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Call Back and the Follower Short Films
Side Films is a clever name (or not so clever) for the movie work done by Rani Naamani & Carlos Puertolas. Both Rani and Carlos met while working at Dreamworks. Carlos came to the U.S. from Spain about 8 years ago, and Rani came from Lebanon about 9 years ago. They both discovered they love the idea of developing ideas quickly (comparatively to the eternity it takes to roll out an idea in an animated film anyway.)

I have attempted to contact them numerous times over the last year or so after first seeing Call Back. And then again after seeing The Following… but nothing. I really think these guys are full tilt up to their ears in aligators at Dreamworks and also on their side work. Which, heck, I don’t blame them. I’d rather they make new stuff than talk to the likes of me! hahah. So I’ve picked up bits and pieces of cast off detritus from around the interwebs to give you a general idea of what these guys are up to.

But first, let’s take a look at The Follower. A fun little idea and experiment to test out new equipment. This is a very clever little piece that makes me wonder how the physical moves took place… how the choreography and the cuts happened. Here, just watch it, because its awesome.

See?! Awesome. Very well thought through. And finding a location to support the idea I would think would be infinitely difficult. Anyway I loved it. But it gets better, because Call Back is a full fledged idea that I think really needs to happen as a full length movie. It is really phenomenally thought out from beginning to end.

“‘We all do things we regret, things we want to erase, forget, change. What if you are offer a dose of hope?’

Call Back is a thriller with a touch of sci-fi. We created the short in our spare time with almost no budget. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it! Our intention is to develop it into a feature length film.”

It’s all about a drug that allows you to time travel – only glitch? The drug is only in early trials at this point. hahaha. Check it out, its awesome. Adore this movie. Think it was definitely one of the best short films of the year last year.

When asked about where the idea for Call Back came from Rani & Carlos were pretty clear:

“The concept for the film comes from exploring the idea of addiction and regret, and how connected these two sometimes are. It’s a fantasy that we all have at some point or another, What if you could erase something that you have always regretted? And how far will you go to achieve this?

And more importantly… what are Carlos and Rani’s perspectives on Call Back eventually becoming a feature film?

“Indeed, we have some ideas of what happens next, but we don’t want to ruin it for all of you just yet! We are working hard on figuring out which route this story should take. Our plan is to extend the short into a feature length film. We are still in the beginning stages. It’s just a matter of finding out which storyline provides the most entertainment and originality. It’s easy to dwell on the logistics and mechanics of your sci-fi world. You can figure out the logic of how everything works, connect every plot line, clarify each character’s motivation and STILL have a boring film. So our priority at the moment is to find a compelling story, not just a functional one that explains all the questions we’ve raised in a mundane way.”

Totally makes sense right? George Lucas fell into this trap with the Star Wars movies 1, 2 and 3. It functionally worked to tell the story and pull it all together. But it wasn’t really compelling at all. So I think the guys are definitely on the right track. Can’t wait to see what they do next. Pretty excited about this. Such a cool little film.

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