Private Project

5 Stars

The film follows Tom, an average service driver who struggles to make ends meet. He has found himself in over his head and involved in a sex trafficking job that he wants no part in. With no clear way out, Tom faces his hardest decision, one that could cost him his life but end up saving his family.

  • Vernard James
  • Vernard James
  • Joseph Sheehan
  • Maggie Durkin
  • Ethan Arner
    Key Cast
  • William Alexander
    Key Cast
  • Allie Vasquez
    Key Cast
  • Sarah Mott
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 2, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    3,625 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Vernard James

Vernard James has written and directed several short films such as Gordon & Gordon Bottlecap Company and The Hate Support Group, both of which are on the festival circuit. His previous works have been satirical comedies but he wants to take his knowledge of character and world building and apply it to a dark and gritty thriller.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I’ve always loved a good internal conflict in film. Especially one that directly challenges an individual’s morality. How far would a normal person be willing to go in order to ensure their own safety and security? At what point has an individual gone too far that they cannot be redeemed? These are just some of the questions that inspired me to create 5 Stars. It all started with Tom whom I wanted to seem as average and unassuming as possible. From there everything else started to flourish. I became obsessed with this internal conflict and it drove me into a writing frenzy. I really had a desire to tell a visceral story that dealt with redemption, and violence. These things really remained at the core of this piece despite all the other changes that it endured. Films like Taxi Driver and Drive were huge sources of inspiration for the story. Each one tackles violence in a normal setting and portraying incredibly human anti heroes who both search for identity in the wrong places, but then look to right their wrongs within those same places. This is something that I believe I was able to achieve in 5 Stars. I wanted to portray a man confined within the walls of his own mind, struggling each second of the way to figure out who he is.