Experiencing Interruptions?


Dreams and reality collide for local actors looking for that big break when Hollywood comes to town.

  • Dan Bisbee
  • Dan Bisbee
  • Dan Bisbee
  • Zack Eritz
    Kiss Me Goodbye, The Perfect Friend Request, Mason, Written by Quincy O'Neal
  • Bob Wenrich
    The Package
  • Ryan Austin
  • Emily Goode
  • Bill Eritz
    Kiss Me Goodbye, Written by Quincy O'Neal
  • Hilary Caldwell
  • John Guinane
  • Dan Bisbee
    Key Cast
    Kiss Me Goodbye, Zombie Woman, Beginnings
  • Philip Bower
    Key Cast
    The Package, The Chop, Beginnings
  • Hilary Caldwell
    Key Cast
    Mason, Forever Young
  • Renee Kern
    Key Cast
    Written by Quincy O'Neal
  • Evelyn Wawrzyniak
    Key Cast
    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Fathers & Daughters, Love the Coopers
  • Michael Steven Brewer
    Key Cast
  • Patsy Bower
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 6, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    1080p ProRex (HQ)
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Carnegie Screenwriters Script and Screen Festival
    Pittsburgh, PA
    August 27, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Comedy Film Festival of America
    Columbus, OH
    United States
    October 21, 2017
    Best American Comedy Short; Best Comedy Actress
  • Austin Indie Fest
    Austin, TX
    United States
    November 11, 2017
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Dan Bisbee

Director and writer of SLATE, PLEASE!, Dan has appeared in a number of independent short film projects shot in the Pittsburgh area, while working on his PhD dissertation on urban warfare and counterinsurgency at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an alum of the Mask and Wig Club of the University of Pennsylvania.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

If you want to tell a story that delves into the deepest, darkest pit of mankind’s fears and anxieties, but you also sorta want to make it a comedy, you might end up with a short film about actors auditioning for a movie. Well, at least I did.

I was sitting in a room, just me and Ewan McGregor, and I just felt this powerful wave of emotion that I could barely control. I wanted this guy to like me. A lot. Like, I thought maybe we could be buddies. I was at a callback for a minor character in the movie Mr. McGregor (I mean Ewan) was directing in Pittsburgh, and I was playing it cool; you know, like it was no big whup. Yeah, I wanted the part, but what I really wanted was a new buddy. We weren’t reading any lines; we were just chatting, like buddies do. (His smile: a disarming array of teeth and sinew.) So when he asked me about my ‘experience’ I started telling him about my two and half years in Baghdad as a counterinsurgency strategist and diplomat during the ‘Surge.’ He paused for a moment and said, “Well, that must have been something…” and I was like, “Yeah, man, it was....”

I didn’t get the part, but I did decide to write and direct my own short film. Not about that stupid callback with that jerk Ewan McGregor, but about local actors trying to get that big break when a Hollywood film comes to town. It’s a short exploration of the delta between aspiration and reality; self-perception and self-deception; attraction and rejection. As it turns out, an audition is a pretty good metaphor for the human condition.

Why comedy? I like comedy. (No duh, who doesn’t?) But I think it’s important to take comedy seriously. For individuals, it helps us understand and cope with the complexities of our world, and put things in perspective. For a society, comedy has always provided a space for reflection and critique, even as we’re laughing at our own foibles and insecurities. Comedy helps us make sure we’re not getting too big for our britches.

After tours with the U.S. Army and State Department in Iraq, I came to Pittsburgh to pursue PhD studies in international affairs, specializing in urban warfare, terrorism, and counterinsurgency. Oh, how was it over there, you ask? Yeah, it was pretty bad. What I witnessed, and continue to observe happening to Iraqi society, and to U.S. veterans returning from service there, has made an indelible impression upon me about the incredible resilience of people coping with impossible circumstances.

This project stems from my time in Pittsburgh, working in two very different realms: pursuing pragmatic policy solutions to prevent warfare and violence, and exploring the power of creative collaboration to encourage positive change in society. Maybe this sounds like a paradox to you, but if you kinda get where I'm coming from, I hope you can see that this project represents a stepping stone towards unifying these efforts.

During the making of Slate, Please! I have run with a herd of some of most super-creative, professional, and passionate members of the Pittsburgh independent film scene. We made a comedy about actors in a film about movies. We’ve had a blast making it, and look forward to sharing it with our audience.

It was like that ragtag band of misfits thrown together by circumstance and forced to overcome obstacles, and in doing so forges an unlikely alliance to achieve an impossible mission, learning about loss and love a little bit about life on the way...

-Dan Bisbee