Private Project

Check Point

A heart wrenching look at our occupation of Iraq, dramatized through six fictional soldiers who share, from the grave their last moments on earth.

  • Tom Ardavany
  • Tom Ardavany
  • Tom Ardavany
  • Mystro Clark
    Key Cast
  • Sonny Marler
    Key Cast
  • Billy Sanford
    Key Cast
  • Mystro Clark
    Key Cast
  • Anne Schweller
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    33 minutes
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Tom Ardavany

Tom Ardavany tackles his vision from the page to production, harnessing the depths of the creative process to carry his story through, bring it to life in his actors, and fulfill a powerful visual story on-screen. A writer and director of film and theater, he’s written 20 feature length screenplays, hundreds of short films and a half a dozen stageplays. He’s directed two feature films, eleven shorts and four plays, one of which he received a Best director award (Miguel Pinero’s Pulitzer Prize winning play ‘Short Eyes’). When not on the set or behind his computer knocking out another draft, he’s leading many of his actors to their ripest dramatic performances as a world-class coach. His clients include Neal McDonough, Josh Holloway, Clayne Crawford and Matt Gerald, each having benefitted from Tom's deep seeded creative reservoir of experience in developing and crafting talent. Having founded the Ardavany Approach to On-Camera Mastery ( 25 years ago, he has cultivated a unique acting lab geared toward serving the needs of the 21st century actor and filmmaker.
Tom's 3 decade cumulative experience, being totally immersed in the filmmaking and performance arts makes him a leader in the creative community which inspires and motivates him daily to learn and accomplish more in his field.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This film was commentary on the Iraq war. It is a heart wrenching look at our occupation of Iraq, dramatized through six fictional soldiers who share, from the grave, their last moments on earth.

Shot “interview style” on DV, this was intended as an internet project. he made it to be watched on the small screen, with all close-ups and ECU’s. The positioning of their faces in particular, only partially in frame, was important for a number of reasons. The stories are intertwined, so when the next character appeared, he wanted them in different parts of the frame. This way, with the camera slowly tracking back and forth which not only positioned the character in a different part of the frame, it also fully dramatized the subject as well.

I also had changing light values throughout each take, giving the image a unique feel each time the character appear in the story line. The ever changing frame gave the piece more visual dynamics, which was important, given the limited choice of camera angles. Therefore, I compensated with simple pans and varying light values.

I interviewed actors, taking the facts of their lives and mixed it with the fiction of the story, which turned out to be quite a powerful dramatic recipe.

I incorporated a green screen, whereas lighting the screen and the distance from the screen proved to be important variables. Although the images we incorporated were few, the quality of the keyed-out green screen, which is black, activated the background, giving it a life of its own, a kind of electricity.

The end result of “CHECK POINT” for me, given the subject matter, was one of the most rewarding, powerful cinematic experiences of my life to date. The film speaks very much for itself.