Private Project

The Afterglow

A sudden and brutal epidemic has left humanity on the verge of extinction. An incurable virus leaves its victims halfway between living and dead. The remaining humans live a primitive and threadbare existence, adapting to a world that has seemingly moved on without humankind...
Gavin has adjusted to this landscape, learning to survive in the wilderness with a kill-or-be-killed mentality. He has reunited with his sister, an intelligent but naïve girl still shaken by the recent death of her mother.
One day, Gavin and Emily discover what seem to be remains from another camp of humans. Together, they work to track the other survivors further into the wild. Gavin pushes to teach Emily how to fend for herself. Emily struggles to preserve a sense of humanity, one that slowly drains as they move further down their path.

  • Alec Baer
  • Alec Baer
  • Alec Baer
    The Hunted, Diane
  • Chris Jones
    Trash, Manufactured
  • Elsie Dortelus
  • Terence Johnson
  • Frank Cohen
  • Madeleine Coghlan
    Key Cast
  • John Grohl
    Key Cast
  • Megan Stacey
    Director of Photography
  • Julian Javor
  • Vincent Damyanovich
    Makeup & Effects
  • Stefan Richter
    Sound Supervisor
  • Natalie Cueva
    Art Direction
  • Karen Schlitt
    Assistant Director
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Horror
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 13, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Red, Anamorphic
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Alec Baer

Alec Baer is a young Southern California writer, director, and editor. Fascinated with movies from a young age, Alec pursued his ambitions when he attended San Francisco State University, followed by attaining a Master of Fine Arts degree from the distinguished Loyola Marymount University, School of Film and Television. He has directed a number of shorts, commercials, and sports news packages. These include short films The Hunted and Diane, which have played in festivals internationally and taken numerous awards.

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Director Statement

When brainstorming the concept for The Afterglow, I wanted to make a film that was a throwback to the horror films I grew up with and loved. This was not as much about a particular plot (zombies, werewolves, vampires) as it was about a particular style and pace. Films like Don’t Look Back, The Night of the Hunter, and Rosemary’s Baby were scary in very different ways than most horror films today. There was a haunting beauty, an almost lyrical quality, to many of the compositions. They took their time in letting tension build, and always remembered to keep their characters front and center.
We wanted to create a world unique from what is expected: A post-apocalyptic earth which was often tranquil, full of beautiful scenery and views. This may be the end of human reign, but nature goes on as always. When the violence comes, it hits in quick bursts before receding again into the peaceful background.
But the most important element of any story is always the characters. We wanted to develop the relationship between Emily and Gavin, giving them the room and space to talk about their history, their fears, and their views of the world around them. Maddy and John did a beautiful job bringing this relationship to life, showing sides of their strength as well as vulnerability.