Door County Short Film Fest Features Film with All-Local Cast
By Owen Alabado, Director
Making “Two Truths and a Lie” was an amazing and challenging experience. I had taken what I learned in the film world for seventeen years and brought this short film to life. Most of my experience was in front of the camera, but once I caught the bug of filmmaking around ten years ago, I couldn’t stop. Most of my stuff I filmed in Los Angeles was comedy. So this film was not what I was use to shooting. This film is a psychological thriller, and I was very excited to start filming once I finished the script and got the ball rolling for filming. I decided to call my production company Door Point Productions. Door for Door County and Point for Stevens Point. That is where I met Mike Holmes in college, which would eventually lead me to live here 20 years later.
What inspired the script was the idea of a group of friends getting an Air BnB and there being some betrayal revealed while playing the game, two truths and a lie, and of course the beauty of Door County as a background. I quickly found there were many talented actors up here. I held auditions at the Filling Station at Husbys. Though there weren’t a ton of people who auditioned we had some awesome people come in. Zephyr Ciesar, Brandon Bogenschutz, and Logan Thomas all had experience in theater. Sam Radosevich, Alex Janisse, and Justina Zukauskaite were coming in very green. And they all did very well. I was quite impressed with their auditions, especially the newbies.
I was looking for a place to film, and asked my friend Matt Shumway if we could film in his house in Sand Bay. He was very excited about the idea. He, along with Hannah Brandt, were basically the bare bones crew. Some of the actors also helped with filming. I was used to a crew on my films, but for this one I had to be in many different shoes. I was the writer, director, cinematographer, and also had to do some acting coaching as well. I was also in charge of lighting and sound. So yes it was a lot, but it was a challenge I learned a lot from.
There is so much that goes into making sure the sound is crisp and the lighting matches from coverage to coverage and scene to scene. There were a lot of mistakes made here and there with sound and lighting, but that is how you learn in filmmaking. A lot of trial and error.
The actors did an amazing job with bringing the story to life. They had some big hurdles to overcome. There were people being drugged, tied up, emotions flying all around, and I couldn’t have been more proud of how they handled the material.
This community is amazing and supportive. Jeff Lutsey volunteered to use his drone to do the beginning shot. Matt Shumway let us take over his house and stayed to help. Jessica Niedzwiecki did Sam’s make up for her face wound. Hannah Brandt was there to keep me sane. Mackenzie Schneider was the composer of the film and she did one of heck of the job. I was truly blessed with amazing friends to be the crew of this film. And all the actors are all still very close friends.
I can’t wait for more people to see this film. It was shot on a very old Canon Camera. But I felt it turned out pretty awesome. I hope to continue to do films up here. Door County is a wonderful place to make film. I’m very much looking forward to my next project. Let’s keep making movie magic!