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The Making of "Interdimensionary" - My First Short Film

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

In the fall of 2015 I wrote, directed, starred in, and edited “Interdimensionary”, which for me was a pretty big accomplishment. For most of my life until that point, I had wanted to be a filmmaker. However, most of my films had been mostly ones that I shot on a camcorder with friends and family. They were mostly made just for fun, with not a lot of effort being put into making them.

2015 was when I made the decision to enter the Horror Film Roulette competition, which would be my first real attempt at making my own short horror film. I’d been an avid horror fan most of my life, so getting to write and direct a short horror film for a competition was a dream come true. But how do you make a horror film when you have basically no film equipment?

It was then that I discovered the answer. I was utilizing a technique I would later find out is called resource filmmaking. Essentially, that means you are making a film using only the resources you have available to you. Since my resources were pretty light at the time, and because I was influenced by a lot of media from the 80s, I ended up shooting “Interdimensionary” using a VHS app on my iPod Touch. I simply put my iPod on a tripod, and that’s how most of the film was shot. Thankfully, since we were filming in a basement, the acoustics were pretty good, so I didn’t really have a need for audio equipment.

I also did something with this film I would utilize in every project since, and that is another technique I call "playing to your strengths". Essentially, whatever the strongest attributes of your project are, leaning into them is key to getting the most out of your project. For example, if you don’t have good audio equipment, or know how to make your audio sound good in a film, you probably shouldn’t include a lot of dialogue in your film. I knew since I didn’t have a budget or high-end equipment, I might as well lean into that aspect and make the film intentionally cheesy and campy. But in my opinion, it fit the screenplay I wrote very well.

Prior to writing “Interdimensionary”, I had recently watched the brilliant 2004 science fiction film “Primer”, and also became fascinated with the concept of portals. The basic idea of my film was, what if a scientist created a portal which they thought allowed them to time travel, only they didn’t fully understand what they were dealing with? I also decided using the video diary format would be a good way to get my story across, since the films in the Horror Film Roulette competition were only allowed to be five minutes tops.

Since I didn’t have any actors, I decided to take upon the task of playing the main character, Aaron Carruth (a nod to Shane Carruth who plays Aaron in “Primer”), and this is when I realized how hard it is for me to remember dialogue, even lines that I’ve written. Funnily enough, if you pay attention near the first half of “Interdimensionary”, you can clearly see me reading lines either off camera, or off a visible piece of paper.

I learned a lot from making this film, and I had a lot of fun doing it with everyone involved. While my film didn’t place in the competition, I decided to challenge myself and make my next films even better. As some of you know already, the next film I made was “The Ghost Life”, and that’s where my life changed forever. If you can’t guess why, you’ll find out in my next post.

Thank you so very much for reading this, and for watching and supporting my films. It truly means the world to me, and I hope you enjoy my little 80s sci-fi horror comedy, “Interdimensionary”. I even fixed up the audio for you, so it’s a bit of a director’s cut. I hope that you enjoy watching it, either again or for the first time. I also hope it inspires you to create art of your own, using the resources you have available to you.

Much love,

Dustin H.

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