Bad Beat

Charlie is set. He’s got his own place now and his brother has left him in charge. But a phone call and a briefcase threaten to upend everything he’s worked for, sending him hurtling on a collision course with fate. When old wounds come knocking at the door, do you let them in?

  • David Ambrose
  • David Ambrose
  • Nicholas Sisti
    Assistant Director
  • Nick Sancenito
    Camera Operator
  • Jacob Evanina
    Camera Operator
  • Sean Lee
  • Sabrina Hajsok
  • Sean Lee
  • Cheyenne Santiago
    Production Assistant
  • Nathan Raia
    Key Cast
    "Charlie "
  • Vinny Giovanniello
    Key Cast
    "Johnny "
  • Dominick Cost
    Key Cast
    "Nicky "
  • Michael Mazzone
    Key Cast
    "Man #1"
  • Roddy Williams
    Key Cast
    "Man #2"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Crime, Suspense
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 27, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    1,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K - Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - David Ambrose

David Ambrose was born December 1998 in New Jersey, USA. David began an interest in filmmaking at an early age and has been hooked ever since. During his elementary years, David made stop motion shorts with his parents phone using the power of the pause button. In high school and college, David began to work on his directing and writing. While David did not attend traditional film school or was a film major, that never stopped him from creating his own work. During his first semester of college in 2017, David directed a short silent film "The Unknown Stranger". While having no budget, David made this short film with one other person, a tripod, and his phone. David's efforts were rewarded as his film became officially selected at the Project FX Student film festival. After this Student festival experience, David kept working to elevate his work. At 22 years old, David was motivated to write and direct his first narrative short film outside of school. David used the world around him and held production before his last semester of college. David's dream is to direct an experimental feature film using harsh shadows and is currently building his body of work as a director.

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Director Statement

I was inspired by the French New Wave as well as the 90s Independent Film boom to create Bad Beat. The French New Wave consisted of auteurs (Godard and Truffaut) who went out in broad daylight and directed whatever they needed to make their films come alive, using the sun as their Key Light. These films felt raw and real, making their work more intimate and easier to connect with. In 90s films such as Pi and Following, both Nolan and Aronofsky used natural sunlight to make their projects come to life. They both created films that thrived off this black and white, expressionistic look.

I felt that if they could take 16mm film cameras and shoot in black and white film with natural lighting to create such captivating work, then it’s possible I could do the same with digital cameras and the world around me. I used natural lighting and (primarily) one apartment room as the main location. The goal was to create a film that revolves around this "gritty" environment. The shaky camera, the black and white coloring, as well as the harsh shadows would thrive and make sense in this world I am creating. The storyline, cinematography, and directing all go hand in hand and thrive within each other.

These self-imposed limitations allowed me as a director to be as creative as possible. The French New Wave editing style, utilizing jump cuts and shots of characters looking into the camera, was a huge inspiration for creative freedom. The motivation to shoot in a 4:3 aspect ratio was not only to pay homage to films in the French New Wave and the 90s indie film boom, but more importantly driven by the claustrophobic nature of the film. All of the characters are squished within this tight framing as the pacing of the story picks up, adding to the stress of the situation they find themselves in. The audience does not see what is next to the characters, as they would in a traditional wider ratio (16:9). The audience, not knowing what is next to the characters, (both literally and in context of the story) aligns with the characters’ emotions. This style of presentation is more concerned with the character and their actions rather than the world around them.

Being inspired by filmmakers who essentially just went out and worked with what they had is something that inspired the editing, the cinematography, and directing of the film. Using what is in the world around me to create a film about characters who are stuck in a gritty world themselves, I believe is something that the great filmmakers who inspired me would appreciate.