By BRIAN BOHNERT
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The praise keeps coming for local filmmaker Matt Erman as two of his latest projects were recently selected to screen at American film festivals.
“So Many Things” and “Mental State: Revelation,” two short films produced this year by Erman’s Capture1 Studios, were named official selections into festivals in both Wisconsin and southern Ohio.
On Wednesday, “So Many Things,” an apocalyptic, science-fiction thriller, was chosen for the 3rd Annual Lakeside Film Festival in Madison, Wisconsin. The nearly seven-minute-long movie will be one of 12 short films slated to screen on Oct. 29.
“I looked at some of the ones that won in the past and they were really good,” Erman said Thursday. “It would be maybe a long shot to win, but just being selected with the rest of them is exciting enough.”
Set in the year 2029, “So Many Things” stars Bryan-native Kevin Devers as a man who is desperately searching for his missing family during a catastrophic event where large meteorites rain down from the sky onto the Earth’s surface.
This marks the second festival appearance for “So Many Things.” It was one of more than 50 short films to premiere on the big screen Sept. 23 during the 3rd Annual Maumee Film Festival inside the historic Maumee Indoor Theater.
Looking back on his time filming “So Many Things,” Erman said he never thought it would have gotten the positive reaction it has received thus far.
“It was a really easy movie. It was such a simple idea. It wasn’t very hard to do,” he said. “I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. It was more of an excuse to do CGI (Computer Generated Imaging), more than anything.”
Erman spent roughly two months in post-production, digitally creating massive animation sequences of booming explosions and cataclysmic destruction.
Erman’s other film, “Mental State: Revelation,” had its first public screening last Saturday night as part of the Inside the Loop Film Festival in Cincinnati.
The three-day-long festival showcased nearly 30 short- and feature-length films crafted by artists all throughout Ohio.
“One of the people from the festival had sent me a message and said, ‘Just wanted you to know I’m out in the lobby and everyone is talking about your film,'” he said. “… That was pretty thrilling when I got the email that people were talking about it.”
Written by Erman and directed by Fremont-based filmmaker/professional paranormal investigator Chris Page, “Mental State: Revelation” tells the story of a teenage girl named Sarah whose nightmares about strange men torturing her and cooking her into tea becomes a shocking reality.
“Mental State: Revelation” is actually a remake of a short film Erman and Page collaborated on last year. What began as a sequel to the first film quickly morphed into a remake once Erman realized he had all the tools to tell the story how he always thought it should be told.
“What we thought was a fail with the first one was really trying to get the story across,” he said. “We would ask people what it was about and we’d get a lot of different answers.”
The first “Mental State,” directed by Page, was released online May 13, 2016. Page co-wrote the screenplay with Erman and filmed the 10-minute short inside Page’s home. Aspiring teenage actress Lande starred alongside her mother, Tina Hancock.
The two returned for the remake, joining the returning Nathan Page and Todd Mallett, and newcomers Maddie McNeal and Ember Burns.
Erman hired professional stunt coordinator Jacob Lemieux, who came to the shooting locations in Bellevue to help choreograph the film’s fight sequences.
“He came in and kept everybody safe,” he said. “We had pads and we used fake weapons. We were really safe because we didn’t want anybody to get hurt.”
Production on “Mental State: Revelation” began April 10 and finished a little more than three months later on July 30.
“There’s so much of the first one in it, and you don’t have to watch that first one to get anything out of the second one,” said Erman. “You’re going to understand it right from the get-go.”
While he underestimated the appeal of “So Many Things,” Erman said he immediately knew he had something special in “Mental State: Revelation.”
“From the minute I started to write the story, I knew that I had made something that had all the elements of a Hollywood film,” he said. “I knew that if we could just get them across on screen, and do them good enough, we actually had a real movie there.”
To learn more about all of the upcoming projects from Capture1 Studios, head to www.capture1online.com or https://www.facebook.com/Capture1online/.