Bouncer (DCP)

  • Ross Cooper
  • Ross Cooper
  • Eric Banks
  • Brynn Hooper
    Key Cast
    "Harry Steele"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Noir, Psychological-thriller, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 7, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    573 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Champlain College
Director Biography - Ross Cooper

"Bouncer" writer, director, director of photography, and editor Ross Cooper hails from Massachusetts and graduated from Champlain College in Vermont with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking. A visual storyteller first, his eyes are set on a future in cinematography while continuing to write in his spare time.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I love movies for the escape they provide, but the best ones have a cherry on top. For Bouncer, I not only wished to entertain, but also explore an interesting theme — obsession. I wanted to write around a theme that is personal to me, and I wanted to do it justice. Identifying with the cinematographer label the most, telling the story as visually as possible would be the best approach. I therefore chose to externalize emotions in the screenplay, light and shoot to affect the viewer subconsciously, and direct the actors to embody their roles so microexpressions would come through. My multiple positions on Bouncer were all approached this way to create a visually immersive and thought-provoking film.

Film noirs of the 40s and 50s, and NYC street films of the 70s were some inspirations behind Bouncer for tone and imagery, but most of all they made me think about creative decision-making, as these expressive films all had purpose to their choices. For instance, rather than lighting for black and white merely because I like black and white cinema, I asked myself, “Would it serve the story?” It turns out it would, as the main character, Harry, lives in a world where things are perfect, simple, and explained — a black and white world. Also, this choice helped to create the proper setting for Bouncer, a dark fantastical city setting like the embodiment of a person’s fears living in a new place.

In addition to films that have moved me, Bouncer was inspired by the real world. As I’ve continued to write and film projects, I’ve learned that taking in your day-to-day surroundings and their subtleties will give your stories their realism. This can be seen in Bouncer minor characters, Noah and Casey, whose backstories originated from my observations working in restaurants. I could have stayed in my own head during these summer jobs, but I enjoyed studying and learning more about my unique co-workers. Inspiration is funny, though, so it was only after Noah and Casey’s dialogue was written that I realized the human quality of the characters had my thoughtful observance to thank.

Bouncer fits into my wider body of work because truthfulness runs through it all. Similar to the personal exploration of obsession in Bouncer, every project, dramatic or comedic, stayed true to my sensibilities and experiences. Also, as a cinematographer, I avoid being defined by a single repeated visual style across my work, instead creating a visual style that appropriately fits the content. I avoid sensationalism and superficial beauty, and aim for truthfulness by crafting cinematography with characters, story, and theme in mind.

Throughout my filmmaking journey so far, I’ve learned that you can make an entertaining and interesting film if your approach is personal, your decision-making is meaningful, and you stay true to the core of the film. I believe I have been successful in my recent attempt at this, the psychological thriller, Bouncer.