Lippert Takes Top Honor at Ad Comm
November 13, 2017 by Screenmag
The top honor in last week's Midwest Independent Film Festival's ninth annual Advertising Community Shorts night was taken by director Michael Lippert for his short film MIRIAM IS GOING TO MARS.
MIRIAM is a heartfelt drama following a mother battling schizophrenia, her relationship with her young son, and her belief that she is destined to join the inaugural mission to Mars.
"I have a great interest in space travel and so it’s very exciting to be living in a time when a mission to Mars is looking more realistic every day," Lippert said. "People like Elon Musk are really pushing that forward, and I believe we are going to see footprints on Mars in our lifetime."
The film was also a character study, Lippert said.
"I asked myself, what type of everyday person would apply for this mission, and who gets rejected?" he said. "As i went down the list of requirements, mental illness sort of evolved into it. But of course we did not want to treat that lightly, and I contacted my wife’s childhood friend who is a psychiatrist to make sure we were being as respectful and truthful as possible with regard to schizophrenia. So what began as a nod to space exploration really turned into an introspective emotional story about a mother losing her grip on the world. And then after stepping back from the story, I think the mental illness aspect reflects fears we may all have of losing control or of not finding our place in the world."
Lippert also thanked others that worked on the project including Another Country, Noisefloor and Company 3.
"We spent a ton of time interweaving sound design with Mike Regan at Another Country, and the score with Devin Delaney at Noisefloor. Sound was especially important, since our hero hears voices and noises throughout the piece," he said. "We colored with Tyler Roth, who gave it a great, understated grit."
The Advertising Community Shorts night spotlights short film collaborations between the Midwest advertising and filmmaking communities. The 2017 program was curated by a prestigious group of top advertising executives, and culled from over 200 submissions, with 17 films making the final cut. Second Place went to SENATAUR, created by Alec Pinkston, Gregory Hinchman and Peter Stepnoski, it is an animated short that tells the story of an exiled intergalactic politician who runs for President of the US in hopes of conquering Earth and one day returning to his home planet Beauracratica. Third Place went to FREEDOM RIDE, directed by Jesse Roesler. In the doc short, Jack just says he makes bikes. But anyone who knows him, calls him a real-life bike-MacGyver for kids with special needs. He custom builds tricycles that ensure anyone and everyone gets to experience the thrill of riding a bike.
Credits for MIRIAM:
Production design: Manuel Perez Pena
DP: Austin rink
Producer: Brittany Wagner
Associate producer: Emily fife
Michael Lippert: writer/director/editor
Mix: mike Regan
Score: Devin Delaney
Color: Tyler Roth
VFX/titles/poster: Colby capes and Tyler Engle
1st and 2nd AD: Patrick Hilton, Danny McCarthy