His older brother needs him to grow up, but Jem just wants to be a kid. As they struggle to survive in a new, predatory ice age, two brothers wrestle with their responsibilities and with each other, and learn what it means to call a place home.
Produced by: Kalie Watch, Brandon Zuck, Daniel Grossman
5 questions with Aftermath director, Jeremy Robbins at the half-way mark.
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
1Hi Jeremy! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that made you want to make this film? I wanted to make a movie about brothers, with my youngest brother Noah in the lead.
Noah and I were both living in New York while I was writing the script. He had just started college, and I was just starting film school, and it was the first time we had lived in the same place since I was in high school almost a decade before -- when Noah was just a kid. Now I was watching him grow up, and he and I were becoming real friends. And I wanted to write a story about an older brother who would do anything to protect his little brother, and a younger brother who is forced to grow up much faster than he wants to.
I chose to set it in a dangerous and lawless apocalyptic world, because I also wanted there to chases through the woods and bad guys with guns and torches. In fact, this film is basically an extension of the childhood Nerf-gun battles I had with my two brothers, fighting it out for the fate of the universe until our parents called us up to dinner.
2The post-apocalyptic genre seems to have gained a lot of popularity in the last ten years. What is it about that genre that attracts you? I think the genre allowed me to explore certain fears I have. Weirdly, the film somehow feels even more relevant today, with a certain person about to take over the White House, than it did when I made it a few years ago. It also allowed me to tell a very simple coming of age story smack in the middle of an adventure, a story about two brothers searching for a home and wrestling with their own responsibilities towards one another, while always trying to survive. The dangerous, new ice age that the brothers find themselves trapped in allowed me to tell that story in the way I wanted. I've always been interested in how powerful the natural world is, and that when it decides to fight back, we will all be powerless to stop it.
3This film looks gritty and cold and it doesn't look like it was an easy shoot. What was the biggest challenge making this film? Yeah, it was insanely cold. We shot the film over the course of two weeks in the winter, up in northern Vermont. We were never in a location with heat or electricity, so every single shot -- even the easiest ones -- were challenging because of the weather. Setting up dolly track in the middle of the woods, keeping enough batteries charged, making sure people had hot meals throughout the day -- these were challenges for sure. But I had the best crew in the world, and they helped make this movie so much better than I ever imagined it would be. I'm grateful to all of them.
4Do you have any plans to expand this story into a feature? Why or why not? I've been working on a feature version of this story for a while now. I love this short, and I'm so proud of it, but it's a lot bleaker than I want the feature to be. I'm continue to explore the brothers' relationship, and setting in the same post-apocalyptic tundra, but I want to find a way to tell a more hopeful story.
5What's next? Since finishing film school three years ago, I've been focused mainly on writing. There are a couple projects I have in development -- features and pilots -- that I won't have any chance of directing. But I am gearing up to write and direct a feature later this summer with a fantastic production company in LA. I'm psyched to finally get back behind the camera again, and after that, I really want to bring the feature version of Aftermath to life.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
The film with the most fans wins $1,000
For 2017 we are moving on from screening feature films and will be showcasing shorts.
For our Winter 2017 Festival, we are giving away $2,000 in prizes to the top three films.
The film with the most fans.
The film with the most views.
Our favorite film.
Share this film
Please share Aftermath with your friends and help this filmmaker win!