Samantha Gets Back Out There

Samantha was married to Ronnie for twelve years. Twelve good years in her mind. Then a strange twist of fate parted them and she still has no idea how to process the loss. Set up on a date, she tries to see fresh possibilities in front of her – over wine, salad and pasta she jokes, she flirts, she looks at the man in front of her and feels the start of desire again. But raw memories and unresolved feelings take over, and even though she knows she is sabotaging the date, she is helpless but to share the story of herself and Ronnie, because the need to be heard has become far more important than the date. Tonight was just too soon for Samantha.

  • Nicholas Thurkettle
  • Nicholas Thurkettle
  • Barney Crow
  • Nicholas Thurkettle
  • Jill Cary Martin
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 29, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 2015 Laughlin International Film Festival
    Laughlin, NV
    United States
    World Premiere
  • 2015 IndieFEST USA Film and Music Festival
    Garden Grove, CA
    United States
    California Premiere
    Honorable Mention, Finalist - Best Comedy
Director Biography - Nicholas Thurkettle

Nicholas Thurkettle studied theatre arts and music at Bradley University in Illinois before getting his start in the film business as a script reader then development executive for independent film producer J. Todd Harris ("The Kids are All Right", "Piranha 3D".) He sold his comedy screenplay "Queen Lara" to Room 9 Productions ("Thank You For Smoking"), and has optioned the thrillers "7 Red" and "Snowblind" to producers while collaborating with director Antonio Negret ("Arrow", "The 100") on the action thriller "Under the Knife", currently in development.

He is a member of the WGA, a producer, writer, and performer with the award-winning audio drama podcast "Earbud Theater", author of the short story collection "Stages of Sleep" and co-author of the thriller novels "Seeing by Moonlight" and "A Sickness in Time". As a playwright, his work has appeared throughout California and on regional stages in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

He is also a SAG-AFTRA Eligible actor, with an extensive resume of on-stage Shakespeare as well as roles in the upcoming independent features "Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine", "Reclaiming Friendship Park", and "Aventura".

"Samantha Gets Back Out There" is his first project as a filmmaker.

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Director Statement

They say creativity flourishes under restrictions - in making "Samantha" I wanted to create a simple production scenario to serve as my first turn in the director's chair, while challenging myself as a writer to tell an emotionally-compelling, cinematic story with the most minimal elements - a single actor, single location, single camera setup.

Samantha is the sort of character I love to tell stories about - a woman who has not sought out drama in her life, who is thrust into a situation where there is no easy solution, no emotional harbor in a culture of quick-fix advice. She does the best she can, and her struggles aren't over when our brief glimpse of her is ended. Lives are filled with drama like this, and I was eager to explore it in a cinematic form, breaking her monologue into a disjointed chronology that suggests the non-linear workings of memory, and plays more compellingly in the edit than it would have worked on a stage.

A minuscule budget and tiny crew was balanced by fierce dedication on both sides of the camera. With only five hours total on location and just over two hours shooting, it was a mammoth task for actress Jill Cary Martin to perform over six pages of wordy material with a wild emotional trajectory. Our past collaborations on stage gave me total confidence she would have the discipline and daring necessary to tell Samantha's story with poignancy, respect, and heart. My producing partner Barney Crow, a diligent actor in his own right and very talented still photographer, made his debut as a DP and composed a rich, deep frame, then worked tirelessly to process the image into a beautiful monochrome inspired by Gordon Willis's black-and-white Woody Allen films.

We were right up against the limits of our schedule, with cooks literally waiting outside on the sidewalk to start preparing the day's lunch for the restaurant's customers, but we got out on time with no part of the script unexplored.

At first I was uncertain whether I would take "Samantha" out to festivals or simply use it as an educational experience, but the quality of work delivered by Jill, Barney, and all-around sound wizard Darren Lodwick persuaded me that we could proudly share this with festival audiences.