It was during the fall off 2020, still within the mask-wearing days of COVID-19, when friends Jereme Guidas, a professional photographer from Pittsburgh, and Russell Thomas, a TV producer in Tampa, put out a local, Tampa-based casting call for a proof-of-concept short film.
The pair, both with extensive background in video, film production and screenplay writing, wanted to see if they could put together a film, following distancing guidelines and using their vast experience in the industry to do it on a deadline for the Film Riot Make Film Challenge.
Currently, the movie has been accepted into the Barry Gaines GAINESCON Festival; the action, sci-fi and horror festival; and the Art is Alive Film Festival, and they are awaiting word on the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival.
The casting call found the actors for the short film Projection, a supernatural thriller short film. This is a passion project/proof of concept for a longer format production, according to Thomas.
“Things really fell together for us on this one,” explained Guidas. “Watching the completed short, it hasn’t varied too much from the concept. That in itself is a win. We were so lucky to have the support and time of all of the Tampa cast and crew.”
The film storyline follows Martin, an inmate, who has a vision about a teen, Aidan, who is in mortal danger from his abusive stepfather, Paul. Unable to physically intervene, Martin solicits an acquaintance from his past, Jade, to save Aidan as Paul nearly kills him.
The film was shot around the Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg and Riverview areas over two days in October.
An important part of the film, where Jade takes the call from Martin in jail, was filmed locally at Oops A Daisy florist in Riverview. Owners Laura and Roger Nation were happy to open their doors to a local movie production and were proud to be a part of the filming.
Osprey Observer Managing Editor Marie Gilmore also jumped in to help with public relations and location scouting.
“This was a fun film to get involved with and the cast and crew were professional, and I can’t wait to see how we do at film festivals,” she said.