Private Project

From the Shadows of Desert Rocks

While editing atomic footage for the Civil Defense, G-man Jakob Werner discovers a strange anomaly. Realizing his career- and potentially his sanity- is on the line, he heads back to the testing site where he finds himself face to face with someone... or something... that has been born in the mushroom cloud of atomic bombs.

  • Edgardo Luis Gonzalez
    Director
  • Edgardo Luis Gonzalez
    Writer
  • Kevin Quis
    Writer
  • Edgardo Luis Gonzalez
    Producer
  • Christine Janina Villafuerte
    Producer
  • Andrea M Wiener
    Producer
  • Kevin Anand Quis
    Key Cast
    "The Entity"
  • Edgardo Luis Gonzalez
    Key Cast
    "Jakob Werner"
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Atomic-Noir, 1950's B-Movie, Science Fiction, Film Noir
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
    4:3
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of New Mexico
  • Santa Fe International Film Festival
    Santa Fe
    United States
    October 20, 2022
    New Mexico Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Arizona International Film Festival
    Tucson
    United States
    April 29, 2022
    North American Premiere
    Official selection
  • Golden Door International Film Festival
    Jersey City
    United States
    May 13, 2022
    New Jersey Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Nassau Film Festival
    Princeton
    United States
    May 20, 2023
    Honorable Mention
Director Biography - Edgardo Luis Gonzalez

I have always been moved by the magic of filmmaking. The stories are endless- giant gorillas, mobsters, romance, space exploration…, the list goes on. For me, it was the endless possibilities of creativity while also being able to tell my personal story within each piece. I would be most inspired by Martin Scorsese’s classic, “Mean Streets,” being that it closely resembled my home, Trenton New Jersey.

Although I made small films in high school, It would be this strong love and desire to make my own films that pushed me to pursue filmmaking professionally. After graduating high school, I would attend Mercer County Community College and learn the basics of filmmaking. From the Fall of 2019 to the Spring of 2021 I finished my advanced education by graduating from the University of New Mexico and receiving a B.F.A. in Filmmaking. Although I have made prior short films, I count this one to be the first that I’ve been immensely proud to make. This is also the film that I have made in the most professional manner - aka, I own every part of the film (music is always the major dilemma, but we don't all have money to have the hits!). Lastly, and perhaps most important, it was the obstacles that I had to overcome to make this film that I feel should be noted.

While COVID-19 raged across the world, numerous schools, (well, everyone,) went remote. Although this film was shot in my final semester, (Spring 2021,) COVID was still spreading, and vaccines were not yet available. As such, my University placed stipulations upon all students making their senior thesis films: there can only be 5 people on set at all times including cast, (Obviously this was a major hinderance). Yet with the assistance of a small group of my friends, and my co-writer Kevin Quis, we managed to make these stipulations work in our favor, crafting a story which is content with the lack of additional characters and thus creating the air of paranoia critical to the main character’s mental state in the story.

This film would ultimately end up being the only capstone/thesis produced from my thesis film class at UNM in the Spring of 2021 – although it would take a further 6 months of editing to be “festival,” worthy, (to me). That being said, on January 1st 2022 I submitted the film to the festivals it would make its debut at; the Arizona International Film Festival, Golden Door International Film Festival, and Santa Fe International Film Festival.

Although it’s a mix of genres that I love, I feel I have managed to make a deeply personal film, blending my love of history with a complex multi-layered story. That’s the reward of filmmaking, and that’s the most important aspect to me.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was inspired by the B-movies and atomic history of the Southwest to create "From the Shadows of Desert Rocks". Jakob inadvertently finds himself embroiled in a search for answers to a question that is bigger than himself- the dawn of the atomic age; is it a time that should be embraced, feared, or something more? Rusted air bases, windswept highways, ruins of ancient civilizations. Tread lightly in the shadows of desert rocks.