Private Project


A retired saxophone musician takes one last shot at success after many years off the stage.

  • George Monard
  • Maxwell Rackley
  • Jack Ganley
  • Charles Jackson
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 25, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    1,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - George Monard

Born and raised in New York, George Monard is a writer/director who graduated from Emerson College in 2017.

He currently lives in Brighton, MA.

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Director Statement

In my mind, one of the most important aspects of any film is the integration of it’s characters and setting. When beginning a project, it is important for me to consider how these elements relate to one another. In Downbeat, while I did not have experience as a musician, I saw how Boston’s student makeup could provide an interesting contrast to a time weary soul like Marcel Paris. This clashing of young and old became an important motif. From his next door neighbors to musical competitors, Marcel is continually surrounded by those younger than him. The feeling of time passing one by is Marcel’s inner struggle throughout the short film. As once a student in Boston, the film now holds a strong nostalgic value for me.

In the post-production of the film, the editor and I began to experiment with the structure of our story. We found that bookending the film with Marcel and Eliza’s late night conversation created a framework which we hope avoids a flaw often found in short films. This is the attempt to fit a 3-act structure, usually reserved for feature films, into a short 10-15 runtime. In this new structure we were able to remove unnecessary exposition and focus more on the mindset our protagonist. As Marcel and Eliza talk the night away, her words invoke the correlating images and sound of our story. We found this method to be unique and engaging and we hope the audience will feel the same.

While Downbeat is a film rooted in Jazz, I hope the emotions and themes of the movie can be extended to whatever work any one of us finds passion in. It has been a pleasure to have worked on this film for the past year and to finally share it with an audience.

Enjoy the picture,
George Monard