A frustrated boxer is forced to be a punching bag in order to pay rent. When he decides to quit, he has to break the news to his father.

  • John Chiodi
  • John Chiodi
  • Kylan Tyng
  • Tim Preston
  • Michael Metta
    Key Cast
    "Mac McGrath"
  • Steve Arons
    Key Cast
    "Abban McGrath"
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Period Piece, Drama
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 29, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Long Distance Film Festival
    New York
    United States
Director Biography - John Chiodi

John Chiodi is a director from New Jersey. With an unparalleled determination to create magic on screen, he seeks to tell emotionally truthful stories in imaginative ways.

John attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, receiving his BFA in Film/Television with a minor in Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology. During his time at school, he gained real-world entertainment experience through various high-level internships such as Tribeca Film Festival & The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, while constantly creating his own content on the side. Inspired by the early work of Sam Raimi, he challenges himself to create ambitious stories without a huge budget, finding creative ways to get his ideas on screen. He hopes to one day inspire the next generation of filmmakers, showing them that anybody is capable of making something great with a little imagination.

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Director Statement

During my first semester at NYU, I received the best piece of filmmaking advice that had nothing to do with filmmaking. I was a 19-year-old eager freshman with fiery eyes, full of passion and certain that I was destined to make movies. When I sat down for my first advising session, I insisted that my advisor list the best classes to take for directing and tell me about the experienced professors. He slowed me down, offering a chance to look at some other classes- history, sciences, language, etc. When I shot him a confused glance, he simply responded: “You have to be a person before you can be a filmmaker”.

“Down” is the story of a person who desperately strives to be good enough. Mac is determined to prove himself as a worthy boxer and in the process, watches his life go by through the passenger window. This film came to me at a time in my life where I felt most desperate to prove myself creatively. I was an eager filmmaker surrounded by an ocean of immensely talented students, all given the creative freedom to make anything we wanted- and that terrified me. In many ways, Mac’s emotions reflected my own as my entire world shrunk down to the size of this 9-minute short film. I couldn’t disappoint everyone that had seen me off to college, everyone in my hometown that had witnessed my decision to become a filmmaker with disinterested eyes. But most importantly, I couldn’t buckle under the expectations set upon me by my father, as every minute in film school felt like another dollar burning in his pocket. Throughout the process of writing and pre-production I began to hate the person I was becoming. My desperation to prove myself through my work dominated my personality – I became needlessly defensive, short tempered, and found myself projecting my fears onto those around me.

This film is a representation of my experience with the creative process, how it can be a destructive, obsessive cycle that can hinder a person’s life and obscure their values. In a moment of either overreaction or emotional clarity, Mac chooses to derail his career in order to feel dominant for once in his life, throwing away his responsibilities to his father in order to have one moment of satisfaction. By doing so, he proves his capabilities as a fighter, but sacrifices everything he has to do so. Perhaps it is possible to reach one’s fullest potential, however, is this possible without first neglecting the responsibilities of everyday life? What would any given person sacrifice in order to feel that catharsis and become their greatest self for just a few short moments?

The creation of this film taught me the importance of disassociating myself from my work- my success does not need to be measured by the success of my work. In other words, I had learned to become a person before becoming a filmmaker.