When a friend came to Christopher Dodge and Rosco Guerrero with an idea for a film, they were excited to start working on what they’re really passionate about.
The result was the script for “Sink,” a short film about a man who wins the lottery and, after secluding himself in a hotel, gets lost in the depths of his mind.
Dodge graduated from Metro in 2010, and Guerrero will be graduating this summer. They met in a directing class and started a production company named Blurred last year.
“We sort of started it for no reason, thinking ‘let’s incorporate this, let’s make this official,’” Guerrero said. “And all of a sudden it was like ‘whoa, we have clients and we’re starting to make a little bit of money.’ We kind of created our world, our own job.”
Blurred has produced music videos for local musicians like Caleb Slade and Take to the Oars, as well as promotional videos for artists like The Crystal Method and Flux Pavilion. They have also produced advertisements for Ferrari and Ring of Fire.
“We love music videos, it’s a really creative genre and there’s a lot of space to do whatever you want,” Dodge said. “But the main goal is always film.”
The story of a man adrift between the real and the surreal while isolated in a hotel might sound familiar, but Dodge and Guerrero assure there are no similarities between their film and “The Shining.”
“Initially that was actually a concern,” Guerrero said. “But it’s a very different film.”
They will start shooting “Sink” this month at the Elkhorn Lodge in Estes Park. The location provides the atmosphere Guerrero and Dodge wanted for the film.
“It was built in the 1880s and it’s really creepy and dirty and cold,” Dodge said.
Not wanting to confine the film to one genre, Guerrero and Dodge describe “Sink” as a mix of mystery, thriller and horror.
“There are a lot of horror elements for sure, but we don’t want it to be considered a horror film,” Guerrero said. “Everything is really psychological and atmospheric.”
With no budget to make the film, Guerrero and Dodge turned to Kickstarter, a website where people can raise funds for creative projects. People who want to raise funds have to pledge a certain amount and they only receive the money if the goal is reached.
A small budget is not a big concern for Guerrero and Dodge.
“This is the age of independence,” Dodge said. “You can get a [digital video camera] for a couple hundred bucks and go shoot something that looks like the best equipment ten years ago that cost tens of thousands of dollars.”
Metro film professor Dr. Vincent Piturro said he thinks this new easy access to filmmaking makes the process more democratic. With more films being made, good and bad, there is more to choose from.
“If you go to film festivals, I think that’s where you really see it,” Piturro said. “I think the quality of film festivals has gotten better because there are more choices now, because people can make films easily and they can send them off to festivals.”
Dodge and Guerrero hope to have “Sink” done by August so they can start submitting it to the festivals next year.
“We want to start off with Sundance [Film Festival] in January and follow all of the season through South by Southwest all the way through summer,” Dodge said.
Denver is not usually considered a big filmmaking city like Los Angeles, but Dodge and Guerrero don’t see that as an obstacle.
“If you’re 100 percent passionate about film, you’re going to be out there making films every day regardless of the opportunity,” Dodge said.
Piturro thinks there are plenty of opportunities in Denver to learn about film, with production and cinema studies classes at UCD and Metro and workshops at the Denver Film Society. He recommends learning about production as well as film history and theory.
“That’s not just advice from me,” Piturro said. “That’s advice I got from Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee [and other] people like that who say ‘you should go to school and learn the history, learn the craft, learn the critical side, not just the technical side.’”
But the most important advice, as far as Piturro, Dodge and Guerrero are concerned, is to just make films.
“Grab a camera and go shoot something. I don’t give a shit what it is, just do it,” Guerrero said. “It’s going to suck over and over again until it’s good. And that’s it; you just have to be persistent.”
Director of Photography – Fredo Jones
Lighting Technician – Daniel Alvarez
Assistant Director – Jeremiah Whitlock
Writer – Alex Vucasovich