Presented by Heartland Film, Indy Shorts International Film Festival showcases short films created by storytellers from all over the globe. This July 26-29 marks the first Indy Short’s festival and includes categories such as short film finalists, official selections, Indiana spotlight program and a high school competition. Along with the festival, viewers can attend panels and workshops to learn more about filmmaking and what happens the behind the scenes on set. To learn more about the event and how to purchase tickets, visit Heartland’s info page here.
Name: Ben Redar
Hometown: Valparaiso, Indiana
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m currently 26 years old, but I’ll be 27 in less than a month! Time flies. To make a living I work as a Director/Editor for a little production company called Bayonet Media. We do anywhere from corporate safety videos to full length features. You can probably guess which ones are more fun to work on. So after several months of thinking about my future and what kind of career I would like to pursue, it hit me. Why not make a career out of something I already knew how to do: filming.
I ended up going to Ball State University and it turns out film school is a lot of fun because you meet a lot of great people and have access to some pretty amazing film equipment. When you combine those two things with a “do it yourself” attitude, you end up learning quite a bit! That lead me to creating several fun shorts, a documentary and running my very own film class which made a short film funded completely through Kickstarter! I was also able to be Bayonet’s very first intern and a few years after I graduated they hired me on full time, so here I am!
How did you get started with film?
I’ve been a skateboarder since I was around 10 years old and as silly as it sounds, I think it has shaped who I am today. Skateboarding taught me patience and determination. I guess you could also say it was the beginning of my interest in making movies. Of course the majority of my generation grew up with some type of household video camera to document the big events like birthdays and holidays, but at a young age I knew that our video camera had so much more potential. What started out as terrible homemade music videos eventually turned into polished skateboarding sponsor-me tapes, because nothing’s cooler than being a professional skateboarder right?
What is your favorite thing about creating a film?
Honestly, the simple answer to that is creating. Whether that be writing a well rounded character, building wacky props or decorating a set. The feeling I get from taking an idea from my head and bringing it to life is indescribable. It all stems from my inner child in allowing me to use my imagination, push the limits and be naive because what’s the worst that can happen? Making videos allows me to be a kid and the older I get the more I want to hold on to that feeling. Being a filmmaker is like being a lost boy from Neverland. At least that’s how I look at it!
Tell me about your film “Microwave Time Machine” and where the idea came from.
Bayonet has been making a solid effort at trying to branch out into more original content. This lead to all of us throwing together different ideas for fun projects to create. After everyone pitched their ideas we ended up going with Microwave Time Machine. It started out as a simple concept from our co-worker Dan Edwards. The original idea ended with a sex toy pun which was great! But we all decided we might need to make a few revisions to the concept. Dan asked me to write the script, so I did. The biggest thing he wanted to keep was the fact that the microwave transported objects through space and time. I kept the core of the story to just that and handed it over. Dan looked it over, liked it and said I should be the one to direct it and I said yes. Bayonet gave us a small budget to work with which meant I had to make all the props. I ended up building the time machine and throwing together the 70’s set design. We filmed everything over the course of three days and it was a blast. We got to work with some wonderful actors as well as a cute little rat! It’s not exactly what we went out trying to create, but it’s a fun little short to feast your eyes on.
What does it mean to you that your film is a part of the first Indy Shorts Film Festival?
I think it’s safe to say that we are all very excited to have “Microwave Time Machine” be a part of the first Indy Shorts Film Festival! Creating something for yourself can be very rewarding, but a film is meant to be seen. Often times film makers spend months, even years, creating amazing work that just ends up disappearing in the endless sea of content. Getting into film festivals guarantees your film some eyeballs. It lets you know that all that time and hard work wasn’t for nothing. One of my favorite things in preschool was show-and-tell. Film Festivals are just like that, but on steroids!
What’s in the future for you?
I now work for Bayonet full time and it’s a pretty great gig. My dog gets to go to work with me and I’m directing and getting payed for it. But I haven’t given up on my dream to work in the skateboarding industry. About a year ago I started my very own skateboard shoe company and it’s been going well. It’s a very tedious and expensive process, but I’m working with some amazing people that make it all worthwhile. With my skills in filmmaking and love for skateboarding, the industry should expect to see a radical new shoe company emerge within the next year! Bayonet has also offered me the opportunity to run a couple YouTube series with complete creative control including one where I live in a van. That’s right, I’m gonna live in a van! I mean, how else am I going to afford to pay for this shoe company?