Tisch senior talks location scouting for short film


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Tisch senior Evan Kelman’s directed “Bandito” which just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

By Stephanie Yan Cheng, Contributing Writer

Tisch senior Evan Ari Kelman’s short film and senior thesis “Bandito” recently premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Kelman was incredibly excited to find out that “Bandito,” which involved immensely strong NYU collaborations and meticulous location scouting, would premiere at the festival.

“I’ll never forget that moment when I got the call inviting the film to premiere at the festival,” Kelman said. “For several months, every time I’d get a call from an unknown number, my heart would skip a beat. Several telemarketers were undoubtedly confused why their call was being answered so cheerfully. And when that phone call did arrive, I was more elated than I think I’ve ever been. I feel blessed, lucky, and most of all, grateful.”

Strong behind-the-scenes NYU collaborations helped make the short film possible. Tisch alumnus Sebastian Savino and current Tisch senior Parker Hill both helped put “Bandito” together, with the former as a co-producer and the latter as a co-producer and  an editor.

Kelman funded “Bandito” by using money he saved up and organizing a Kickstarter. The project eventually raised $9,000, which was $1,000 over his original goal. Because Kelman, Hill, and Savino spent several weeks location scouting, pre-production for “Bandito” took several weeks. Ultimately, the three settled on Lake Ariel in Pennsylvania.

“It was close and gave us that middle-of-nowhere feel that felt cinematic to us,” Savino said.

One of the main sites the crew had to secure was a road for a robbery to take place.

“The entire movie kind of hinged on this climax scene, and there was no other way of doing it other than securing the road,” Savino said.

By using Google Street View, Kelman was able to find a road near their set location.

“I wanted a road that had no sides to it — I wanted it to seem very desolate and like the characters had no other options,” Kelman said. 

Because it was a state road, however, the crew had to contact the local government, police and fire department to convince them to let the crew use it for the film. In the end, Kelman was able to secure the road under one condition: they had to let a milk truck pass by every night at 3:00 a.m.

“Part of the contract to the permit that we got was that since there was a local farm on one side of the road and we were shutting down the traffic, we promised that during the three nights we were shooting, we would allow the milk truck to come through, fill up for milk and leave,” Hill said. “So, that was when we broke for lunch in the middle of the night.”

“Bandito” will continue screening at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23 and April 25.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 22 print edition. Email Stephanie Yan Cheng at [email protected].