Please Forward

Chain Mail International has had a banner year; the tanking economy is proving an unexpected boon for the firm’s time-honored business — creating and forwarding chain letters. Through the lens of the firm’s holiday party, we get a glimpse into the inner workings of the business, and come to see that as progress moves relentlessly onward, not everyone will be sharing in the group’s success.

  • William R. Coughlan
    Director
    Tex: Wisdom of the Old West, Number One With a Bullet
  • Robin Brande
    Writer
  • Pam W. Coughlan
    Producer
  • Erik Synnestvedt
    Key Cast
    Number One With a Bullet
  • Richard Fiske
    Key Cast
  • Stuart Scotten
    Key Cast
  • Jennifer Massey
    Key Cast
    Number One With a Bullet
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Holiday, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 3, 2009
  • Production Budget:
    850 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digitsl
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 48 Hour Film Project
    Washington, DC
    United States
    May 8, 2009
    World Premiere
    Audience Award | “Best Of” Selection
  • TIVA Peer Awards 2009
    Washington, DC
    United States
    November 14, 2009
    Silver Award: Acting
  • TIVA Peer Awards 2011
    Washington, DC
    United States
    November 19, 2011
    Silver Award: 48HFP - Directing
  • Weihnachtsfilmfestival 2016
    Berlin
    Germany
    December 26, 2016
    European Premiere
  • The CortoKino Event 2017
    Mumbai
    India
    January 21, 2017
    Asia Premiere
  • Central Michigan International Film Festival
    Mount Pleasant, Michigan
    United States
    February 12, 2017
    Michigan Premiere
  • Indiana Comic Con Film Festival
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    United States
    April 15, 2017
    Indiana Premiere
  • Kino Zukunft Open-Air Cinema Shorts
    Berlin
    Germany
    April 30, 2017
  • Tampa Bay Comic Con Film Festival
    Tampa, Florida
    United States
    July 29, 2017
    Florida Premiere
  • San Francisco Comic Con Film Festival
    San Francisco, CA
    United States
    September 1, 2017
    California Premiere
Director Biography - William R. Coughlan

William R. Coughlan is an award-winning screenwriter and director, and founder and CEO of independent video production company Tohubohu Productions, LLC. He worked for several years with The Advisory Board Company (and its offshoot companies, CEB and EAB) in Washington, D.C., where he began as a graphic designer before creating a full-service in-house video and multimedia department, and then eventually moving into the ranks of creative department management. In addition, he provides creative oversight for the global public affairs firm EGA, is the Creative Director of Jabberwocky Audio Theater, and served for several years on the Board of Directors for TIVA, the Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC, Inc., filling the roles of Treasurer and Vice President before finishing his tenure as President. He also enjoys acting, voiceover performance, design and illustration, editing, animation, and writing autobiographical comments in the third person. He is the illustrator of the therapeutic workbook Stories for Children with Problems & Wishes, has provided schematic graphics for several HBS case studies, designed the acclaimed Protégé clay poker chip line, served as the Critic at Large for the online literary magazine Inkblots, has been a judge for both the TIVA Peer Awards and the Emmy Awards, founded and co-hosted the long-running Tohubohu Producer Podcast, and is an accomplished animator and ambigram artist. He currently resides at a secret compound in Northern Virginia.

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Director Statement

“Please Forward” grew out of a fundamental disconnect: On the one hand, the holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but on the other, for many companies the end of December is a crucial reckoning time, as sales are tallied and financial books are closed for the year. The unfortunate result is often an uncomfortable undercurrent to an outwardly festive company holiday party. Moreover, while in 2009 the country was in the midst of a recession, the news was still dominated by business success stories in the tech arena — even though in many cases, what the companies actually did was often obscure, if not completely inscrutable. So we created Chain Mail International, a company whose sole business was creating and forwarding chain emails — not necessarily “spam” per se, but everything from feel-good cat pictures to critical warnings of dubious validity — the digital descendants of the old-fashioned chain letter. A company that would have no apparent revenue stream to speak of, but that would still be obsessed with advancing into the digital age — at the expense of anyone who couldn’t keep up. We shot at the same Atlantic Media offices where we’d filmed “Number One With a Bullet” and “All Roads Lead Away” — filling our location with as many holiday props as we could muster (and employing some creative lighting and framing to allow early May to pass for late December).