A short story about the making of
The Long Silence After


The inception of the Long Silence After to the big screen really began about eight years ago. I was traveling around Europe and I had a collection of short stories from the great hard boiled writers of the twentieth century. Among the likes of Jim Thompson, Raymond Chandler, Dashiel hammet and others, was a story from one of the contemporaries of hard boiled literature.

As a matter of fact, it was the LAST story in this whole book. It was by Ed Gorman who I had never heard of, but from the description of his other work in the prolog, it sounded very intriguing to me. I was especially very impressed with one quote he made about this short story that was featured in this book. He wrote, “ We kill off so many characters in our stories, death begins to lose its meaning and I wanted to create a story where death has a little dominion”. I thought this was a great idea and after I read the actual story, I thought, “ God this would make a great short film.”

Cut to seven years later. I had made a few short films with various degrees of success. But I hadn’t made one in a while and I thought, “it’s time to make a new picture.” Unfortunately, I didn’t really have an idea and I didn’t want to do another comedy since my last couple of shorts were comedic in nature. So I thought it would be nice to try a straight drama. I began looking through my files and I came across a treatment for the Long Silence After, which I must have written sometime in the period between reading the story and that particular moment. I read it and thought that I had a complete script ready to shoot.

I write so much, that this happens all the time; I just find things that I don’t even remember I wrote. But this script had all the elements that interested me at the time: a simple set up for real good conflict, a showcase for two great actors and a film noir feel with a more realistic plotline that you wouldn’t find in conventional film noir. I wanted the look of the genre, not so much the genre itself (which I think is done to death).

So here I go, embarking on a new film but guess what? I couldn’t find an actress that was willing to play this downtrodden-ex-hooker-with aids, who gets to be terrorized for eight minutes. One would think it wouldn’t be that difficult. But it was. I had actresses interested in the role but as soon as they would read the script, THE END! I really wanted an African American for the role because that’s how it is in the story. But so many actress just hated this role. It was too much. After a while, I just gave up all together.

It was at this time that I was asked to direct an episode of a children’s TV show. A friend had already shot the pilot and I was asked to shoot the first actual episode. In the original pilot, I saw this actress that I thought was just fantastic. She played two completely different roles in it and she transformed herself so convincingly, that I was just floored. I asked my friend if she would be interested in reading for the Long Silence After but it turned out that she had moved to LA. So that was that.

So, I finished the episode and after that, I tried to get The Long Silence going again, because there was an actress that was interested. So I made calls, got crew that wanted to do it and all I needed was an actor.
Then, one day I met Duane Sharp. I was on the set of a pharmaceutical video and Duane was the actor. I thought he was great. We even got to talk at lunch and he was just a cool man. So at the end of the day I told him I had this project that he would be perfect for. He seemed to be interested and I told him I would send him the script.

It was only when I returned home, that I heard that my actress up and left for New Zealand, just out of the blue. This of course killed me. Here I was ready to go and suddenly I’m back to square one. I tried finding other actresses again but again, I had no luck at all. So that’s when I gave up. I said forget this project because it will never happen and instead of driving myself Roy-Batty, I would just throw in that towel and pursue something else.

The very next day, I get a phone call. Guess who it is? Remember that actress that I saw in the kids show, that moved to LA? Tiffini Funches. Well, here she was calling me, of all things. And guess why she was calling? T o discuss The Long Silence After, which she heard that I was interested in casting her for. This was like some miracle from God. So I sent her the script and she actually liked it. And she was willing to do it. She even told me she had a friend that would be good for the other role.

So I had an audition with her and her friend. I liked both of them very much and at this point I thought this project might actually get made.
I thought I would enlist my brother Andre who is a DP. I pitched him the idea and I can’t say that he was exactly thrilled. As matter of fact, he didn’t like it at all. His first reservation was that it was based on copy written material by an author I had no connection with at all. I explained to him that I was planning on figuring that part of it out, but I wanted his commitment if I did get permission. He said yes, but only because he thought I would never be able to get the rights.

So I set out to find Ed Gorman and rather quickly, I did. I sent him an email explaining the project and after a few correspondences, he finally agreed. That was it. I was in business. And to Andre’s dismay, he was now my DP.

I decided rehearsals were in order and I invited Tiffini and her friend Aron back for a taped rehearsal. It went very well and we had another one a week later. But this time, Aron was not prepared. I asked them to have it memorized for the second rehearsal and Tiffini did. But Aron did not. I was disappointed because I like to see a certain level of commitment to a project before I embark upon principle photography.

Honestly, I just wasn’t seeing it. And just as I wanted an African American for the female role, I believed a caucasion was essential for the male lead. And Aron was also African American which I thought was an interesting twist to the character that I was willing to go with. But after Arons disappointing second rehearsal, I knew I needed to stick with the original vision. So that’s when I called Duane Sharp. I sent him the script and he was in.

After that, I quickly hustled to get a location, which ended up being the apartment of a friend of mine. This place was just nutty. She collected all this junk over the years, so her place was just filled to the brim with stuff. I thought it was very visually interesting which was important for the location because so much of the movie is dialog. So we were set. I didn’t even bother with rehearsals this time, because I knew Duane would nail it and she had already rehearsed it with me. So I knew she was set and he was definitely on the level. I also thought these two actors never meeting before, might create an interesting tension.

We shot the picture in two days. The first day was principle photography with the both of them and the second day was b-roll of just him. I was leaving for Europe about a week later and I managed to squeeze out a rough cut before I left. Once I got back, tragedy struck. I was suddenly hit by all this personal drama, which I will refrain from going into. However, this did derail the project in a major way. I was depressed and it was so difficult to get in the groove of this movie, even though I had a rough cut. After a few months, things did return to normal and I was able to finally complete the editing.

Now it was time for music. This was also an extremely difficult process because I went to several different composers who I knew, and I just could not get anywhere with any of them. Either I was waiting on a score that never came, or what I got sounded too amateur. Either way this derailed me for quite some time. Then one day, I was listening to a CD my girlfriend was playing, and I heard this one track that I just fell in love with. I thought this track added a whole new dimension to this movie but again, copy written material was an issue. So I decided to do what I did with Ed Gorman. I tried to find the composer of this music online. Lo and behold, I actually did find him and got in touch with him. After some legal details were taken care of, he allowed me to use his material. This was the saving grace of this whole project. I finally had a final cut and this film was done.