Indy Shorts Feature Highlight: Ashton Gleckman

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: Ashton Gleckman
Hometown: Carmel, IN
Instagram: @ashton_gleckman

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m a composer and filmmaker from Indianapolis, Indiana. I started playing guitar when I was seven years old, and then started my first band “The Rising Gravity Experience” when I was 11 years old. By this time, I was playing drums and keyboards as well. We recorded our first CD when I was 13 at the Dark Horse Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. When I was 14 while watching the film “The Imitation Game.” I became aware of film music and it seemingly changed my life for the long run. I saw how impactful music was to the movie-going

experience, and the depth to how music can affect a narrative and add another dimension to the story. At that point I started studying classical music, orchestration, harmony and the craft of film scoring, along with all the technical stuff that goes along with it. I scored my first film, “Once Upon a Family,” a Holocaust film directed by a filmmaker in New York when I was 15 years old. That was a pretty amazing experience! Apart from scoring for film, I also write and direct, create YouTube videos analyzing popular film scores, and I also co-founded the international group “Global Composers Network.”

How did you get started with film?
When I was 15, I started to get into filmmaking as well. The complexity of making films is super fun: the script, working with actors, cinematographers, the editing, scoring etc. Films have always been something I adored, but making films is something that at that time was new and fresh to me.

What’s your favorite thing about creating a film?
It’s all about telling a story. Whether it be through music, or through visuals. I love the process, and it’s like a sports team — you’re always working with other talented people and it’s super interesting bouncing ideas off each other and working hard to create one product. It’s exciting every time I do it.

Tell me about your film “The Soldier” that was submitted to Indy Shorts?
It’s all about a boy who meets a mysterious uniformed soldier at a cemetery, an encounter which changes his life forever. We wanted to make it short, around 10 minutes, straight to the point and not wasting anytime. It’s a very simple story, but a story that I’ve been wanting to tell.

Where did the inspiration for your film come from?
“The Soldier” is a film that started when I saw the movie “Saving Private Ryan” a while back. It’s something I’ve been wanting to make for a very long time, and at the beginning of the year I finally got around to writing the script with my co-writer Samantha Maynard. After that I brought on my producing partner Trey Brown, and then a new collaborator Joe Sailer, who shot the film. It definitely stemmed from my support and appreciation of those who have, are and will serve this country. It’s something we don’t think about a lot, and the sole goal of this film is to remind people of the sacrifice each and every one of the military men and women make to protect our country.

What does it mean to you that your film is a part of the first Indy Shorts Film Festival?
Well, im super grateful! I’ve always had so much respect and admiration for Heartland and what they do for film, and being recognized as part of their new shorts festival is beyond exciting, and humbling. I can’t wait to see what people think!

What’s in the future for you?
We’ll see where the wind blows, but one thing is for sure, music and film are what I love, and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. Telling stories and moving people through music are things I could literally never give up, and I don’t see myself doing anything besides that.

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