Carson City film directors hit the big time
Scott Young and Aaron Franke are both filmmakers in Carson City, and staple members of western Nevada’s impressive film production community. They’re capitalizing on their hobby and passion by turning it into up and coming content for Amazon Prime and Amazon Video Direct.
While Young has been in film production for some time, Franke is relatively new to the scene. In 2014, he produced his first film for the City Wide short film competition, which runs out of the Brewery Arts Center. Young was judging the competition, and Franke won with his piece “Clones,” staring Franke playing five clones of himself. He was just 17 years old at the time. Young was impressed, and asked to work together.
“I said, we’ve got to work together. It worked out perfect, because he loves horror movies, he loves science fiction. I love horror films, I love science fiction. And that was the year that Wired Wednesday announced they were doing Carson Creepy for the first time,” said Young.
They both ended up producing two films, utilizing each other’s strengths. Young took best picture from the judges for his film, and Franke took audience choice. Their collaborative partnership blossomed from there.
Flash forward a couple years later. Young had signed up for a 72-hour Horror Film Race a couple months before, and had subsequently forgot about it.
“I immediately texted Aaron, and I said Aaron, I forgot that I had signed up for this. I said it starts tomorrow night, right after you get off work. I said, are we really crazy enough to try and do a film in 72 hours? I didn’t even need to ask the question, I should have just said Aaron be here at 7, because his response was a big giant YES!” said Young.
After that, they wrangled a full crew and immediately began working. Young and Franke co-directed, wrote, and produced the project. The competition provided a prompt: the theme was to be a terrible mistake, the action was a door opening, and the prop was a shadow. Within five minutes, they had a whole idea planned out. They adjourned to Denny’s, and made plans for the location and actors, and set out all the plot points until 2 a.m. They titled the suspenseful horror film, “I Just Wanted to See Mom Again.” Then began production the next day.
“It was my job to write the first draft of the script, and then run around town trying to find all the props we needed,” said Young.
They shot the short film in just a bit over four hours, non stop. After another 12 hours of editing, they watched the piece five to six times to fine tune the details. They finally finished and turned in the project with just minutes to spare.
“When the upload finished, and it popped up on the screen ‘Upload Complete,’ we only had four minutes left on the clock,” said Young. “And then we sat back in our chairs, and high-fived each other, and cracked a beer open and relaxed.”
For the first round of judging for the film race, the judges pick out the top 15 finalists. The second round of judging isn’t announced until May 16, when they hold screenings and an award ceremony in Marietta, Ga. What Young and Franke didn’t know is the man in charge of the competition has a standing deal with Amazon Direct and Amazon Prime for guaranteed distribution.
“We were floored. We now have a movie that we made and it has distribution, which is huge for us,” said Young. “This is what we’ve worked for all this time, for not just our family and friends seeing our movies, but for everyone to be able to see them. It’s opened a huge door for us.”
Young and Franke are currently working on some other film projects, including a pilot for a television series called Trips. Young describes it as a bizarre 21st century remake of the Brady Bunch involving, among other things, triplets.
The two are hoping to attend the film festival and awards in Georgia this May, to see their film showcased, and hopefully bring home some of the top awards. This would be Franke’s first film festival. They’ve set up a GoFundMe campaign to defray the costs of such a trip, and are hoping people will help. To donate, visit their campaign at: https://www.gofundme.com/Help-Send-Us-to-Georgia-on-May-16th.