BEST LA SHORT
BEST FOREIGN SHORT
Gold Remi WorldFest
Dragon*Con Film Festival
Bare Bones Film Festival
Atlantic City Film Festival
LA Brazilian Film Festival
Atlantic City Film
The Indie Gathering
Las Vegas Film Festival
A mysterious private eye (Steven T. Bartlett) is hired by an arrogant advertising executive (Phil Miler) to investigate whether his partner is embezzling from their ad agency, which leads to fiendish consequences in this neo-noir film with a hint of creepy magical realism.
Filmed in Los Angeles, the story is loosely inspired by the critically acclaimed Brazilian novel The Devil To Pay In The Backlands. Like in noir novels, STUFFED depicts a world full of cynical attitudes, with dialogues that sometimes sound outlandish. The title of the film is used in the whimsical sense of "turned into stuff."
Written & directed by Gabby Egito / (thriller/suspense, 15 minutes)
Gold Remi Award at WorldFest Houston
Winner of Best Foreign Short at the Las Vegas Film Festival.
Winner of Best LA Short at the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival.
Winner of Best Drama, Short, at the Atlantic City Cinefest, presented by Downbeach Film Festival
Winner (2nd Place) of Best Thriller at The Indie Gathering (Cleveland, OH)
Winner of Best Thriller at ISFF Hollywood
Nominated for Best Thriller; at the Dragon*Con Independent Short Film Festival (Atlanta, GA).
Nominated for Best Crime Drama at the Bare Bones Film Festival (Muskogee, Oklahoma).
Nominated for Best Actor, Short (Phil Miler), at the Atlantic City Cinefest.
Marcelo Carneiro da Cunha’s short story is so astute and deliciously sarcastic that won me over immediately. By the last sentence, I had decided to adapt it into a short film.
What I love about this story is the film noir mood, that became worldwide famous in the ‘40s and ‘50s in Hollywood. It’s one of my favorite genres, and it was a pure blast to add a dash of creepy magical realism* to it -- a chiefly Latin-American narrative strategy.
My main influence on this project was the masterpiece The Maltese Falcon, by John Houston, my master Alfred Hitchcock and the witty dialogues of Raymond Chandler's novels. Another inspiration, especially photography-wise, was the stunning The Killers (1946).
STUFFED is about excessive greed, not revenge.
*Magical realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction characterized by the matter-of-fact inclusion of fantastic or mythical elements into seemingly realistic fiction. In other words, the story treats these fantastic elements as real occurrences.
All the names mentioned on the film are tributes to writers and directors of the film-noir genre: Billy Cain (Billy Wilder and James M. Cain), Ray Thornton (Raymond Thornton Chandler), Burnett (W. R. Burnett) and Senator Hammett (Dashiell Hammett).
Like in the short story by Marcelo Carneiro da Cunha, in which the film is based, the private eye's outlandish name Hermógenes ("er-mo-jee-nees") is never mentioned, appearing only in the ending credits.
HOMAGE TO ACCLAIMED BRAZILIAN MASTERPIECE
The title of the film is used in the whimsical sense of "turned into stuff" as an homage to the acclaimed Brazilian novelist João Guimarães Rosa, who loved to create new words and expressions. The character of the private eye is inspired by the gunman Hermógenes from his masterpiece The Devil To Pay In The Backlands.
The number six is mentioned three times throughout the film. In addition, the clock always points to the same hour at the private eye's office.
Director Gabby Egito examined 3,000 headshots and resumes to cast the actor Steven Bartlett for the private eye's role.
Since Los Angeles, where the film was shot, is one of the most multicultural cities in U.S., the 50 people from cast and crew are from 14 different nationalities: Brazil, U.S., China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, U.K., and Venezuela.
LOCATIONS & PRODUCTION DESIGN
Almost all the interior scenes were shot on the same location, a warehouse in South Central LA (industrial area). Half a dozen walls were built to establish the office rooms.
The elevator and roof scenes were shot in a different building, 15 minutes away from the primary location and we tried to maintain the same design/lighting style for continuity purposes.
All the furniture was rented from Universal Studios, and it filled a 10-ton truck just for props.
Production design highlights: The paintings inspired by Jackson Pollock's work created by the art department, and the Wassily chairs.
The micro camera used by the private eye is a real camera bought in a spy devices store in São Paulo, Brazil.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ramir Delgado
PHOTO CREDIT: Screenshot
PHOTO CREDIT: Ramir Delgado
Steven T. Bartlett
Michael C. Pierce
FILM EDITING BY
Gabriela Egito (screenplay)
Marcelo Carneiro da Cunha (short story "Hermogenes")
Gabriela Egito (executive producer / producer)
Janaina Harada Duarte (co-producer)
John Honoré (associate producer)
Benjamin Nowicki (associate producer)
Robert Ramos Jr.