Low is a fantastic, edgy film by director Daniel Bogran which creatively tells a story of a man who has his back against the wall. We had the opportunity to catch up with Daniel and ask him questions such as what inspired him to tell this story, how long it took for him to write the script, why he decided to pick Low as the title of the film and how he felt about his film screening at LA Shorts International Film Festival.
Thank you, Daniel, for taking the time to do this interview with us. How are you doing?
No problem, thank you for having me. I’m doing really well.
What inspired you to tell this brilliant story?
I was largely inspired by the challenge of trying to tell a complete story within a short amount of time. Not just a situation but a story – something that was constantly unfolding until the very last frame. In addition to that, I was influenced by everything from Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘Breaking Bad’, Kanye West’s Yeezus, and lots of great films and filmmakers.
Why did you decide to pick ‘Low’ as this short film’s title?
There are a few reasons. Primarily, it’s a mood, a feeling. There’s also the way people use ‘low’ to connote something that’s bad or shameful, like, ‘that was low’, which I think is fitting.
How long did it take for you to write the script?
I wrote the script in about a month but that’s kind of misleading because it underwent an extensive post-production process during which the entire film was basically re-written. And that took several months.
Tell us about the cast.
I got super lucky with my cast. They’re all very talented actors. Instead of putting up a casting call, I searched for weeks online, looking at headshots and reels and ultimately came up with a list of actors I wanted to see audition. We then met in person and went on from there. Apparently, this is kind of an unusual way to cast but this was my first short film and I didn’t really know any better. It just seemed like the most logical thing to do.
Vincent Cusimano is absolutely brilliant as Jef. What was it about him that made you decide that he was perfect for this role?
There were a lot of things I really loved about him, but one thing that stood out maybe more than anything else to me was how expressive his eyes were. I ended up taking out a lot of dialogue during the cutting of the film so that became even more crucial.
Were there any challenges you faced whilst making this short? If so, what were they?
Yeah, there were several. The big one that comes to mind is that I was the main producer on this project and I’ll likely never do that again. It was just way too much paperwork to fill out – all while trying to make a good film.
I know that your film screened at LA Shorts. How did it go and how did the audience react to your film?
It was great. I loved hearing people’s reactions. They got all the beats and I felt like they were entertained and into what I’d done.
If you could have a dream cast for one of your projects, who would the cast be?
Oh, that’s really hard. I’d love for Daniel Day-Lewis to come out of retirement. He could join Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Gosling… I really love Margot Robbie and Timothée Chalamet. Donald Glover is great, too… honestly, this is too hard.
What are your upcoming projects?
I just finished my first feature film script. It’s a dark coming-of-age mystery thriller. Beyond that, I’m going to start writing my second feature really soon. I think that one will be something light and romantic.
Where can readers go to find out more about your work?
The twitter handle for ‘Low’ is @lowshortfilm. You can also check out the Facebook page @lowtheshort.
Describe Low in one word.
Well, I hope I did that with the title. I’d come up with another one but ‘Low’ took a long time and I don’t want to put anyone else through that so let’s just go with that.