Experiencing Interruptions?


Melvin, a socially awkward security system installation technician, decides to become a force for good in his community by dressing up like a Crawdad, fighting evil-doers, and distributing sack lunches to the local homeless population. Undeterred by his family’s strong objections to his new career choice, his lack of combat training, and his poor interpersonal communication skills, Melvin dons the mantle of The Crawdad, and soon finds himself in couples therapy.

  • Jess Myers Rigoni
  • Nolan Mihail
    The Making of the Re-make of The Crow
  • Tayler Bujnowski
    Buttress, Unknowing
    Key Cast
    "Melvin / The Crawdad "
  • Clare Austen-Smith
    Key Cast
  • Ruth Kaufman
    Key Cast
    "Dr Maureen Love"
    Sheltered, The Miseducation of Bindu, Dark Country, When Icarus Fell
  • Sean Robert Kelly
    Bad Animal
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 10, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    14,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED 4K, Animation
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Patrick Lives On Film Showcase
    United States
    March 11, 2023
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Midwest Film Festival
    United States
    March 27, 2023
    Emerging Filmmakers
  • Spotlight Short Film Awards

    United States
    Gold Award Winner
  • LA Comedy Shorts
    Los Angeles
    United States
    May 1, 2023
  • Cannes Film Awards
    April 29, 2023
Director Biography - Jess Myers Rigoni

Jess is a shamelessly midwestern filmmaker and photographer. She has created music videos for NNAMDI, Yawn, Emil Landman and The Eradicator. Her experimental documentary entitled "Raging Against" was screened at The Wretched Nobles and Chicago Art Department in Chicago. Her photography has been exhibited nationally at the Diego Rivera Gallery, the Midwest Center for Photography and more. Crawdad is Rigoni's first foray into narrative film.

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Director Statement

“As the world came to a halt in 2020, I found myself with the time and curiosity to tell stories in a new way. Nnamdi and I were working together on the art and music video for his album "BRAT." Whenever we work together, I notice his seemingly limitless potential and desire to push boundaries artistically. I was thrilled when he said he was open to making the jump into acting. From here we looped in the venerable Nolan Mihail and started talking about potential stories for a limited run series.

The Crawdad story stood out to me because Melvin felt so relatable: he speaks to our fanatical desire to do good and be good for this world, even when we are desperately ill-equipped. It explores the test of humility and humor it takes to pursue your dreams and stay true to your own path. The Crawdad short film is just the first glimpse into the universe that Nolan created in that series.

Our crew and cast were incredible and truly brought this story to life. Nnamdi brought in Clare Austen-Smith, who brought the perfect mix of humor and satire for her portrayal of Phoebe. Sean Robert Kelly and Travis Tessmer's imagery developed the universe of Sea Lord and Melvin, and producer Tayler Bujnowski made this seemingly impossible task possible. It was such a wonderful whirlwind and I'm thrilled that it's just the beginning. “