In its opening scene, Respect seems like a slice-of-life for any struggling actor. This is the latest short-film, from writer director Aaron Rothermund.
David Allen (played by the understated Daniel Clark) is in his car – frantically running lines for an impending audition. Suddenly he gets the call from his agent (voiced by Liz Ramos) that he is actually quite late.
As David races towards his fate, he learns from Robert, another ambitious actor (played by the hilarious David Christo), that he is going in to audition for the manipulative director Miles Turner (played by newcomer Michael Giuga) – that cut him out of his last film.
Once the news finally hits David he’s crestfallen and tries his best to salvage the situation. Once inside the audition room we see a delicate cat-and-mouse game between the actor and director, which is kept hidden from the top-of-the-line casting director Maureen Pharo (played by the incomparable Sabrina Grdevich.)
As the audition progresses we come to understand that Miles and Robert have cooked up a scheme to further embarrass David. They interrupt the scene, speak over him, and take stabs at his character – all to further ensure that David will be black-listed by the Toronto film and television industry.
Maureen starts to realize something isn’t quite right, and shows compassion toward the anxious actor. This becomes the moment where we see Miles’ claws come out, and he goes for the throat.
David manages to make it through his audition, and gives the performance of his life.
The final minutes mix comedic triumph with a profound sadness that although we survive – the next battle is around the corner.
Through quick-witted dialogue, genuine performances, and artful direction we are exposed to how actors are treated, and how they are seeking only the respect they deserve.
Look out for Respect in the coming months.
Contact the filmmaker at aaronrothermund [at] gmail.com for any inquiries, and also follow the film at:
Director / Writer / Producer
You know how Eminem is the Rap God? Well up North there in Canada, Curt's referred to as Toronto's "Film God." Studying mathematics and physics, his switch to filmmaking has given him a unique eye where he sees how things are traditionally done in the industry and goes "Um.. WTF." With a focus on results, and not just "festivals", Curt has taken cues from the startup world as well as deep psychology to help other independent filmmakers get connected, get funded, and make money with their films.