A Definitive Ranking of My Closest Friends

In a van stuffed to capacity with best friends and supplies, Aaron and Bridget barrel down the highway toward their group's annual camping trip. Trying her best to be happy about Aaron's recent engagement, Bridget thumbs through his wedding binder, full of inspirational photos and sketches. In the very back, she finds something that Aaron hadn't meant to leave there. On a piece of small, folded piece of paper are all of the friends' names: ranked.  Shocked by her placement, Bridget forces Aaron to pull the car over, the rest of the group now turning against him, and each other. The sun starts to set as this six-sided, roadside episode devolves into a mess of accusations and confessions.

  • Lana Dvorak
    Director
  • Jay Stalder
    Writer
    cutoffs (web series)
  • Chris Prynoski
    Producer
    Titmouse Animation
  • Shannon Prynoski
    Producer
    Titmouse Animation
  • Lucas Ferrara
    Producer
  • Jay Stalder
    Key Cast
    "Aaron"
  • Kara Overlien
    Key Cast
    "Bridget"
  • Joshua Smith
    Key Cast
    "Cooper"
  • Kelly Krauter
    Key Cast
    "Drew"
  • Matthew Luyber
    Key Cast
    "Eli"
  • Matt Pasini
    Key Cast
    "Finn"
  • Adam Gundersheimer
    Director of Photography
  • Mackenzie Johnston
    Assistant Director
  • Derek Johnson
    Editor
  • Arpy Sarkissian
    Assistant Camera
  • Tyler Lydell
    Sound
  • David Beck
    Sound
  • Tam Le
    Coloring
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    LGBTQ, Drama
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 16, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.35:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Lana Dvorak

Lana Dvorak (she/they) is a filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist focused on queer stories and the rejection of the Hollywood binary! Dvorak has produced, directed and acted in independent film projects since moving to Los Angeles in 2019. Most recently, she directed a half hour dramedy, A Definitive Ranking of my Closest Friends, which is currently in the festival circuit. Most recently it was selected as a semi-finalist for Dumbo Film Festival 2022. Currently, she is in post-production for a film she acted in and produced, Nova Ovum, a kink and sex positive queer sci-fi. She is heavily shaped by two residencies she undertook in STL, MO: one at Cherokee Yoga where they explored a somatic approach to acting for adult non-actors, and the other at Intersect Arts Center working with teens to write and perform their own work. Dvorak strives to create collaborative, radically cooperative working environments that explore non-hierarchical vehicles for decision-making. Raised in San Antonio, Texas. BFA Acting from Webster Conservatory. Somatic coach and Skills for Change practitioner.

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Director Statement

A Definitive Ranking of My Closest Friends is an exploration of friendship and truth-telling. How often do adults share space and an argument? Never. We don’t do that. We gossip but say that we don’t, we suppress our emotions to maintain peace and order, and we persecute by way of drunk texts and side eye. I love this film because it exposes a reality we all exist in: shit is messy. If it isn’t now, it’s going to get messy, and what will happen then? We can choose to throw it all away, or we can move forward with the broken pieces.

I first came on as script editor and fell in love with the energy that exists between these 6 friends. Jay breathed such life into these dynamic and intimately real humans.

When asked to direct there were a few things that drew me to the project: I have been every single one of these friends (and so have you), and I’ve done the marriage thing. In my experience, it is wildly complex to plan an event that has everything to do with you and your partner, but somehow revolves around every other person in the room. And whether your friend Number One or Five, the dynamics of a tight knit group are always challenging.

Whether we want to admit or not, we are constantly ranking each other; five stars, a double tap, or a seat at table Number 1. What happens when our invisible rankings are made visible?