short film

This film comes from Nerdopotamus regular Jovanni Ibarra, who wrote and co-directed (along with Robert Vicente). “Redemption” is about a man you would classify as a hoarder (as played by Mark Morchel). He has lost his wife, and his two children. Follow his struggle to reconnect with his kids as well as trying to come to terms with his own demons.

Before we get into the film, we’re going to give Jovanni space to share some words about his work:

This film was my undergraduate thesis film. It originated in a class unrelated to the one I made it in, however. My professor tasked us with coming up with a way to visually represent and show an addiction. In an effort to do something different – and stay away from the usual drugs and alcohol – I dove headfirst into the various types of addictions, and that is when I came across hoarding.

I read up on it and then started to watch the various shows about hoarding that were on television at the time and that’s when this idea was born. I completed the assignment as required and then just expanded and developed the idea for my thesis film, and this is the finished product. The aspect of this film I am most proud of is the sound design.

I had finished cutting the film and deliberately did not want any music or soundtrack because I wanted it to have a sort of documentary type feel, but felt like something was sorely missing. I took a break from editing the film once I hammered out a near-final cut. During that time, I saw David Lynch’s ‘Eraserhead.’ 

It wasn’t until after I saw that film that it clicked for me: why not make the soundtrack/soundscape the various sounds of the main character’s home? His home, and his belongings for that matter, have become his metaphorical prison, so why wouldn’t the various sounds around his home provide his soundscape?

So I went around and recorded the various appliance in the space, as well as compiling some foley sound bites, and went to work putting together the sound design – and the rest is history! Ironically, it was through this film that I really started to develop a love for sound design and the effect that it could have on a film and its overall vision. I strongly believe that without the sound design, this film wouldn’t have worked or have had the impact that it has all these years later.

I’m proud of this film not only because of the finished product, but because that after all of these years – the film is now 5 years old – people are still discovering it and affected by it. Even people who worked on it with me or have stumbled upon it through my reel or what not have this visceral reaction to it and it has become one of my most popular pieces of work.

I’m very proud of that and I hope you enjoy it too!