Spotlight Detail

Recent FMS alumnus, Anthony Kalmeta (class of 2020) has completed his first short film, Overcast.

Having won several awards, mainly the Remi Award for Best Long Short Film at WorldFest Houston, a platinum award at Independent Short Film Awards for Best Child Actor, and an honorable mention for Best Indie Film, Overcast is catching a lot of attention for its cinematography, performances, and directing.

With a crew composed almost entirely of Film and Media students and alumni, it’s no surprise the film is so successful! Overcast tells the story of a 13-year old boy, Eric. When his mother fails to pick him up from school, Eric’s father reassures him nothing is wrong. But on their drive home, Eric spots his mother’s abandoned car parked alongside the street, prompting him to investigate. What follows is an exploration into deceit and paranoia that will forever change his life.

1) What is your inspiration behind the film? What drew you to this story?
Usually, filmmakers draw from their own personal experience when making their first film, and during the writing process, I found that I incorporated a lot of elements from my own childhood. But what actually drew me to the story was the idea of parental manipulation and how children are coerced to side with one parent over the other, inadvertently shaping memory and their worldview. I haven't seen this idea expressed in film before, so it created a unique challenge to tackle in a limited amount of time, even considering the extended 25-minute runtime.

2) How has your time as a Film and Media Studies Major prepared you for this project?
I would say that the Film & Media Studies curriculum helped provide a diverse and well-rounded selection of films to analyze and dissect, giving me a theoretical understanding of the formal elements involved in storytelling. In terms of the production-related aspects, I worked professionally as an editor in post-houses and assisted on various film/TV sets. Also, with the added help of the UCI filmmaking community, who are mostly self-taught, we felt very prepared going into this project.

3) Tell us about your experience working with a crew almost fully composed of FMS studies and Alumni.
One of the best aspects of working with a crew almost entirely composed of UCI students/alumni is that sense of community and common ground. Everyone was incredibly professional and able to adapt to our long shoot schedule, creating a sense of comfort on set. This is important when shooting a long short film, as it really helps to be surrounded by people that share the same passion and who are able to push a project through to the end.

4) What was the most challenging part of the project?
The most challenging aspect of making the film was finding the three principle actors, as the age requirement for the roles excluded many UCI students. Overall it took around several months, with Connor Falk (14 years-old) requiring a lot of phone calls to casting agencies, as not many child actors can match his range of emotional maturity. Another big challenge was adapting the script to our production limitations. Because while a scene/visual works on paper or on a storyboard, it doesn’t always translate perfectly into the final product. We had to learn to step back from the original concept and think of how we could tailor the narrative to our location while still preserving the story’s effectiveness.

5) What did you take away from your experience?
What I took away from this project is that it is not just one person that creates a film, it's a collective effort where everyone contributes to making the final product what it is. Because at the end of the day, it is through the determination of my actors, director of photography Isaiah Walk, my producers, as well as the UCI filmmaking community, that really transformed the film into what it is.
For more information on Overcast, please visit the links below.