Them

A Soviet spy, embedded in the U.S. as a sleeper agent, discovers his home has been bugged and must decide whether to reveal his identity to his American daughter while keeping the truth hidden from those listening in.

  • Tom Lawson
    Director
  • Tom Lawson
    Writer
  • Olivia Simon
    Producer
  • Lennon Sickels
    Key Cast
    "Margot"
  • Brad Hamler
    Key Cast
    "Nathan"
  • Sam Carter
    Key Cast
    "FBI Agent"
  • Guadi Fanelli
    Assistant Director
  • Maggie Sullivan
    Production Designer
  • Alex Taylor
    Editor
  • Tom Lawson
    Director of Photography
  • Sam Carter
    1st Assistant Camera
  • Dylan Clark
    2nd Assistant Camera
  • Olivia Simon
    Camera Operator
  • Owen Romano
    Gaffer
  • Ross Doane
    Key Grip
  • Dylan Brown
    Sound Recordist
  • Henry Page
    Sound Recordist
  • Alex Taylor
    Composer
  • Abby Haber
    Hair & Makeup
  • Chris Thies
    Script Supervisor
  • Chloe Barczak
    Set Photographer
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Mystery, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 9, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,600 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.39:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Ithaca College
Director Biography - Tom Lawson

Tom Lawson is recent Ithaca College graduate who majored in Cinema & Photography and hails from Malvern, UK. He completed 'Them' as his Senior Thesis project in December 2021. Tom has co-directed short films in the past, and enjoys working as a cinematographer. His past projects include Vampyre (2019), Clair de Lune (2020), and The Morning Before the Storm, 1843 (2021). Tom hopes to write and direct more projects in the future that focus on telling stories visually.

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Director Statement

'Them' is a contained mystery/thriller film about the smaller human stories that take place in wider global conflicts. Set during the Cold War in 1984, 'Them' follows a father and a daughter as they struggle to navigate the turmoils of a new discovery that brings the war crashing into the safety of their home.

In making 'Them', I wanted to see if it were possible to create a short film with no dialogue that still told a complete, engaging, and thrilling story. Although the film ended up requiring a few short spoken lines, I believe it succeeds at communicating an emotional, complex, and satisfying narrative visually. I hope that an audience will be able to zero in on the emotional core of the story—the relationship between Nathan and Margot. I also hope that the film encourages a viewer to deliberate the possibilities of the ending, and decide for themselves what they might have done if they were in the same situation.

'Them' was produced as my Senior Thesis project in December 2021, prior to my graduation.