Experiencing Interruptions?

Mylar Balloon

This short documentary explores the fracturing of the filmmaker's relationship with his mother after uncovering a betrayal that occurred years prior. By combing through old photos, videos, and documents, he tries to reckon with the dichotomy between his often fond memories of childhood and the extent to which his mother was manipulating him financially.

  • Luke Bechtel
  • Luke Bechtel
  • Luke Bechtel
  • Luke Bechtel
    Key Cast
  • Matthew Donald
    Additional Camera
  • Carter Ward
    Music By
  • Tommy Russell
    Music By
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Archival
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 14, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    10 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - DePaul University
Director Biography - Luke Bechtel

Luke Bechtel is a filmmaker and editor living and working in Chicago, Illinois. He currently attends DePaul University's School of Cinematic Arts pursuing a BFA in Film & Television, Editing concentration, intending on graduating June 2022.

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Director Statement

No one’s family is perfect and mine is no exception. My relationship with my mother has always been rocky enough – things didn't get any easier when I was 19 and I learned she opened credit cards in my name when I was a child as a last-ditch effort to keep our lights on. Coming to this realization radically altered my dynamic with my mom in the present – for a while, I wanted nothing to do with her. It was only after I started seeing a therapist when I was 21 that I began to get some much-needed perspective on my situation with my mom. The script for the narration of what became “Mylar Balloon” was distilled from pages and pages of notes I took during those therapy sessions. The film now stands as a chronicle of my first attempt at reckoning with the dichotomy of sharing fond memories with my mom while knowing now that she was manipulating me financially all that time.

The title “Mylar Balloon” started life as a glorified nonsense phrase. In the back of an old journal I keep a list of “ideas” that is less a list of actual concepts and more so a log of phrases or words I simply like the sound of. Some of them are sort of cool, but most of them are just things like “Sunburn” or “Mural” or “Malta” that I must have written down for some reason or another, but the reason escapes me now. “Mylar Balloon” was one of the first things I wrote in the back of that book, and I remember writing it just after having seen Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” for the first time, having been impressed with the deceptively simple “adjective noun” structure for a film title. For years, though, that’s all “Mylar Balloon” meant – it was just a phrase that I liked the sound of. When it came time to start putting together this film, I latched onto the phrase again as a sort of North Star for the project – it didn’t take long for it to transform from a nonsense phrase to a valuable metaphor for the memories my mother and I shared together. I’m excited to share “Mylar Balloon” with you – thank you for your consideration!