cast and "passes the Bechdel test with flying colors." Split Costs features New York actress Mela Hudson (Emma) and indie newcomer Tori Hall (Judy) and was primarily shot inside a moving Ford Focus (driven by Hudson) over the course of an unseasonably warm February weekend. As written in the script the ride share takes place in the bleak of winter, but as it turned out filming took place during the warmest winter on record, forcing us to drive north of Boston into New Hampshire to capture certain scenes where mounds of snow were necessary for the backdrop. If you like road trip mix tapes with indie rock, we got you covered.

#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

I've been making music videos, short films, documentaries, and writing screenplays for the past 20 years. Currently I am enrolled in a 1-year masters program at Boston University for Cinema and Media Production with a focus on directing. The majority of my work can be found at FlickerPictures.com

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

Every now and then there is a tipping point when you need to follow Nike's mantra and "Just do it." Only as filmmakers we "Just shoot it." Casting is key. It's critical to collaborate with folks who 'get it' and who respect the gravity of the work, the craft, which is what made filming Split Costs such a joy and an overwhelmingly rewarding creative endeavor. We jumped off the ledge and built a film on the way down. Believe in your story, trust your collaborators, give freely and be open to the possibilities of discovering something unexpected and truthful along the filmmaking journey.

#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

Split Costs continues to make the rounds in the festival circuit and claim a few awards along the way, which is always a bonus. While I study at Boston University, I hope the characters portrayed by Mela and Tori get more screen time in front of audiences hungry for this brand of unapologetic arthouse storytelling. 

Matthew NothelferComment