Believe Me

In this contemporary take on the classic fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” a man finds himself bored with his job — and decides to amuse himself by playing pranks on his coworkers, only to find that they may be disinclined to believe him when their trust is most critical.

  • William R. Coughlan
    Director
    The Greater Evil, Tex: Wisdom of the Old West, Number One With a Bullet
  • Barry Gribble
    Writer
    Codeword Secret, Buddy Jackson, Tryst, The Conspiracist, The Kumbio Takedown
  • Lee Perna
    Producer
    The Greater Evil, Tex: Wisdom of the Old West, The Rest of Your Life
  • Brian Mac Ian
    Key Cast
  • Jean Hudson Miller
    Key Cast
  • Keith Waters
    Key Cast
  • Carol Lampman McCaffrey
    Key Cast
  • Brooks Tegler
    Key Cast
  • Hugh Hill
    Key Cast
  • Anna Coughlan
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Fable, Dark Comedy
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 16, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.40:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 48 Hour Film Project
    Richmond, VA
    United States
    July 22, 2017
    World Premiere
  • Movie Night at the Evening Star Cafe
    Alexandria, Virginia
    United States
    February 25, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Ocean City Film Festival
    Ocean City, Maryland
    United States
    March 10, 2018
    Maryland Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Indiana Comic Con Film Festival
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    United States
    March 31, 2018
    Indiana Premiere
    Nominee: Best Narrative
  • Maryland International Film Festival - Hagerstown
    Hagerstown, Maryland
    United States
    April 28, 2018
    Official Selection
  • San Francisco Comic Con Film Festival
    San Francisco, California
    United States
    June 9, 2018
    California Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Atlanta Comic Con Film Festival
    Atlanta, Georgia
    United States
    July 14, 2018
    Georgia Premiere
    Nominee: Best Narrative
  • Tampa Bay Comic Con Film Festival
    Tampa, Florida
    United States
    August 4, 2018
    Florida Premiere
    Nominee: Best Narrative
  • Michigan Comic Con Film Festival
    Detroit, Michigan
    United States
    August 18, 2018
    Michigan Premiere
    Nominee: Best Narrative
  • Comedy World Network Film Festival
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    United States
    December 1, 2018
    Nevada Premiere
    Semi-Finalist
Director Biography - William R. Coughlan

William R. Coughlan is an award-winning screenwriter and director, and founder and CEO of independent video production company Tohubohu Productions, LLC. He worked for several years with The Advisory Board Company (and its offshoot companies, CEB and EAB) in Washington, D.C., where he began as a graphic designer before creating a full-service in-house video and multimedia department, and then eventually moving into the ranks of creative department management. In addition, he provides creative oversight for the global public affairs firm EGA, is the Creative Director of Jabberwocky Audio Theater, and served for several years on the Board of Directors for TIVA, the Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC, Inc., filling the roles of Treasurer and Vice President before finishing his tenure as President. He also enjoys acting, voiceover performance, design and illustration, editing, animation, and writing autobiographical comments in the third person. He is the illustrator of the therapeutic workbook Stories for Children with Problems & Wishes, has provided schematic graphics for several HBS case studies, designed the acclaimed Protégé clay poker chip line, served as the Critic at Large for the online literary magazine Inkblots, has been a judge for both the TIVA Peer Awards and the Emmy Awards, founded and co-hosted the long-running Tohubohu Producer Podcast, and is an accomplished animator and ambigram artist. He currently resides at a secret compound in Northern Virginia.

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Director Statement

For “Believe Me,” our goal was simply to craft a darkly comedic, contemporary interpretation of a classic fable — in this case, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” In doing so, we made a clear distinction between the conventions of a fable versus those of a fairy tale — so no imaginary magical world or overt good-versus-evil conflict (both hallmarks of the fairy tale), and a clear “moral truth” conveyed by the story (and explicitly stated at the end). For example, during production we ended up changing the initially scripted “Once upon a time” opening — even though we knew audiences would likely be expecting it — as that wording is characteristic of fairy tales, not fables. And while we did put a humorous twist on the tale’s moral lesson, we did not set out to make an explicitly political film — though it was frequently interpreted as such. From the moment our actors read the script, up through the viewer reactions to the finished film, people noted explicit connections to the unfortunate current political climate — one in which flagrant lying is rewarded, even celebrated. So I suppose the moral of this story might be that whatever the intentions of the screenwriter (in this case, the extraordinarily talented Barry Gribble), or the creative guidance of the director, the ultimate interpretation of the finished work inevitably rests with the audience.