Interview with

Elmer J. Howard

Director/Producer of

Elmer J. Howard

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

The film is based on a true story. I was approached by Stan Atwood, the person Erik is based on, to do the film. It had been a couple of years since the incident and Stan wanted to honor Martin’s memory in a short film. When we had a writing meeting with our writer and when I was directing on set, I would ask Stan’s opinion about certain sayings, actions, etc. to try and be as authentic to the real people as possible.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

We didn’t have a huge budget and casting was difficult. Except for Rhayne Thomas who plays Jeanine. As soon as I saw Rhayne read for the role I knew she was perfect for it. We only had two and a half days to shoot this in and with a small crew, everyone had to pitch in to make it happen. I was wearing too many hats and I see how that affected our shoot. I learned a lot from this film and it shows in my next film ‘Kings & Queens’.

How has the short film been received?

It’s had a mixed reception. I think the age gap is a problem for Americans and it ends on a somber note. I am finding in Latin American Countries and in western Europe, it has been well received. It did win 15 awards in its festival run.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

We have just finished ‘Kings & Queens’, another short film. It’s currently in its festival run. It was shot in Portland, ME over three days in August 2020, and centres on Lucy, a newly single young lesbian down on her luck as she struggles to discover her true self. When she finds herself at a new job with a drag scene, things begin to change for her, and a sense of hope emerges. We have already won 15 awards at festivals, which ties the number of total awards we won for ‘Loving Martin’. I do have a drag documentary and gay mini-series in the works as well.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

Don’t wait until everything is perfect, it never will be. Go out there and make a short. Make sure to surround yourself with people who have your back and are passionate about what they do and the project, they will step up to help make sure the movie is made. Also, surround yourself with people who are “smarter” than you. Hire a cinematographer, a writer, a director, a sound person, etc., for a couple of reasons, if you wear too many hats yourself, your project will suffer, and these people will not only deliver a great project, they’ll also help you troubleshoot and give you the advice to help make your project better. I’ve always said, filmmaking is a collaborative team effort. Everyone is important and their work and input is invaluable in creating the best movie you can.

Recently Featured

Interview with

Elmer J. Howard

Director/Producer of

Elmer J. Howard

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

The film is based on a true story. I was approached by Stan Atwood, the person Erik is based on, to do the film. It had been a couple of years since the incident and Stan wanted to honor Martin’s memory in a short film. When we had a writing meeting with our writer and when I was directing on set, I would ask Stan’s opinion about certain sayings, actions, etc. to try and be as authentic to the real people as possible.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

We didn’t have a huge budget and casting was difficult. Except for Rhayne Thomas who plays Jeanine. As soon as I saw Rhayne read for the role I knew she was perfect for it. We only had two and a half days to shoot this in and with a small crew, everyone had to pitch in to make it happen. I was wearing too many hats and I see how that affected our shoot. I learned a lot from this film and it shows in my next film ‘Kings & Queens’.

How has the short film been received?

It’s had a mixed reception. I think the age gap is a problem for Americans and it ends on a somber note. I am finding in Latin American Countries and in western Europe, it has been well received. It did win 15 awards in its festival run.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

We have just finished ‘Kings & Queens’, another short film. It’s currently in its festival run. It was shot in Portland, ME over three days in August 2020, and centres on Lucy, a newly single young lesbian down on her luck as she struggles to discover her true self. When she finds herself at a new job with a drag scene, things begin to change for her, and a sense of hope emerges. We have already won 15 awards at festivals, which ties the number of total awards we won for ‘Loving Martin’. I do have a drag documentary and gay mini-series in the works as well.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

Don’t wait until everything is perfect, it never will be. Go out there and make a short. Make sure to surround yourself with people who have your back and are passionate about what they do and the project, they will step up to help make sure the movie is made. Also, surround yourself with people who are “smarter” than you. Hire a cinematographer, a writer, a director, a sound person, etc., for a couple of reasons, if you wear too many hats yourself, your project will suffer, and these people will not only deliver a great project, they’ll also help you troubleshoot and give you the advice to help make your project better. I’ve always said, filmmaking is a collaborative team effort. Everyone is important and their work and input is invaluable in creating the best movie you can.

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