If Only You Were Free (shorter)

A surgeon straining under the pressure of his career and marriage, becomes imprisoned to the very thing he thought would set him free.

  • Gregory Cusumano
  • Gregory Cusumano
  • Jeremy Maupin
    Key Cast
  • Amy Pemberton
    Key Cast
    Legends of Tomorrow
  • Harriet
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Horror, Supernatural, Drama, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 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 - Gregory Cusumano

Gregory Cusumano is a first time filmmaker. Professionally he is know for his editing work on Season 13 & 14 ABC Television's hit drama series Grey’s Anatomy, the Emmy Nominated Web Series Grey's Anatomy B-Team, ABC's Station 19, MTV’s Teen Wolf and Eye Candy and the CW's In The Dark. He was also an assistant editor on the feature film Lone Survivor directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg.
Born and raised in Queens NY, his love of storytelling began at a young age sitting at his grandparents table for the traditional Italian Sunday meal. He would listen to the older generations tell stories about Italy, their time in Africa, World War 2 and their early years immigrating to the United States.
Greg studied technical theater at San Joaquin Delta College's “Actor Training Program” and received a BA in Film Theory and Production from Hunter College in NYC. Upon graduating from Hunter he moved to Rome Italy where he worked at the infamous Drunken Ship in Campo di Fiori.
Gregory now resides in Los Angeles.

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Director Statement

The idea for If Only You Were Free sprang from the emotion of loneliness. I was editing for 48 hours straight trying to lock an episode of Television. Everyone in the office had already left for Christmas break and if I didn’t complete my copious amounts of notes, my wife and I would have missed our flight to NY. So I worked through the night, exhaustion came first, then a red bull, then a second red bull, then when the red bull wore off. I still had to keep cutting. Physically my body wanted to stop, my mind began to crack and then the loneliness set in. In that loneliness a germ of an idea sprang to life. A story about someone that suffers from this sort of physical exhaustion and isolation. The character couldn’t be an editor. Editors lives aren’t exciting and no one outside of the entertainment industry knows what we really do anyway. A surgeon...A surgeon must know this level of physically exhaustive loneliness.

With If Only You Were Free I set out to create a horror film that wasn’t about jump scares and gratuitous blood and mayhem. My intention was to craft a horror film that was more tonal and atmospheric. I used slower pacing, subtle performances and a haunting unnerving score to create a film that is unsettling and dark. The visuals are melodic and seductive. Our main character Paul is lonely and as a surgeon he deals with death on a daily basis. His marriage is modern, both Paul and his wife have demanding jobs; they love each other but they spend more time apart than together. In this hi-tech fast paced world of busy schedules and lives their marriage is fractured. Paul is open to anything that will make him feel alive. He is easy prey for a little seduction.

The themes of If Only You Were Free deal with isolation, loneliness, marriage, infidelity, desire and destroying oneself to obtain this desire. In this film the thing that you think you want, the thing that seduces you, that makes you think that if you only had that, everything would be better, actually becomes the thing that destroys you in the end.

If Only You Were Free stands completely on its own as a short film, but for me it’s a proof of concept. The supernatural creature at the heart of this film has ancient roots in Roman and Jewish mythology. If Only You Were Free is a mere taste of her seductive and destructive powers. Why did she choose Paul and Maggie? Where did she come from and how will they free themselves from a demon as old as the bible itself? These questions are begging for answers.