You have my word that this will be the last time I write about the short film I made last year with Trevor Stewart entitled, No Runners. I know, I know. I’ve written rather extensively about this project and, in my defense, it’s because it’s maybe one of two or three pieces of work I have ever done that I am genuinely proud of. Now that I’ve appeased my therapist by saying something positive about myself, I can spend the rest of this article making self-deprecating jokes… Kidding! Kind of. Not really. Maybe. I dunno. Let’s see what happens. Here we go!
I had two goals when making No Runners. They are as follows:
- Push myself creatively (on all levels) to show I can DP narrative work and make every frame have a purpose and meaning. Do not shoot anything purely based on the fact that it “looks cool.” Only shoot to serve the story.
- Submit to film festivals and see if it can get accepted in at least one of them.
Well, almost exactly one year later I can reflect on this project and say that I accomplished both of those goals. No Runners has been submitted to 10 film festivals where it has so far been accepted into seven and currently awaiting status to see if we are accepted into a film festival overseas. If so, that’ll be number eight. Along the road, the film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Short Film at the 2020 Indie Short Fest Awards, which was an unbelievable honor. And, here is where it gets a bit more exciting…
No Runners won The Award of Merit for its artistic and technical approach at the 2020 IndieFEST Film Awards in La Jolla, CA, which about had me fall over when I got word. And, as of yesterday, our little film won it’s second award! This time, No Runners won for Best Experimental Short Film at the 2021 Hollywood International Golden Age Festival in New York, NY! It’s pretty wild considering I looked at it as a win if the film was even accepted into a single festival, let alone seven and winning awards.
My entire objective for the film, as mentioned above, was really that simple. Prior to production of this film, I had a lot going on in my life that really made me question whether or not I was supped to be pointing a camera at all. Everybody was caught off guard by COVID-19, but my 2020 started off as a dumpster fire on January 1. And, by the time the world shut down, all I could do was laugh because I had already been enduring one of the most difficult times in my life, so, hey! What’s a global pandemic compared to what I was already going through?
No Runners is a very personal film for myself and, in a lot of ways, it’s me throwing up my middle finger to a lot of people who have blatantly told me to my face that I will never amount to anything and I am not good at what I do, and it was/is a middle finger to certain things and places within our own industry that have never once made me feel welcomed to be within this sport or hold the creative train of thought that I do (thank goodness for my vurbmoto family and other wonderful clients that I have). However, at its core, it is an abstract film about mental health and one’s struggle to find comfort in being unapologetically true to themselves despite being mocked. As I framed it to Trevor on day one, “People see you with your Honda ride and number one plate and assume you have it all. But, the reality is, they know shit about you. Just because they see you this one way doesn’t mean shit is perfect, because it’s not.”
So, I am proud of this film. I accomplished so much with exactly no money, a few friends that believed in the message and process, and a website (vurbmoto) that had the balls to run something this abstract. And, now? Our film is officially an award-winning film fueled by passion, desire, determination to do precisely what we wanted, how we wanted, and McDonald’s Frappe’s and In N Out Burger (not a lie).
Oh, and, Trevor and I are already talking about the next project that I have been slowly writing for us, not to mention a whole other passion project in this vein with another high level athlete. My goal for those? The same as No Runners — push my creative boundaries on every single level of production and post-production, submit to film festivals, and keep growing as an individual and artist.
Oh, and vurbmoto.com will be your host for these films. Because, you know… they support without being afraid of what others may think or feel.
On that note, we won a freaking award and I am got dayum proud and stoked about this! So, let’s celebrate with a drink… or 12, okay?!